Based on Blackhawk Island (located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean), the Blackhawks were a mysterious paramilitary organization that operated during World War II. Originally comprised of one man, the team came to bolster men from several European countries as they fought against the Axis powers in a campaign independent of any nation.
Bruce Timm on the Blackhawks: “I am dying to do the Blackhawks. I’ve loved the Blackhawks ever since I was a kid—ever since I saw a picture of them in [Jim] Steranko’s History of Comics. Guys that dress all in black and fly bitchin’ old planes in World War II and fight Nazis; I’m there! So I can’t wait to get my hands on the Blackhawks—that will be really great (courtesy of Cinescape Magazine).”
Name: Blackhawk / Janos Prohaska
Voiced by Robert Picardo
Frustrated with the Nazi’s invasion of his native Poland, Janos Prohaska traveled to Europe and joined the Polish resistance, flying a plane he painted black in a series of successful raids. His victories caught the attention of the Nazis, who retaliated by bombing his families’ farmhouse, killing his brother and sister. Vowing vengeance, he adopted the identity of Blackhawk to continue his war on the Axis powers.
Name: Olaf Bjornson
Voiced by ---
Unable to stand by in neutral Sweden as World War II raged across its borders, Olaf Bjornson left the circus (where he preformed as an acrobat) and his country to become a Blackhawk.
Name: Hans Hendrickson
Voiced by ---
The oldest member of the Blackhawks, this combat veteran left Holland to offer his weaponry expertise to the paramilitary organization.
Name: André Blanc-Dumont
Voiced by ???
A soldier of fortune and former member of the French underground, André was already an expert linguist and military planner when he joined the Blackhawks, where he plotted out the team’s daring raids.
Panoramic Shot of Blackhawk Island
We Blackhawks bow to no authority, until our homelands are free again.
Blackhawk (to Superman) in The Savage Time
Unlike Easy Company, who are among the most human of the comic book heroes to be featured on Justice League, the Blackhawks—Golden Age heroes from the now-defunct Quality Comics, which DC Comics acquired through a buyout in 1956—maintain an aura of "superheroism" through their use of various superhero trappings. Things such as Blackhawk Island (a secret base), their souped-up Grumman F5F-1 Skyrockets (special vehicles), and leather uniforms (special costumes) place them in the same hero category as Batman—non-powered champions who compensate through cunning, skill, and specialized artillery.
However, like Easy Company, several members of the Blackhawk team were left out of this episode. Mainly this was due to time restraints, but some of them were probably left out because they would be deemed offensive to modern viewers (such as Chop-Chop, a stereotypical Japanese character that operated as the Blackhawk's sidekick).
Finally, it is worth noting that, in a way, the Blackhawks are portrayed as a spiritual precursor to the Justice League. Independent of any nation, both teams operate on the basis of shared goals, proving that international (and, in some cases, intergalactic) borders don't matter in the fight for truth and justice.
Images courtesy of Toon Zone; additional materials courtesy of the Unofficial Blackhawks Comics Website, Kathryn Burke, and DC Cosmic Teams!
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