Log in

16 July 2011 @ 07:02 pm
Fear itself errr Fear herself  
[Lots more Blackhawk action here

Will Eisner didn't create Fear (sometimes called Miss Fear when she was being formal) but she seems very much like a SPIRIT character who wandered into the pages of BLACKHAWK. Fear first appeared in MODERN COMICS#49, May 1946 and then turned up a half dozen times in Blackhawk stories. The last time she was seen was in BLACKHAWK# 22, December 1948. What happened to her that? Your guess is as good as mine. She certainly had made a horde of bitter enemies around the world. Maybe the odds caught up with her, maybe she faked her death and settled down in some city where she was not known. She might even have accepted one of the proposals from various Asian potentates and became a power behind the throne.

So, who is this Fear anyway? In her first story, we learn that she was the daughter of an assassinated Central Asian ruler who set out to avenge his death (with a Tommy gun!). But then she seemed to have found her life's work as an international vigilant. Fear turned up in different countries, usually with a small band of followers, always tracking down bad guys and shooting them dead. This set her apart from your usual super-hero. Blackhawk and his team were soldiers after all and had killed many of the enemy in combat; they carried sidearms and used them when necessary. But the casual almost flippant way that Fear plugged whoever she decided was evil seemed to make even Blackhawk nervous. Fear had what amounted to a crush on Blackhawk, but he didn't return it. Maybe he thought Fear would be a little dangerous to have around all the time. (Of course, Blackhawk had his own obsessive single-minded drive to fight evil-doers, based on having his family killed by German bombers at the start of WW II. When the war ended, the thought of disbanding the Blackhawk team never occurred to him. They just became freelance troubleshooters putting down revolutions, fighting Commie spies, tangling with Mad Scientists, that sort of thing.)

Anyway, from BLACKHAWK# 13, Winter 1946 (well, actually from a 1970s DC reprint), we see the Blackhawks summoned to a Middle Eastern nation where they find the usual intrigue, treachery, violence and Fear.

terry_mccombsterry_mccombs on July 17th, 2011 02:52 am (UTC)
She was next seen in 1998 in a mini series by Tim Truman set in 1927, that he said was designed as “Terry and the Pirates with dinosaurs.”

It followed the adventures of the elder Bat Lash, the German ace Hans von Hammer (Enemy Ace) and Biff Bradley, the brother of Slam Bradley, as they explore Dinosaur Island.

It also at one point introduced the father of Chop Chop.

Which lead to the question, just how old did Truman thing Miss Fear was?
dochermesdochermes on July 17th, 2011 08:06 am (UTC)
If she was 16 in 1927 (as young as I can plausibly put her as a secret agent type), then she'd be in her late 30s in the BLACKHAWK stories from 1946-1948. I guess that would work. Although the standard assumed comic book age for heroes seems to be mid-20s (just going by how they look and act).

GUNS OF THE DRAGON was okay. I skimmed through the issues once and liked it but wasn't drawn into it enough to pick them up, Bat Lash being around didn't bother me (I think Wyatt Earp died in 1930) but for some reason I felt that von Hammer didn't survive WW I... it seemed dramatically appropriate that he would fall in battle during the final days.
full_metal_oxfull_metal_ox on July 18th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
Am I the only one to suspect Jezebel from JONNY QUEST of being a (memetic) descendant of Fear?
dochermesdochermes on July 18th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
I hadn't seen the connection before, but there is a strong similarity. There were quite a few female adventurers running around in 1940s comic, pulps and adventure stories. THE SPIRIT alone had a half dozen.