I always thought that Darkhawk is Marvel's Blue Beetle.
A much cooler, badass version of Blue Beetle.
I always thought that Darkhawk is Marvel's Blue Beetle.
A much cooler, badass version of Blue Beetle.
Hey nate_grey, the site rocks. Really enjoying it.
ďDawn of the DarkhawkĒ
Danny Fingeroth & Mike Manley
New York, New York: The hideous Hobgoblin flies through the city with a single destination in mind, the office of Philippe Bazin. Barging in through an open window, Hobgoblin demands to know if Bazin has found an object of power that he has been hired to look for. Bazin assures the goblin that he has agents searching for it as they speak. Unhappy with the lack of results, Hobgoblin spins glider-doughnuts in the office and destroys a priceless vase, vowing that Bazin does not want to put him in a bad mood.
Wonderland Amusement Park in Queens used to be a childís dreamland but is now deserted and slated for demolition. Two of Bazinís goons shake down a vagabond named Saint Johnny for information related to the missing object. Saint Johnny claims to have never seen it, but Bazinís intelligence points to the Park as the location of the object. Watching from a parked car, Bazin offers Johnny a wad of cash and instructs him to call clip when he drinks that up and needs more.
At the New York County Courthouse, Assistant D.A. Grace Powell rushes to a late court date, but is stopped by another of Bazinís goons. The goon offers Grace a wad of cash to walk away from the case with her health. Grace slaps the money away and refuses to be bought off by his boss. The goon denies knowledge of any employment but promises to deliver the message. Collapsing onto a nearby bench, Grace allows herself to break down for a few minutes before prosecuting her other cases.
At the Powell home later on that day, Grace watches the rain pouring down outside, worried about the veiled threat from earlier and wondering whatís keeping her husband out so late. Her older son, Chris, and younger twins, Jonathan and Jason, enter the room and try to reassure her that everything is fine. Mike Powell surprises the family by entering through the back door dripping wet in his police uniform and gets group-hugged by the family. Grace tells him about her encounter with Bazinís goon, and Mike suggests moving the family away from the corrupt city, wishing that his side had an edge against criminals like Bazin. Frustrated by his fatherís talk, Chris wishes he could do something to help, but Mike begs him not to turn out like he did, trying to do good but becoming a target for lowlifes. Over dinner that night, Jason begs his father to take him to Wonderland that night, wanting to see the park one last time before itís demolished. Mike promises to take the trip over the weekend.
Sunday afternoon, Chris is left alone to babysit the twins, and is alarmed when he sees shadows outside the windows, fearing they might be kidnappers. Rushing to the door, he is pleasantly surprised to find two of his friends inviting him to go out for a soda. Promising to only be gone for a few minutes, Chris leaves the twins unattended. Grace returns home to find the children missing and fears that Bazin may have taken them. Chris thinks they might have snuck out and heads to Wonderland to look for them. Saint Johnny tells Chris that he saw the boys run into the funhouse but canít figure out why he said that after Chris runs off.
Chris enters the funhouse and finds the boys upstairs. Before they can leave, they notice a deal going down between their father and Bazinís goons through a window into the next room. They witness Mike accepting a package containing twenty-thousand dollars, but Mike attacks one of the goons when he insults his integrity. The boys rush into the room after watching Mike being pistol-whipped and knocked unconscious. Chris tackles the goon with the gun and yells for his brothers to run away. They only make it a few feet before falling through a weakened floor. Chris manages to hide his brothers before the goons find him, and he pushes a bookcase over on them. Behind the bookcase, Chris notices a strange amulet on the floor and assumes that he may be able to use it as a weapon against the goons, wishing it would give him the edge his father always talks about. Upon grasping the amulet, a strange transformation occurs, and Chris finds himself suddenly donning a strange suit of metallic armor. Feeling a power coursing through him, Chris destroys the bookcase with an energy blast coming from the amulet now lodged in the suitís chest. Unsure of whatís occurring, Chris goes with the flow, pulling the ceiling down and somersaulting over a wave of bullets. Chris tries to talk down the goons, but they press the attack, cutting his side open and strangling him from behind. Chris tosses them aside as if they were weightless but gets caught off-guard when one of the goons electrocutes him with a live cable. Chris tries to use another chest blast but is pressed into a corner by the goon. Fearing that he is going to die, Chris gathers his strength to quickly move out of the way of a thrust which leads the goon to connect to a breaker box behind him, killing him instantly.
Chris quickly recovers from seeing a dead body and ties the remaining goons up. He hears the twins trying to get out of the closet he placed them in and rushes to them but notices his appearance in a broken mirror. Fearing that he will never be able to change back, Chris grasps the amulet again and finds himself returned to normal. Throwing the amulet away, Chris runs out of the room and into his father and begs him to explain what he witnessed. Mike claims that he canít and tells Chris to look after the family while heading for the door. Chris slips and tries to follow but finds no trace of his father outside. He returns to find his brothers and picks up the amulet on the way out, promising to use the power as the edge against crime his father spoke about but could not use.
Chris returns a day later to find Wonderland in ruins after the demolition. Fearing that he will never discover the secrets of the amulet now, Saint Johnny appears from the shadows and warns that the power of the amulet has to be used, not abused, by a Darkhawk. Chris turns to face the old man but finds nobody there. Two days later, the twins are fighting over the scene they saw with their father. Grace receives a phone call and is warned to lay off Bazin at the risk of her children. Upon hearing this, Chris decides to risk using the power of the amulet again, transforming into the armored being again, naming himself Darkhawk, and vowing to take Bazin down.
Meanwhile, Bazin reports on his current search for the object of power to Hobgoblin, claiming that it has been buried under the rubble of the amusement park. Bazin describes the terrifying being using great power as witnessed by the goons. Hobgoblin is pleased by the description and vows to find the object, killing anybody that gets in his way.
Next Issue: Darkhawk teams up with Spider-Man to battle HobgoblinÖ
Thoughts on Darkhawk #1:
-Two things we learn about Bazin this issue: he is a dick and man he is loaded Ė he just throws money around like itís never going to run outÖand it probably wonít. Talk about a very clear nemesis, I hate this guy right out of the gate. I spent most of the issue hoping Hobgoblin would just kill him.
-The Grace family is in one heck of a predicament. I have to admire Grace for her sense of justice and determination in the face of threats against herself and family. She really should have considered moving her children away until the threat was over though. The scene with Mike on the take was pretty heartbreaking. I know he has an agenda for taking the money, but I canít imagine how Chris and the twins feel having watched that. This family is most likely on the verge of breaking at any moment. Itís a very interesting predicament. For anybody saying that Chris Powell is too angry, sometimes heís justified.
-I canít believe how irresponsible Chris is, jumping at shadows one minute and then leaving his brothers alone the next. I know that teens are normally irresponsible to an extent, but this guy is a little ridiculous. Of course, it presents a great question at the end of how he will cope with the Darkhawk power given his personality. Heís doesnít seem like your typical teenage superhero.
-As much as I dislike Spider-Man villains being over-used in the Marvel Universe, Hobgoblin is a unique choice and fits pretty well in this issue. I wonder what he would be like with the Darkhawk power? Thatís a scary thought. Canít wait to see more of him next issue.
-How did such a powerful amulet come to be hidden behind a bookshelf in a funhouse, and how did Bazin get information that it might be there? Was there another Darkhawk at one time or another? Saint Johnny appears to be the key to solving the mysteryÖif he can remember it.
-Remember the phase "edge against crime", it's going to pop up a lot.
-Mike Manley delivers on some good art here, however the colors and print quality are pretty bad in my opinion. Itís so dark and grainy that it detracts from the art. There are a few scenes (such as Grace in the courthouse) that are very vibrant and clear, so I donít think itís the printing process in general. Itís like someone was trying way too hard to make this a really dark book. Luckily the quality improves fairly quickly into the series.
Verdict: A very eventful and promising first issue. Chris is quite different from most teenage super-heroes, considering his family drama and the fact that he actually has a reason wanting to fight crime. It will be interesting to see how he handles the power though given his attitude and irresponsibility. The Darkhawk has a great design and powerset but is still pretty mysterious at this point, and I can't wait to see more. Bazin is clearly set as the primary villain, and the Hobgoblin should make a challenging adversary next issue. The art and writing are very good (aside from a few minor plot points and the printing/coloring). I would like to see more of a supporting cast, but it's still early. A great start!
Chris Powell: You have invaded the lair of the, uh, Edge-Man. The three youths are in my charge. BegoneÖor pay the price!
Chris Powell: (thought) Did I say that?
Yeah, it's a good thing Saint Johnny mentioned Darkhawk, Chris might have kept using the name Edge-Man. Nobody would have bought the book, the series would have been cancelled, and the world wouldn't have Darkhawk. A true travesty averted.
I remember randomly picking up early Darkhawk issues when I was a kid. I seem to recall liking them, but sadly no longer have them.
Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...
Love the first review, I'm working on Issue # 2 now Nate-grey.....I read issue # 1 last night and going to read # 2 tonight and do a review afterwards while it's fresh. Hope it's as good as yours.
Also, I don't have any scans like you but will at least try to get a pic of the cover of issue # 2...I am sure I can find it.
I'm sure it will be great! If you'd like, I can scan and host any images you want from the issue. Just PM me and let me know.
So, how well does this issue work as an introduction issue? What things did you like or felt were lacking?
I think it works good for an introduction to Darkhawk but not so much the amulet that he gets the power from. Why is it in the amusement park? Who is St. Johnny? How did Hobgoblin know about the amulet but yet no one else had?
Without giving too much away, the mystery of Darkhawk and the amulet is one of the driving forces of the series for the first 25 issues, so we can only expect occassional hints about that. The mystery is one of the things that I always liked about the series though. I may start keeping a running list of clues that are presented during the slow buildup. Can't wait to revisit this. The whole amusement park setting is strange but memorable. Maybe Bazin had a sensor team comb the city and picked up on the amulet's energy signature around the park, that's my guess.
I think the Powells got the best introduction this issue. Each member of the family is very unique and has their own personality, which is rare at the time, especially for the children. Although I will admit that I can never keep Jason and Jonathan straight, twins get confusing. You could make a book just about the lives of the Powells and it would still be interesting, a mob corruption police/district attorney drama - think of a cross betweeen Sopranos and Law & Order.
Notice Chris has the exact opposite personality that he was eventually saddled with by the skim-reading of later writers. He's surrounded by aggression in his younger brothers and burdened with the expectation that he become the man of the home and he's not 'angry', he's frustrated as most teenagers are when realising the shortcomings of authority figures, in this instance Chris' dad. It's a clever way to make him brash without being irrational or difficult to relate to, and it's a shame that it didn't last.
Not sure about all the references to other Marvel universe events so early in the book's run: Spider-Man guest-starring is a smart move, but demonic Hobgoblin's ongoing possession arc being a part of brand new superhero Darkhawk's origin story not so much. But it doesn't get in the way of knowing what's going on, and the book is a lot more accessible than a great many other teen books launching in established fictional universes such as Runaways, Young Avengers or Arana, which are good titles but really do need the first six issues to be taken as a whole compared to Darkhawk's first issue setting up pretty much everything you need to know.
Maybe a little dense in the reading compared to modern titles, but it's a solid opening issue.
Yeah why did they cancel Runawys that was a great book when Brian K Vaughan wrote it