ad for DC's Tomahawk

As sublime as much of the Silver Age was, the more you read the more obvious it becomes that there was a heck of a lot of repetition. All the characters were basically treated the same — no matter who they were, or when their adventures were supposedly set.

Superman fought aliens and robots and had bizarre transformations. As his adventures were successful so these tropes were shoe-horned in elsewhere. Batman got the treatment (rather uncomfortably, it has to be said) , so did Wonder Woman. But, why stop with the present? Blackhawk — who was ostensibly a WW2 fighter pilot — ended up shooting down spacecraft, as indeed did our old friend Tomahawk, whose stomping grounds were the time prior to the American War of Independence. Dressed in leathers and a coonskin hat, Tomahawk was not averse to fighting the odd alien or giant gorilla between bashing the British. Somehow, this seems even more ludicrous given the time period. Westerns were wildly popular during the 50s and 60s, as evidenced by the vast number of such shows on TV, but clearly DC felt that the genre could do with a little spicing up. Here we see a a forlorn ranger asking the immortal question, “How are we gonna stop Tomahawk setting the whole frontier ablaze?” And he might well ask, seeing as how the cannonballs he’s just fired at Tomahawk have been melted by the fierce heat!

What, I wonder, would a Tomahawk movie made at that time have been like? Directed by John Ford, we’d perhaps get to see big John Wayne taking on a giant purple gorilla, or a pack of wild mutant dogs. “Fill your hands, you sons of a bitch!” etc… Bring Marvel’s Spragg the Living Hill into the mix, and Brokeback Mountain suddenly becomes a very different proposition..!

So even if you are the type who eschews non-super-hero comics, rest assured the practically any genre is worth checking out during this period of comics history. It’s all equally silly, and utterly wonderful.

Image ©2010 DC Comics