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Blackhawk 182
"Lady Blackhawk's Stand-In"


(Originally Reviewed On 7/30/01)

Story: Unknown Art: Unknown

The Blackhawks are being knocked into a swimming pool by an enormous beach ball, pushed by some hoods, while up in the sky is parachuting Lady Blackhawk... but it's not Zinda, and that makes all the difference, as she and The Magnificent Seven are in peril! (Holy Beach Party, Batman!)

At her suburban mansion, Zinda Blake greets her sorority sister from her college days, who is in town out of sheer boredom, as the life of a society girl isn't as exciting as it sounds, but she's intrigued that Zinda is Lady Blackhawk! (Yup, unlike the life of a female reporter, I'm sure!) With some of the Blackhawks on furlough, Zinda is on 24 hour call, and Penny offers a reunion party, but first, Zinda has to pick up a new tube for her shortwave set! While she's away, Penny browses and sees a hankerchief hanging from the wall, and when she tugs on it, she sees the secret room of Zinda's regalia as Lady Blackhawk, with uniforms, pictures, and teletype! (Holy Blackhawk Cave, Batman! It's a broom closet!)

She sees a message come over the teletype machine, and she sees that Zinda has an assignment, but since she's not here, Penny dons the uniform, having been an aviatrix and society adventuress of the year! (Holy Rabbit, Batman! Silly society girl, Aviatrix is for Zinda!) Making her way to the secret hangar, she presses the control, where the jet begins to soar... A mile northwest of Eagle Dam, The Blackhawks are using a periscope to see the secret underworld resort for wanted criminals, and when Lady Blackhawk arrives in her jet, she is to photograph the lair so that Blackhawk knows what routes are used for possible escape! (Holy Club Med, Batman! Thank goodness it's not a nudist camp!)

Blackhawk radios Zinda's plane for her to photograph the area, but Penny, not knowing which button the automatic photo sequencer is, presses the "P" button, and the next moment finds her ejected from the jet, and starting to descend via parachute! The crooks see her descent, and will begin shooting once they see Zinda's uniform! The Blackhawks climb over the wall and see the men drawing their guns! (Holy Crandall, Batman! They better hurry because Playstations weren't invented yet, and deadlines were kept!) Seconds later, The Blackhawks use the badminton net to trip up the crooks, while Penny continues to descend...

Andre sees that Lady Blackhawk isn't Zinda, and as Blackhawk is momentarily distracted by the revelation, the group are flung into the pool by a giant beach ball used by the crooks! The Blackhawks and Penny are led into a steam room as a ruse to flush out the others, and inside, Penny tells her story, while escape is foremost on Blackhawk's mind! Seeing the pipes from a boiler, he gets an idea! At her home, Zinda sees the message and realizes that Penny must have taken her place! The Blackhawks have taken the hidden parachutes from their tunics and have plugged up the pipes so that the boiler will blow up, while Penny is to remain where it's safe! Hearing the explosiion, the crooks see the hole in the wall, and The Blackhawks emerging... Their time in the steam room have left them light-headed and weak, but look.. up in the sky... it's a bird... it's a plane... it's Lady Blackhawk! She uses her one-man copter and fires off a flare to blind the crooks so that The Blackhawks can get a breather!

As one of the crooks trips, his shotgun goes off and strikes the one-man copter, forcing Zinda down, and after freeing her from her harness, The Blackhawks head for the gym before the crooks get their vision back! Inside, they have barracaded the door, each determined to take out the crooks, but then they hear cries of another Blackhawk who is trying to run the crooks down outside! With the others on furlough, they know that it's Penny, who is riding a horse, and is armed with Lady Blackhawk's weapons case! (Holy Godiva, Batman!)

Using the smokescreen bombs and the perfumed sleeping gas, Penny has brought the gang to their knees, while The Blackhawks emerge to mop up the crew! Blackhawk compliments Penny on her fine horsemanship, and asks what made her use the special weapons case? She overheard Zinda's comment on the belt radio, which is tuned to The Blackhawks whenever they need Zinda! When the offer is made to make her a substitute Lady Blackhawk, she politely declines, prefering the life of a society girl!

Crooks and Blackhawks can take vacations, but sometimes their plans can overlap!

Ah, the good ol' days when a friend can don another's uniform and assume their identity without being arrested or killed!

Since the Blackhawks lose their hats when they fall into the pool, and judging by the art style, I'm guessing that this story is by Bill Ward (who also contributed to Cracked Magazine). Bill Ward would typically have The Blackhawks lose their hats by the second page of a story.

Steve Chung
"Lady Blackhawk's Stand-In Review"