Review – Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk #1
Story by Dan Abnett, Kyle Higgins, Danny Fingeroth
Art by Le Beau Underwood, Andrea Di Vito, Juanan Ramirez, Mike Manley
Colours by Chris Sotomayor, Sebastian Cheng, Erick Arciniega
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover by Inhyuk Lee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 14th April 2021
2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Darkhawk’s 1991 debut in Darkhawk 1, a title that ran for 50 issues while the character himself had stints alongside the New Warriors, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
This is a tribute issue and a hope of things to come! From early 90s action to post-Annihilation plot and finally closing the arc. The issue is way too short, to be honest, but let’s head back to the 90s, find our alien amulet and transmute into DARKHAWK!
Giving us a past, present and future(ish) look at the 90s character that defied the odds and joins Marvel’s teams. During the issue, Chris Powell (Darkhawk) taps into the DATASONG of the amulet and the three stories flow from this lament.
The first story, titled “Cry of the City,” is handled by the original Darkhawk creative team of writer Danny Fingeroth and artist Mike Manley, with colours by Chris Sotomayor. It follows Darkhawk as he follows criminal mastermind Phillipe Bazin, before facing off against Savage Steel. Written by the original team of Fingeroth and Manley it plays to the fans!
In the second “Long Way From Home,” Powell is wandering a random planet and stumbles into an alien bar. In ten short pages, we get a neat, tidy standalone story showing off Darkhawk in a story with familiar alien baddies . It sits the most comfortable of the three stories and writer Dan Abnett teams up with Andrea Di Vito to draw these pages
The final very short five-page story “Last Flight” is a short sombre finale and prelude in one. Finished wearing the amulet, Powell fills the Datasong with his memories to hope the next wearer learns from his mistakes. It’s both a moving and sad chapter to a fan favourite character. Writer Kyle Higgins and artist Juanan Ramírez fill the space with both hopelessness and hope at the same time.
The three vignettes are designed well and fans will recognise the first splash page from issue 1 as a tribute to the style and writing of early 90s comics. De Vito and Ramírez though show their talent in the final 15 pages of the comic. It’s beautiful, desolate and action-packed with modern imagery and panelling.
It’s amazing to show this action next to this more realistic artwork and shows you just how far comics have come in 30 short years! We are now as far from the 90s as the 90s was from the late 50s and early 60s artwork!
This is a quick 12-minute read but worth it as it hints at things to come for both Marvel and Darkhawk. For fans of the hero, it’s a must-buy, but and for others, it’s a good sedge way into a character that fans love but many mainstream fans may not have heard of. If all else fails many will buy it for the stunning Lee cover that collectors will snap up and seal into CGC plastic for eternity!
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