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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

New take on Blackhawks doesn't sound very impressive

USA Today wrote about the DCnU redo of the Blackhawks, another victim of outrageously trendy updating:
Gone are the individual propeller planes, funny hats and — in Lady Blackhawk's case — miniskirts. Instead, the Blackhawks are a super-secret organization of do-gooders that, like many characters in DC's "New 52" relaunch, are made to be more accessible to readers and "to show them that comics could be like you remember they were when you were a kid in the '80s or '90s," [Mike] Costa says.
With the kind of editorial mandates they have, chances are that it'll be more like in the latter decade than the former, when their comics were far better written than they were in the 90s. Now, here's where the troubles start to arise:
In the first issue, after a mission to rescue hostages, the pink-haired main character Kunoichi gets a technological infection that lays her up for the rest of the first story arc, effectively isolating the team's risk-taking hotshot. And in the second issue, Irish has his entire right arm taken off in battle. (It looks like he'll be OK in the long run, though, with a prosthetic arm on the way.)

"It was important for me to take as many characters as possible and then to put them in situations where the thing they thought they could do, they can't do it anymore, and they have to learn how to do something else," Costa says.

"Plus, I have a lot of characters. It's hard to juggle them all and keep them all doing stuff while telling an exciting story. It just makes it easier to cut a dude's arm off and put him in the infirmary for a couple of issues. I don't have to worry about him for the rest of the time," he adds with a laugh.
That's not funny, and only further dilutes whatever fun angle he says he's aiming for, since there's been far too much of that gore galore recently. This sounds almost like the Doom Patrol with colorless violence thrown in for good measure. Just why do the Blackhawks have to be turned into something this ludicrous? In a way, Costa is channeling Brian Bendis, who took the Avengers and used them as a title in which to tell stories that might've been better suited to the Defenders (or even the late 90s Heroes for Hire), only that with Bendis track record, his stories wouldn't even be suitable for the famous 1972-86 team book.

Now here's one more thing that contradicts something told at the start of the article:
The writer adds that, although the whole team will be back together for issues 7 and 8, there will be "more intimate character stories" and new heroes, such as a woman who comes on board as a consequence of the super-secret Blackhawks now being very public.
Now never mind that the people in charge of DC today cannot be trusted to produce a real or plausible character drama, what has me bewildered here is the news that the team they said was super-secret is going public?!? In that case, how can we be sure this'll have any solid direction, any more than most of Geoff Johns' writing in the Flash, which featured a whole lot of cheap, superficial plot gimmicks yet abandoned them pretty quickly? Making a secretive team public within such short notice is hardly establishing a firm storytelling path.

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The current direction that the DC Universe is taking is sad. "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Instead of fixing mistakes like Identity Crisis and pretty much their entire output since then, they made their universe even worse than it already was prior to the reboot. There were problems that needed to be fixed, sure, but they created more problems with this ridiculous reboot.

So they're taking one of the trashiest, most overblown eras in comics as their inspiration?

sadly for me, comic collecting is dead for all intents and purposes
other than filling in my collection's missing issues that's it
i am totally disgusted with DC's editorial decisions,

The only thing I can say about Blackhawk is that I HATED HATED HATED Chaykin's version of the character, which made him out, as I recall, to be a communist. Any-one familiar with the histroy of the poles since the beginning of WWII would know someone like Blackhawk would not be a commie. Makes me wish someone would do a revamp on Blackhawk to return him to his original roots.

I'm in the same boat with you regarding DC, Old Krow, though I have to add that Marvel is no better.

The writer is basically admitting: "I don't want to deal with the challenge of writing a huge cast of characters!"

Number 6: You're right, Blackhawk wouldn't be a communist. But Howard Chaykin has a horrible track record when it comes to established characters.

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