Screenshot (3)Quality was the publisher of Modern comics, and its numbering continued on from Military Comics starting with #44 (November 1945). The title change from Military to Modern serves as an insightful analogy for how the comic industry, and larger culture, was transitioning into the post-war years.

Even through this transition, the book itself still remained the primary vehicle for character Blackhawk, with two stories of that character in this issue (#97) from May 1950. Villainess Arda Thorn strikes a sexy pose on 3173234cover by Reed Crandall (pencils) and Chuck Cuidera (inks). Note the difference between a Canadian version (compared to my U.S. image version on right).  Censors in Canada had been active even prior to the U.S. Comic Code Authority, seeing fit to remove the gun from Arda’s hand.  In the words of Stan Lee “…and the country’s morals were saved.

Arda Thorn wasn’t the only gun toting hottie faced by Blackhawk.  It fact, she was the second of a little mini-run between issues #96-98.  The “exoctic” Spectra was the female nemisis of issue #96. The subsequent cover on #98 included first appearance of bad girl Maztla in a similar pose.

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In addition to Blackhawk, these issues also contain stories with characters Torchy by Gill Fox and Ezra by Harry Sahle.