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Blackhawk 182
"The Festival of Fear"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND March, 1963

(Originally Reviewed On 7/26/01)

Story: Unknown Art: Unknown

At The Festival of Nations, two criminals have stolen an unknown element, which has an explosive nature, and the clock is ticking, as the unknowing crowd serves as a backdrop for this drama, which the famed airmen must find in this "Festival of Fear."

In South America, The Blackhawks arrive near a fair, where Professor Lopez tells them of a mysterious meteorite which was found resting in a crater, it is glassy and faceted, emitting a weird glow, but then Andre sees the effects of the glow, which causes a fair grounds truck to grow in size, expanding to two or three times its size in seconds, but then the hunk of steel becomes red-hot, and with the glow, a hunk of debris is what's left. Although several vehicles were in the area, only the repair truck was affected, having contained something which made it subject to the force of the meteorite.

Before they can contact the maintenance crew to find out about the truck and shield the meteorite, it is stolen by two thieves, who believe it to be a gigantic gem! The crooks are heading for the monorail, and Blackhawk knows that the rays will affect the exhibitions. The Blackhawks head for the copter, in pursuit of the crooks, while the professor checks with fair maintenance to see what was unique about the truck. On the monorail, the two pickpockets are overjoyed about their theft, but they know that The Magnificent Seven will be on their trail. At the "Festival of Nations", the monorail drops off its passengers, and as the crooks separate, so too do The Blackhawks, who lower the helicopter's rope ladder...

Both crooks are carrying black bags, so that The Blackhawks don't know who actually has the meteorite, with Hendrickson, Chuck, and Blackhawk chasing after one, while the others pursue the second crook. On the Boulevard of Nations, the crook is told about the meteorite, but doesn't heed the warning, as he runs into an exhibit... Passing by The Dutch exhibit, the crook activates a giant replica of a diamond polisher, which covers The Blackhawks in artificial diamond dust, but Chuck avoids it, and uses a magnified spotlight to distract the crook, who has lost his grip on the lever, and who tumbles off the catwalk. Hendrickson sees the crook fall onto a giant disc...

The crooks bounces into The Hawaiian exhibit, where he lands into the minature lake, where The Blackhawks intend to collar the black bag, but they see that the bag is floating on the water, meaning that the mystery element can't be inside! Chuck, Hendrickson, and Blackhawk rejoin the others, and maintain belt-radio contact with Andre's group, at the Pavillion of Inventions, where the crook is inside, and the professor arrives to tell them about the significance of the truck's reaction to the glow. A new fire-proof chemical was applied, as well as onto the new space capsule ride, and Blackhawk knows that this new ride must be guarded since they all know what will happen if the crook reaches that area. Riding the moving walkway, The Blackhawks watch as their leader seeks to appeal with the crook, who doesn't buy the story about the dangerous meteorite...

The crook pulls a lever and The Blackhawks are tumbling on the moving sidewalk, now moving at full speed, and as they regain their balance, they see the crook putting on roller skates, but Andre uses a space communication ball to drive him off his feet! The crook seeks to put on a flying belt, and Blackhawk races forward...

He hitches a ride on the crook, where in the air, the flying belt begins to sputter, and both men land on the running sky train, and a piece of his uniform is caught on the crooks' rocket gear, and both men are tumbling off towards the Spongeland exhibit...

Olaf and the other see Blackhawk fall onto the Spongeland haystack, but the meteorite is still on the roof of the skytrain, where its heading for the space capsule, and each man has a face filled with fear. The space capsule begins to grow in size, soon to become a blazing inferno, but the professor has an idea about the aquarium tank nearby...

Chuck uses the control board to stop the sky train, and the abrupt stop causes the meteorite to plunge off the skytrain and into the aquarium, where it may be shielded by the water, and with the meteorite's effects are gone, and the capsule regains its original size, and as all watch, the meteorite dissolves in the water, and Blackhawk breathes a sigh of relief since it's unknown what other dangers may have been. (Holy Alka-Seltzer, Batman!)

The first of three stories in this issue, with The Blackhawks running a marathon obstacle in a futuristic playland in 1963, with a mysterious element that leads them on a merry chase thanks to two crooks.

This Review Is Dedicated To The Black Knight of The Periodic Table Professor Jack Selegue

Steve Chung
"The Review of Fear"