Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Riddle of the Sphinx - or Smoking really is hazardous to your health

From the pages of Blackhawk #150, July 1960 comes the story of the Riddle of the Sphinx. The Blackhawks are pursuing a criminal mastermind called the Sphinx who, with his gang, is plundering an unnamed city. The Blackhawks step in but the gang manages to escape their first encounter. The next thing we know a man in a bus terminal is tripped by a dog and his valise falls open (can't get a decent lock for those things) and diamonds fall all over the floor. Other material in the valise links the man named Bates to the Sphinx robberies and he is quickly tried (wouldn't happen that fast today) and incarcerated. He pleads his innocence with the Blackhawks who agree to investigate. They quickly stumbled upon the Sphinx and his gang but are trapped and the Sphinx lights the candle in a barrel of gunpowder with his cigarette lighter. However, the Blackhawks escape and trail the Sphinx to his hideout where the Sphinx apparently jumps into a raging river committing suicide rather than be captured. Later they catch up with the man who was actually masquerading as the Sphinx, who had thrown a dummy into the river. The man is a smoker, even though it was established early in the story that the real Sphinx didn't smoke. It is finally revealed that Bates was really the Sphinx all along and the elaborate deception was designed to make the authorities believe he had been framed. So in this case smoking led to every one's downfall. The action figure was made using a Remco Dracula figure to which I attached a GI Joe Cobra Commander head. I then sculpted the side parts of the mask. The cape was cut from an old T-shirt. I really like the Blackhawk villains because they allow me to use a lot of different types of action figures and techniques.
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