Darkhawk: Heart Of The Hawk #1 out this week from Marvel Comics marks the 30th anniversary of the character’s introduction. Darkhawk has made many cameos since his ongoing series was canceled and even had a mini-series in 2018. This issue offers three stories showcasing the character’s past, present and even leaves hints about what may come for Darkhawk in the future. This anniversary comes courtesy of Danny Fingeroth (Writer of the first story), Mike Manley (artist of the first story and co-creator of Darkhawk), Chris Sotomayor (Colorist for the first story), Dan Abnett (Writer of the second story), Andrea Di Vito (Artist for the second story), Le Beau Underwood (Inker for the second story), Sebastian Cheng (Colorist for the second story), Kyle Higgins (Writer for the third story), Juanan Ramirez (Artist for the third story), Erick Arciniega (Colorist for the third story), and VC’S Travis Lanham (Letterer for the whole issue).
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ’90s hottest hero in three spectacular stories! First, an untold story from Darkhawk’s early days by creators Danny Fingeroth and Mike Manley! Then explore the winged hero’s cosmic years by Dan Abnett and Andrea Di Vito. Finally, find out what the future holds for Darkhawk by Kyle Higgins and more!
Each of the three stories in the issue looks at a different time in Darkhawk’s history. The first story, “Cry of the City” by Fingeroth, feels like it was missing from the original series. It introduces a plot point that would have made Darkhawk’s struggle to become a hero much harder. It’s sad the story can’t be expanded upon or inserted back into the character’s history.
The second story by Abnet, “Long Way From Home,” takes a look at the more modern stories. Since Infinity Countdown, Darkhawk has been popping up in titles such as Guardians of The Galaxy connecting him to a more cosmic side of Marvel Comics. This story shows Darkhawk finding his way through space and coming face to face with one of Marvel’s most vicious alien races. It’s the least gripping of the three stories, but it is still an entertaining story.
The final story, “Last Flight” by Higgins, takes the time to set up a possible future for the Darkhawk. The story hints at something called the “Shadow War,” a possible event on Marvel Comics’ horizon. It’s impossible to go into detail about this story without spoilers. It definitely takes Darkhawk and his secret identity, Chris Powell, somewhere they have never gone before.
With “Cry of the City,” Darkhawk’s co-creator Manley provides a nostalgic feel for the character. Though with Sotomayor providing the colors, the character does have a more modern look. Overall the pair deliver a story feeling like a missing piece to the original series.
The look of “Long Way From Home” by Di Vito and Underwood has a fantastic look to it, thanks to their combined work. With recognizable alien species in every panel, it feels like the cantina scene from Star Wars. Cheng’s colorwork helps elevate the action, especially as Darkhawk has to use his powers when a fight breaks out.
“Last Flight” ends the issue on a more somber note. Ramirez’s artwork features a more reflective look to Chris Powell as he contemplates how he got to this point. Arciniega’s colorwork utilizes darker colors for a bleaker outlook for Chris and brighter ones when a cosmic disaster is on the horizon.
The Lettering by VC’s Travis Lanham deserves a lot of praise in this issue. Between all three stories, Lanham captures the look of lettering from the past and present. The lettering for “Cry of the City” feels like it was pulled directly from the 90s.
DarkHawk: Heart Of The Hawk #1 is a definite read for fans of Darkhawk but could be an ideal starting point for new readers curious about the character. Darkhawk has become a supportive character for teams such as the New Warriors and Guardian Of The Galaxy. If Darkhawk is ready to return to greater things later this year, this issue is a perfect way to understand Chris Powell better.