wonderhawk asked: Hey Gail, I was just re-reading Birds of Prey and I LOVE Lady Blackhawk but what made you decide to use Zinda, since you dont really see her in other comics?
The Blackhawks were my father-in-law’s favorite comics characters, he loved them and he meant a lot to myself and my husband, so that made them emotional favorites of mine. I loved the idea of them, and the original stories are well-written (though sadly full of painfully racist imagery). And they LOOKED amazing.
There have been some attempts to bring the Blackhawks back, some good, some less so. One of the more recent appearances had Zinda Blake appearing in Beau Smith’s WARRIOR comic. I loved her in that book, and the tie to the classic Blackhawks made it all the more fun. I love timelost characters, in any case.
So, when they decided to blow up the clocktower, and we got the Aerie One, I started thinking of a pilot, which meant either Hal Jordon (unlikely) or a Blackhawk, since we wanted to use a DC character. I picked Zinda, but I wanted to amp up her personality a little bit. So we gave her a 40’s Oklahoma patois and a ‘keep ‘em flying!’ attitude. I also wanted her to be more of a hard-drinking, hard partying gal.
The readers took to her immediately. She was originally going to JUST be the pilot, but people loved her so much that she ended up being almost a full team member. One of the things I miss most about the book was writing Zinda’s simpler, but honest, view of the world. It’s not nostalgia, really…just a different way of seeing things.
The amazing thing is, after Zinda got in the group, Bop co-creator Chuck Dixon wrote and told me that he had tried to get Zinda in the group for ages, but had been denied. Total coincidence, that we had the same exact idea for a relatively obscure character.