Review: DARKHAWK #51

By JIM CASTON
ITC Comics Division Writer

Darkhawk has always been one of my absolute favorite superheroes. His origin was harsh, but not really TRAGIC as so many of the hero origins seem to want to be. CHRIS POWELL found a mysterious amulet in an amusement park the same night he found out that his father, a cop who he idolized growing up, was dirty. The amulet allowed him to transform into Darkhawk, an android with the powers of flight, projection of dark energy from the center of his chest, and a retractable claw and cable on his right arm.

The character’s design was sleek (except for those shoulderpads), cool (man… that helmet! The wings and claw!!), but most importantly, the character of Chris was INTERESTING. He was a teenager with the power of an interstellar robot! How cool was THAT?! I read the adventures of Darkhawk, the discovery of the Raptors and loved the expansion of this character’s role in the Marvel universe with the fervor that only a kid really can.

Then the character was cancelled.

Just like that, Darkhawk was relegated to be with such forgotten characters as Marrow, occasionally popping up as a cameo in a video game or as a reference. Anyone who has become attached to a character only to suddenly have them abruptly erased from any mention knows just how heartbreaking and maddening that can be.

He showed up in the Marvel “War of Kings” event with a rather large role, but after that… nothing. DARKHAWK #51 is the triumphant return of Chris, Darkhawk, and the whole fantastic mythos that was established… or it WOULD be, if it wasn’t a one-shot.

It fast forwards a year to Chris being a cop like his father was but the amulet hasn’t allowed him to change into Darkhawk for almost a year. Just as he is considering handing over the amulet to a government agency and focusing on his life and upcoming marriage, fate changes his mind in the form of two Raptors, who attempt to take the amulet from Chris. The scene is fast-paced, action packed… and leaves you wanting more. Just the way a good one-shot should.

The last page has an email address that the reader can write to, telling them why Darkhawk should be brought back as an ongoing series. Marvel would do well to read and listen to anyone who responds.

I giveĀ DARKHAWK #51 a stellar 5 out of 5!

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