The Elusive DC Comics Debut of Lady Blackhawk, Up for Auction

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In early 1959, DC Comics introduced Supergirl in Action Comics #252 — a part of further expanding the mythology of the Superman franchise near the dawn of the Silver Age.  At the time, the Superman family had recently launched a solo series for Lois Lane to significant success. But three months prior to the release of Action Comics #252, another popular DC Comics franchise also added a prominent female hero.  Blackhawk’s counterpart to Supergirl’s Linda Lee was named Zinda Blake — Lady Blackhawk. Her first appearance in Blackhawk #133 was cover-dated February 1959, penciled by Dick Dillin and inked by Charles Cuidera. There are several issues of Lady Blackhawk’s early Silver Age appearances available in this week’s 2021 July 4-5 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122127 from Heritage Auctions: Blackhawk #133 CGC 6.0 (first appearance of Lady Blackhawk), Blackhawk #140 CBCS VF- 7.5, Blackhawk #155 CGC VF+ 8.5, and Blackhawk #170 White Mountain Pedigree CGC VF+ 8.5.

Blackhawk #133 featuring the debut of Lady Blackhawk, DC Comics 1959.
Blackhawk #133 featuring the debut of Lady Blackhawk, DC Comics 1959.

Blackhawk was a very logical choice to attempt to add a semi-regular female cast member to at this point in DC Comics history.  Launched at publisher Quality Comics in 1941, the franchise had earned both a movie serial and a radio drama in the early 1950s, before eventually being acquired by DC Comics in 1957.  By 1960, the Blackhawk title briefly became the best-selling DC Comics series that was not related to Superman of Batman.

Despite this, census numbers on these issues are tiny, and these issues are more difficult to get in grade than one might imagine. There are several issues of Lady Blackhawk’s early Silver Age appearances available in this week’s 2021 July 4-5 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122127 from Heritage Auctions: Blackhawk #133 CGC 6.0 (first appearance of Lady Blackhawk), Blackhawk #140 CBCS VF- 7.5, Blackhawk #155 CGC VF+ 8.5, and Blackhawk #170 White Mountain Pedigree CGC VF+ 8.5.

Blackhawk #133, the first appearance of Lady Blackhawk, DC Comics.
Blackhawk #133, the first appearance of Lady Blackhawk, DC Comics.

Blackhawk #133 (DC, 1959) CGC FN 6.0 Off-white pages. The first appearance of Lady Blackhawk. Chuck Cuidera cover. Overstreet 2020 FN 6.0 value = $387. CGC census 6/21: 4 in 6.0, 29 higher.

Blackhawk #140 (DC, 1959) CBCS VF- 7.5 White pages. Dick Dillin cover and art. Overstreet 2020 VF 8.0 value = $66.

Blackhawk #155 (DC, 1960) CGC VF+ 8.5 Cream to off-white pages. Lady Blackhawk appearance. Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera cover and art. Overstreet 2020 VF 8.0 value = $54; VF/NM 9.0 value = $102. CGC census 6/21: 2 in 8.5, 3 higher.

Blackhawk #170 White Mountain Pedigree (DC, 1962) CGC VF+ 8.5 Off-white to white pages. Lady Blackhawk and Killer Shark appearances. Dick Dillin cover and art. Overstreet 2020 VF 8.0 value = $37; VF/NM 9.0 value = $66. CGC census 6/21: 2 in 8.5, 1 higher.

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