|The Blackhawks, fleeing cowards of World War 2.|
What's all the hoopla? Well, for the high-flying Allied aces of World War II, the Blackhawks, it was the menace of The Hoopster - the Villain with 1,000 Hoops (Blackhawk vol.1 No.135, April 1959)!
|Oh yeah? How about mail fraud?|
In the case of The Hoopster - a villain whose name sounds like a Midwestern insurance salesman's college nickname - the gimmick was hoops! You know, for kids!
The source of the troublesome hoops is Hoopla, a performing master of hoops whose gear is swiped while he's busy performing at a charity benefit show. These include such varied hoops as two large ones he can walk on, two more he spins around his arms, and also a giant-size one he can ride inside and which is also on fire. There's a pretty big gulf between the types of hoops used in the show, is what I learned here.
|Try saying "Trick Hoops" three times fast.|
Using Hoopla's gimmicks as well as his dire lack of imagination in naming himself, The Hoopster uses a dazzling array of trick hoops for his daring crimes: a parachute-hoop, a smokescreen hoop, a radio-guided hoop laden with gem-attracting vacuum jets (told ya!), something like four hundred hoops which just tangle people up and I wonder if they're counted as one or several hundred hoops out of the one-thousand, and a giant water-wheel hoop. Hoopster uses the latter to escape the Blackhawks across a swampy marsh, and the Blackhawks have no way of following him EXCEPT PLANES but they don't, for no good reason.
When they DO break out the planes, it's to pepper the Hoopster's Ford pickup getaway truck with machine-gun fire. If they were just going to shoot him, they probably could've done it when he was escaping via the water-wheel hoop, because that thing couldn't have been doing more than twelve miles an hour in a straight line.
Anyway, it's revealed at the end that The Hoopster is actually Hoopla, the guy who owns an arsenal of trick hoops - what a twist! Turns out his fabricated the theft of his hoops so as to draw suspicion away from himself when he used hoops to steal things. A brilliant scheme, although the only thing it truly yielded was making the word "hoop" just look like a nonsense syllable. Hoop hoop hoop. Hoop hoop hoop. Hoop.