Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk #1 // Review
Once more brought back from obscurity, Darkhawk is here to be a street cop and fight alien dictators. And he’s on vacation from the force right now.
Darkhawk was Marvel’s unabashed attempt to recreate the Spider-Man formula for a new decade. As it was the 1990s this time around, Darkhawk was made by Tom DeFalco and Mike Manley and was a dark and edgy creation for the time; as edgy as Tom DeFalco ever got, anyway. Most of Darkhawk’s early stories were about a teenager, Chris Powell, learning to get used to a mysterious armor from space and figuring random Spider-Man villains. Then he went to space, and the book got crazy. And then cancelled at issue 50.
Marvel may have relegated him to obscurity, but several creators have yet to forget him. This time, it’s the writing duo of Chris Sims and Chad Bowers working with artist Gang Hyuk Lim to update Chris Powell for the new Infinity crossover.
Picking up mostly where the recent one-shot Darkhawk #51 left off, Chris Powell is now a police officer in New York City. His secret identity of Darkhawk is also revealed to the reader quickly and in a very awesome fashion. Nova pops in for a guest appearance to establish what Chris would like to do this miniseries: go after the Fraternity of Raptors. The Raptors are the creators of the Darkhawk armor, and also wish to rule the galaxy through power and fear. Sadly, Nova says no…but Chris has problems of his own. Namely, those of the “Freelance Peacekeeping Agent” sort.
This is an excellent comic, hands down. Sims and Bowers are either big fans of Darkhawk or have done their research, and it shows. Chris Powell feels like the character is back from limbo, having had a life behind the scenes (a fiancé does help in that respect). Established characters alongside Chris also feel in-character and sound themselves, something that can go missing in an event book. The book also makes sure to tie-in with the main story with an introduction that doesn’t feel out of place once the reader has finished. The newly introduced supporting cast also shows promise, but may only factor in if Chris’ adventures continue beyond Infinity Countdown. One can only hope that a new series for Darkhawk is in the cards if this sells well.
As for the art, it is almost perfect. Lim seems to have combined aspects of the eastern art styles with western aesthetics, making for a Marvel comic with some real stylistic flair to it. Characters are expressive and varied, resulting in a very realistic feeling comic in spite of the stylized details. It’s a wonderful work, and deserves praise for that alone. Lim’s use of inks and colors are also fantastic, providing for a wonderfully moody showdown in the final pages.
Darkhawk is back once more, and it seems Sims and Bowers have one heck of an adventure in store. Even if you’ve never heard of the guy, this is a comic worth picking up.