Sunday, March 9, 2008

Tomahawk Comics 1

video
In looking for Revolutionary War graphic materials I stumbled upon Tomahawk comics.
The slide show displays some cover images I found. I used a Last Of The Mohican song as a soundtrack. Some info about Tomahawk comics from comic book resources

Tomahawk is a comic book character whose adventures were published by DC Comics during the 1950's and 1960's in his own comics series. His uniqueness stems in part from the time frame of his fictional adventures: the American Revolutionary War. Known as either Tom Hawk or Thomas Haukins, depending on which of two versions of his published history the reader prefers, "Tomahawk" was a soldier who served under George Washington in the warfare between the British, French and Iroquois forces during the decades prior to the American Revolutionary War and acquired his nickname due to its resemblance to a trademark weapon of the Iroquois Confederacy's warriors, and to the skill he developed with that weapon. He subsequently achieved further fame as one of Washington's most capable operatives during the Revolution itself, leading a band of soldiers under the informal nickname of "Tomahawk's Rangers". His series lasted 140 issues, from 1950 to 1970. The last 10 issues focused on "Hawk, Son of Tomahawk", and the cover title said "Son of Tomahawk". In addition he appeared in Star Spangled Comics from issue 69 in June 1947 to 130 July 1952 and in World's Finest Comics from issue 33 in March 1948 until issue 101 in May 1959. The character was created by writer Joe Samachson and artist Edmund Good, but his most famous portrayers were Ed France Herron and Fred Ray. In issues 35 and 36, Tomahawk met a young Davy Crockett, who was very popular at the time. This is a historical error, as Crockett was not born until after the Revolutionary War.
Issue 81 was also notable, introducing Miss Liberty, one of the earliest patriotic superheroes by the vague internal chronology of the DC universe, who would make several more appearances in the series. In the Time Masters mini-series, it is established that Tomahawk's associate Dan Hunter is actually Rip Hunter's brother who travels back in time to stop the Illuminati during the Revolutionary War, deciding to stay in the past.
In 1998, Tomahawk appeared in a 'Vertigo Visions' one-shot, written by Rachel Pollack. this issue retold his origin.
Issue #587 of 1113
Title: Tomahawk
Issue: No. 81
Date: July – August, 1962
Publisher: National Periodical Publications, Inc. (DC Comics)
Cover Artist(s): Bob Brown
Before Captain America, before The Shield, even before Union Jack, there was Lady Liberty, the costumed “frontier heroine” of the Revolutionary War! But I’ve gotta admit that I’m somewhat relieved that the cover-copy of this issue of TOMAHAWK makes it clear that the objects Miss Liberty is tossing are “fused power horns”. At first glance, they look more like explosive, uh, sex toys!
This issue’s 9-page cover-story, “Miss Liberty – Frontier Heroine”, was written by France Herron and drawn by Fred Ray. It begins (as seen on this comic’s cover) Tomahawk and Dan are ambushed and captured by the British “lobsterbacks” and their Native American Indian allies. But Tomahawk’s captors are surprised when they’re interrupted by Miss Liberty, a red-white-and-blue costumed “frontier heroine” who hurls explosive powder horns to disperse their troops (which turn out to be nothing more than harmless firecrackers.)
DAN HUNTER (whispering):
Golly, it’s enough to make my eyes water, TOMAHAWK…a woman patriot risking her heck for us!
TOMAHAWK (whispering):
Yes, lad – and perhaps, one day, we can repay the costumed lady!
Fleeing, Miss Liberty diverts the Redcoats’ attention from Tomahawk, while he and Dan Hunter proceed on to Newtown, where they confer with Mr. Barnaby, an apothecary owner, regarding a shipment of Yankee munitions that the British are out to confiscate. While there, they meet nurse Beth Lynn, who’s secretly Miss Liberty, the leader of the “Women’s Underground”! Time and time again, the frontier heroine and her female forces aid Tomahawk against the “lobsterbacks” in various cleverly non-combative ways (such as setting fire to a haystack to create a smokescreen, or spilling a butter-churn’s contents to cause the Redcoats’ horses to slip off a bridge!) Later, Tomahawk thanks and congratulates his new ally:
TOMAHAWK:
You’ve done an amazing job organizing this Women’s Underground, MISS LIBERTY! But why the necessity of a disguise?
LADY LIBERTY:
I have no choice, TOMAHAWK! My brother is being held captive in England! If my true identity were known, they would take their revenge out on him!

Finally, the British confiscate the local ferry of Wilk’s Landing, making it impossible for druggist Barnaby to transport the munitions to the American troops. To make matters ever worse, the Redcoats issue a rather harsh edict to eliminate any further resistance from the Yankees:
PROCLAMATION:
Hear ye! A warning to any village that harbors the fugitives Tomahawk or Dan Hunter! The township will be razed to the ground and people banished from the territory!

But Tomahawk and Miss Liberty concoct a plan together. Tomahawk and Dan allow themselves to be spotted in town by British patrols, and sure enough, the Redcoats force the locals to evacuate Wilk’s Landing before it is set fire and destroyed. However, the villagers are allowed to take their personal possessions with them, a situation they counted on:

TOMAHAWK:
There it be, sir…hollowed candles and broomsticks, containing lead ball and long rifle barrels…sacks of “grain “ holding powder! An arsenal for the army!

CONTINENTAL OFFICER:
Great thunder! These people sacrificed their village to smuggle the supplies to us! It…almost seems impossible!

TOMAHAWK:
It would have been…had we not had MISS LIBERTY’S help! You know, Dan – there’s only ONE woman who could have possibly known our plans…

DAN HUNTER:
Nurse Bess Lynn…when she entered the apothecary’s shop! But there’s no proof, TOMAHAWK…and frankly, I like it better this way!

This issue of TOMAHAWK also includes the following stories and features:

* “The Strange Omens Of The Indian Seer”, drawn by Fred Ray (While dealing with Jacob Bragg, a white man who’s inciting local Indians to turn renegade, Tomahawk learns of Smoke Reader, a medicine man who can apparently predict the future. Despite Bragg’s precautions, Tomahawk makes good use of cooperative Smoke Reader’s omens to stop the troublemaker.)

* “Tomahawk’s Frontier Valet”, drawn by Fred Ray (When Tomahawk and Dan Hunter’s friend Lord Boswell disappears on an adventure in “some uncivilized area in the world”, his last will and testament bequeaths his stodgy valet, Reeves, to the buck-skinned frontiersmen! But when one of Reeves’ blunders causes them to be captured by a local tribe of Indians, Tomahawk and Dan discover they’re holding Lord Boswell – apparently the victim of amnesia -- as a prisoner! Tomahawk rescues Boswell and restores his memory in the process, then reunites Reeves with his lost master!)

* Two gag-strips (one half-page and one full page) starring “Chief Hot Foot” by cartoonist Henry Boltinoff.

ODDBALL Factoid – During the late 1960s, in an attempt to relate better to a supposedly “hipper” audience, TOMAHAWK changed its title to SON OF TOMAHAWK, starting with its 131st issue!

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