|Yes, this is the cover from #229, not this issue (#230), but it shows the Emperor in the Centurion of Doom armor...|
...intercepting a message ordering the Blackhawks to rendevous, the Emperor dons a suit of high-tech armor and heads out to destroy the team personally...
If not, how did the less-than-brilliant Stan figure out how to use it (and all the built-in weaponry?
Plus, since it's powered by ionizing gold, did anyone think of how much it would cost to operate it?
(Heck, the Lone Ranger was always cautious about his silver bullets...)
And, why didn't Stan take the skull-and-crossbones logo off it?
Speaking of Stan being something of a dim-bulb, when did any of the team demonstrate the skills and abilities they suddenly picked up as of two issues ago?
I've looked over several dozen issues of both the Quality and DC runs prior to #228, and none of them show any of the crew being anything but a bunch of talented flyers/proficient hand-to-hand combatants with different accents!
At least they didn't put any of the old guys into tights/spandex!
Here's the cover for the issue (#230), showing the entire team...
...but if we showed it to you earlier, you might have thought the Emperor had killed/trapped Stan and replaced him as a spy within the team.
Hey, that's not a bad idea!
The undercover Emperor could claim he can't remove the armor because it's a life-support system keeping him alive...nah, it's been done.
Too bad writer Bob Haney, penciller Dick Dillin, and inker Chuck Cuidera didn't think of going that way...it would've added a bit of tension and excitement to a concept that quickly went downhill both in terms of story logic and sales until, in #242, the series was rebooted back to the original WWII flyers concept (complete with the classic black leather uniforms), but was cancelled as of the next issue.