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Blackhawk 187
"One Of Our Blackhawks Is Missing!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND August, 1963

Story: Unknown
Art: Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera

When Chuck is selected to deliver a valuable tribal locket, he finds himself attacked by hill bandits -- and when the Black Knights search for him, Blackhawk is punched by a peon -- who is none other than Chuck himself! Unable to recall his teammates, they are forced to raise the alarm... "One Of Our Blackhawks Is Missing!"

In a Mexican village, Chuck is greeted by an elderly Aztec chief... He is pleased that the Blackhawks will aid him in transporting the emerald Aztec locket, which will help his poor people! Only to a member of the Blackhawks would Chief Quixta entrust its safety! Chuck promises to get the best price for the treasure, and return with the money which the Aztecs need! (Holy E-Bay, Batman!) Before he departs, Chuck is given a token of the chief's appreciation for him and his teammates! As the copter flies over the Aztec village... an agent of the Spade Squadron radios that Chuck is heading due north! At Blackhawk Island, the other members are listening to Chuck's radio call... As he starts to tell them about Chief Quixtla's gift, the sound of machine-gun fire is heard... and Chuck identifies his attackers as... the international gang -- known as -- The Spade Squadron! (Holy Maltese Falcon, Batman! Don't bogart that gem!)

The copter's rotary blades have been shot away -- and Chuck must bail out quickly! He gives his longitude and latitude... with the nearest town being Tocana! As the others prepare to head for his location, Chuck uses his parachute... and sees the two Spade Squadron helicopters begin to land! Once he has reached the ground, Chuck frees himself from the chute... only to find himself surrounded by a band of hill bandits! They too seek the emerald locket...

BAM The hill bandits find themselves under fire by the Spade Squadron... As the two criminal groups battle one another... Chuck heads for the river... But, as he leaps through the air... his head is grazed by one of the hill bandit's bullets! Struggling to stay awake, he grabs onto a log, and the swift current sends him downstream... When he revives, Chuck has no memory of who he is, and his samaritan tells him that bandits are searching Tocana for the American who wears a locket! He is told that he was found unconscious on the river bank, but now... Chuck must leave the house before they find him!

The villager tells him that he can wear some clothing which are hanging in the barn, and to take the back road to Tacana -- where the authorities will help him! After donning the pants and serape, Chuck takes the sombrero from a donkey to complete his disguise! Hours later... he tries to remember how he got the locket and why the bandits are after him! As he heads for the police station, Chuck sees one of the bandits staking out the station house -- laying in wait for him! As he rests against a nearby wall... Chuck sees a group of colorfully clad characters who are after him, too! The Blackhawks have arrived, not having heard from their missing teammate on his belt radio! They see his hat -- cut so that the donkey's ears can protrude... (Holy Pin The Tail, Batman!)

As they look around, Blackhawk sees that a peon's sombrero has two cuts on the sides which could have been used for the ears of a donkey! Seeing the group heading towards him, Chuck lashes out at Blackhawk, and before the others can recover from the surprise attack... he has made a swift getaway on the donkey-drawn cart! One of the bandits has seen what has happened... and his smoke signal is soon spotted by the other hill bandits! As the amnesiac Blackhawk leaves the village... he is knocked off the cart by a taut wire between two trees! (Holy McGoohan, Batman!)

Now on horseback, the other Blackhawks see that the locket has been taken from Chuck! Stanislaus stays to help Chuck, while the others pursue the hill bandits! They see the leader with the locket being lassoed by the Spade Squadron copter! The hill bandits manage to shoot the rope line holding their leader, as well as blasting the copter! As the bandit leader turns to flee... two members of the Spade Squadron emerge from the downed copter and tackle him! When the Blackhawks charge towards them, the bandit leader stumbles -- and the locket is sent over the cliff into the river below!

Now leaderless, the remaining hill bandits flee... and the Blackhawks know that hopes of recovering the locket are low! When they return to their teammates, Stanislaus tells them that Chuck has recovered his memory from the fall off the donkey cart! He then shows the Blackhawks that the real locket was placed into the lining of his cap, which was used by the peon's son for the donkey! Chuck had placed the locket there before the attack and loss of memory! He was about to tell them that Chief Quixtla's gift was an exact imitation of the real locket! The switch was so that the crooks would get the fake one if he were caught! Blackhawk is cheered by the good news, that he forgives Chuck for the punch on the jaw!

The title of the story is taken from the movie, "One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing!"

"The Aztecs" was the 6th story for Doctor Who from May 23 - June 13, 1964. It is now available on DVD.

The agent of the Spade Squadron favors a trenchcoat and hat, which wouldn't look out of place in a Humphrey Bogart film.

The character of Chuck was named after artist Chuck Cuidera.

In 1963, D.C. lettered sound effects did not have exclamation points! Another character who wore a serape in the Silver Age was Bat-Hombre!

Steve Chung
"One Of Our Blackhawk Reviews Is Missing!