Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Miss Fear

There are a great number of women throughout the golden age run of the Blackhawk team. Most are toss-away-at-the-end-of-the-issue girlfriends (i.e. Andre's love at the end of Military Comics #10). Some die sad deaths, caught by various violent ends. That is what being loved by the great hero Blackhawk often gets you. 

But in the mass of fallen loves and forgotten girlfriends there stands one women who comes back, and has she has captured the mind of fans like no other.

She is known as Fear.
It isn't fair to call Miss Fear a villain, but standard hero material she isn't. Her drive to punish those she decides are evil-doers started with the need to avenge her father, an assassinated Central Asian ruler. You will find out more below in her first appearance, Modern Comics #49 (May, 1946).

03 //04 //05  //06 //07 //08 //09 //10 //11 //12 //13 //14 //15 //16 //17

Miss Fear returns to act with the Blackhawks total of 11 times. Often she appears due their interests in the area crossing, but on occasion because of unrequited feelings for Blackhawk.
Miss Fear becomes a mysterious figure with an independent agenda. She could easily slip into the pages of The Spirit. She is made from similar stuff to other Quality Comics anti-heroines. Perhaps this is why, despite their repeated interactions with her, Miss Fear was always pushed away by Blackhawk.

There may be another interesting reason for the separation though. After her father was avenged Miss Fear turn to international vigilantism, much like the Blackhawks did after the war ended. The difference lies in the detail of this turn. While Blackhawk was often ruthless with his enemies, Miss Fear was still a shade darker. Doc Hermes explains,

"Fear turned up in different countries, usually with a small band of followers, always tracking down bad guys and shooting them dead. This set her apart from your usual super-hero. Blackhawk and his team were soldiers after all and had killed many of the enemy in combat; they carried sidearms and used them when necessary. But the casual almost flippant way that Fear plugged whoever she decided was evil seemed to make even Blackhawk nervous" (source).

In a comic that supports the cringe worthy likes of Chop-Chop, the depiction of this Central Asian woman is positive in contrast, but not entrly free of stereotype. In some of her appearance she is depictions as a bit of a Dragon Lady.

The last time Miss Fear appeared was in the pages of Blackhawk #22 (Dec. 1948). Her fate was left unexplained.

You can read more Miss Fear Blackhawk #13 (1946) on Doc Hermes blog. Check back here for more of this mysterious adventurer and her time with the Blackhawks.

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