13 COVERS AND PAGES: A DAN SPIEGLE Birthday Celebration



The Blackhawks have had a long history in comics, going all the way back to 1941, and they were really good adventures, first at Quality Comics and then at DC when the latter acquired the characters.

Reed Crandall

However, after awhile, DC had an idea to try to rework them into something the superhero fans would like. It was a truly terrible idea. They upgraded them with mechanical devices and horrible costumes (with the worst going to Chuck in his new identity of “The Listener” — consisting of a blue jumpsuit covered by ears all over it. Although, to be fair, all the Blackhawks’ new costumes tied for a very close second.)

Pencils by Dick Dillin, inks by Chuck Cuidera

Following this, the comic stopped publishing for several years. A revival occurred with Blackhawk #244 (Jan.-Feb. 1976), and more new uniforms, but this was quickly gone, too, lasting only one year. And then nearly another six years passed without Blackhawk on the newsstand.

Somebody at DC must have realized, “Just what is wrong with telling stories of the Blackhawks set during their greatest readership period, World War II? After all, readers have no problem with Sgt. Rock being there for a few hundred thousand stories!” And so, the newest revival began with then-editor Len Wein most certainly echoing the wails of the desperate wives of their newly-muscled (but now romantically uninterested) husbands in the musical version of Li’l Abner, “Put them back! The way they was!”  Wein hired Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle — born 103 years ago on Dec. 10, 1920 — to do just that.

Spiegle’s art on what I consider the best revival of Blackhawk (that started with #251, Oct. 1982, and ran through #273, Nov. 1984) was different from the house style that had stayed on Blackhawk at Quality Comics and the early days at DC for so many years, but his work was – no surprise – exceptional and just what was necessary to restore this great adventure comic-book title.


Blackhawk #266 (Jan. 1984)

Blackhawk #251 (Oct. 1982)

Blackhawk #252 (Nov. 1982)

Blackhawk #255 (Feb. 1983)

Blackhawk #256 (Mar. 1983)

Blackhawk #257 (Apr. 1983)

Blackhawk #261 (Aug. 1983)

Blackhawk #263 (Oct. 1983)

Blackhawk #267 (Feb. 1984)

Blackhawk #268 (Mar. 1984)

Blackhawk #269 (Apr. 1984)

Blackhawk #271 (July 1984)

Blackhawk #272 ( 1984)


— 13 GREAT ILLUSTRATIONS: A DAN SPIEGLE Birthday Celebration: 2022 EDITION. Click here.

— Remembering DAN SPIEGLE. Click here.

13th Dimension contributor-at-large PETER BOSCH’s first book, American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s – From the Small Screen to the Printed Pagewas published by TwoMorrows. He is currently at work on a sequel, about movie comics. Peter has written articles and conducted celebrity interviews for various magazines and newspapers. He lives in Hollywood.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. One of my very favorite series from the 80’s which needs to be reprinted! A great book!

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  2. The Evanier/Spiegle run on Blackhawk was fabulous, one of my favorite comics of the 1980s

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  3. I was a teenager when the BLACKHAWK revival came out. Thought, Wow, who’s this fantastic young artist? After a while I discovered the length and quality of Spiegle’s oeuvre. His ’80s & ’90s art, including CROSSFIRE, remains some of his best, but there’s great stuff going back to the HOPALONG CASSIDY strip in the ’50s. Thanks for the glance back!

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