“Blackhawks” #8 could be considered the most merciful thing DC has done for this title. Due to suffering a few creative misfires with the relaunch, “Blackhawks” struggled to find its footing and found itself fighting an uphill battle to capture or re-capture readers.
The high concept of a G.I. Joe-type attack squad in the DC Universe certainly had wings (sorry, had to be done), but “Blackhawks” was lost amongst the fifty-one other titles and the lack of consistency on art from the first issue really hamstrung the book. That said, the eight issues essentially served as a miniseries for the Blackhawks, reintroducing the name and crossing it with the concept of an international peacekeeping force. Mike Costa writes a cast of eight characters that have little variation in personality, but that could easily have been truncated as storylines were trimmed. Kunoichi is the one character that has the most spotlight in this issue, but even the development and transformation poured into her do little to make her a compelling character.
The threat to the Blackhawks — in the story proper — is that of Mother Machine, an artificial intelligence that has plagued the team from the beginning. Here, Mother Machine stages an all-out attack on the Blackhawks in their headquarters, the Eyrie. The Blackhawks answer in kind and Costa is forced to put the team in a series ending spot, unsure of where they will go from the final page of this issue. The threat is conclusively addressed, but not without cause, as should be the case for all series with a projected finale.
As Cafu’s work goes, this was not his best. I’m unsure how much of that is on Cafu, his inker, Bit, or the looming specter of a series drawing to a close. The art is clean and tidy with significant amounts of detail and a nice display of storytelling — serviceable, but aside from a sequence set inside Kunoichi’s head, hardly memorable.
Unfortunately, that best summarizes not only this issue but the entire “Blackhawks” series. It was serviceable, had some decent moments, showcased some good talent, but nothing here is memorable. Of the fifty-two titles that launched last September, this one had the most untapped potential. Maybe at some point the Blackhawks will resurface, but they’ll need some help to catch notice.