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the heroic World War II Polish aviator
Janos Prohaska, the heroic Polish aviator known as Blackhawk in the DC Comics universe, is a lapsed Catholic.
From: Andrew A. Smith (Scripps Howard News Service), "Comics superheroes of many faiths", published 3 February 2000 in The Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/religion/446482.html; viewed 30 November 2005):
Janos (Blackhawk) Prohaska is a lapsed Catholic who lost his faith when the Nazis (and later, the Soviets) overran Poland and now claims to be an atheist. Perhaps he should join the Justice League, which has a manifest angel (Zauriel) as a member. Or have a chat with the Spectre, who claims to be the actual Wrath of God!
From: Michael Kooiman, "Blackhawks" article on "B" alphabetical page on "Cosmic Teams" website (http://www.mykey3000.com/cosmicteams/cosmic/b.html#black; viewed 25 May 2007):
Janos Prohaska was born on October 31, 1912 in Krakow, Poland amid a country in turmoil. During his young life, he would experience ravages of both the Great War and Poland's war with Russia. His father committed suicide in 1929 and Janos was forced to leave his younger siblings, Jozek and Staszka, in the care of his aunt. Janos himself joined the Polish air force where he met his good friend Stanislaus Drozdowski. They gained skills in hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship and aviation. By 1936 they were national heroes. When the political climate in Poland grew sour, the young men went into freelance service, which took them abroad. They served in the Spanish Civil War and traveled aimlessly for a while. (Secret Origins #45)...
After the war, the Blackhawks all went their separate ways. Jan [Janos] found himself in the new nation of Vietnam, where in 1947, he was approaced by Cynthia Hastings with a proposition to retrive lost treasure. This gold was originally stolen by the Japanese in Indochina, found in Hanoi by the French in 1946, and stolen again by their clerk, Robert Massie. The last anyone knew, Massie was then overtaken by a Chinese crime lord known as the Red Dragon. Cynthia hoped to be able to offer the Dragon their services to get the gold out of the country, and then hijack it. Jan agreed to the plan and took a cargo plane and enough whiskey to tempt the Dragon. Before leaving, he also wrote a letter to Blanc-Dumont, asking him to join the mission covertly.
Jan faked engine trouble to land on the Dragon's air strip and the two were taken captive by the Red Dragon. They're suprised to learn that the Dragon is a woman: Sheah Chun Ryan. The Dragon agreed to Jan and Cynthia's proposal, but insisted that Hastings must remain behind as insurance. Cynthia soon revealed her true identity as a Catholic nun and raced after a Buddha among the treasures. She explains thtat when France fell to Germany, Catholic bishops put their artifacts in Buddhist care. The Red Dragon was unsympathetic to her cause and ordered them killed. Just then, lightning struck and allowed them to escape with the statue. Andre, joined by Chuck Sirianni swooped in to save the day, and the Red Dragon's plane was shot down. (Action Comics #601-608)
Webpage created 30 November 2005. Last modified 25 May 2007.
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