Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blackhawk Villains - Crimson Vultures

I was looking for something that would coincide with Thanksgiving, but frankly I'm not aware of any turkey-based heroes or villains. No Captain Turkey, or the Turkey Vulture, or Turkeyman (or woman). Somehow turkeys have never seemed particularly heroic or villainous. So I figured the closest I could come would be the Crimson Vultures from the pages of Blackhawk #112, May 1957. This is a team of bad guys organized man-to-man to defeat the Blackhawks. For example the Blackhawk Hendrickson is noted for his sharp shooting abilities so the Crimson Vulture called H is the sharp shooter of their group. They don't have names, just letter designators, such as B for Blackhawk, C for Chuck, S for Stanislaus... well, you get the idea. They seemed to have two C's - one for Chuck and one for Chop-Chop. They also had a pet vulture named Crimson as their mascot, similar to the Blackhawk's own Blackie the hawk, who I don't think I've shown yet. Anyway, the Crimson Vultures go on a crime spree on their flying bridge (remember readers I don't make this stuff up) and defeat the Blackhawks several times in succession. Finally Blackhawk outwits them and they plunge to their deaths from the bridge, having not copied the one piece of Blackhawk hardware that would have really come in handy - their secret jacket parachutes. In the third to last panel of the story there's a "typo" where Black proclaims, "Their own leader brought about their doom with their INFORMAL machine, Andre," where the capitalized word should probably have been infernal. Just goes to show, letterers didn't have spell checker back in 1957. The figures themselves were all the Star Wars Bespin Luke with a variety of heads attached - I even used an Asian head for the C that stood for Chop-Chop guy. Then I used felt pieces to make the little top-knot things on their heads. The hardest part was painting the vultures on their chests to make them as similar as possible. Hope you enjoy my "turkey replacement" and that all my readers have a happy Thanksgiving.
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