The comics of the 1940's were home to a legion of two-fisted, axis-smashing patriots. Although many wore colorful costumes and possessed impressive superpowers, others, like the Blackhawk Squadron, had only their bravery and bravado. Ace pilots of various nationalities, the Blackhawks flew the skies of World War II, gunning down enemy planes as they shouted their war cry of "Hawkaaaaaaw"...eventually becoming so popular, they earned their own radio series and movie serial.
However, as always, things changed and the Blackhawks (and other World War II characters) gave way to new genres. Most of the displaced war characters faded away entirely, but others...like the Blackhawks...continued on by awkwardly conforming to whatever fads breezed through the 1950's pop cultural scene. As horror and science fiction comics became all the rage, the hapless Blackhawks found themselves battling an absurd parade of Lovecraftian monsters, flying cavemen, or giant Communist robots.
The final indignity of the Blackhawks came in 1967, when it appeared that superhero comics were here to stay and the nation was in the campy grip of the Batman TV series. In a desperate, last-ditch effort to save the flagging Blackhawk title, the once-proud WWII aviators were transformed into a team of astonishingly lame superheroes on the cover of Blackhawk #230....a cover that instantly became the poster child for every ill-advised, half-baked reboot before or since.
Mocked as "out-of-date has-beens" by Batman (!) and (then) President Lyndon Baines Johnson (!!!), the Blackhawks decided to get with the times by becoming a team of superheroes...all of whom looked more like badly-drawn adults heading to a Halloween party than anything cool-meisters Batman and LBJ would approve of. And, yes, those are tiny ears adorning the costume of Chuck "The Listener". Ironically, the only character to come off well on this otherwise dignity-free cover would be "Dr. Hands", a.k.a. "Chop Chop", the Blackhawks' sidekick who'd previously been portrayed as an offensive Asian caricature.
Mercifully, the "New Blackhawk Era" lasted only a handful of issues, allowing the Blackhawks to once again revert to their original uniforms and take to the skies...if only for a mere two issues before the title was finally cancelled for good.
But at least they went out on their own terms. Hawkaaawwwww!