Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: Gary Frank (p), John Sibal (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As Hyperion and Nighthawk have a meeting of minds over the super-powered mass murderer who has targeted the women walking the streets, we see Nighthawk takes to the streets to uncover to most likely local where this killer would be picking off his victims. While Nighthawk is able to pick up the trail rather quickly, we see the killer takes note of the costumed individual dogging his heels, and takes steps to eliminate him.
One of the more entertaining issues we've received thus far, as the momentum picks up considerably in the final moments of this issue, and the opening half of the issue offers up yet another highly engaging exchange between Hyperion and Nighthawk, as we see the two characters still actively despise each other, but have to concede that they work better together. The issue also manages to nicely sell the idea that while Hyperion does have a darker side lurking below the surface, he's also sporting a rather idealistic view of the world, as he deals with Nighthawk's decidedly jaded opinion of a world where racial prejudice exists around every corner. My only real problem with this issue is scene that involves the book's speedster, as while it's probably an accurate portrayal of the type of response one should expect when you shows up to question people in tight spandex, the simple fact of the matter is that this scene contributes no real information to the story, beyond the glaringly obvious fact that prostitutes are among the missing. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that these pages could've been put to better use than the street walker comedy hour, and it would've been nice if the character's contribution to the investigation was a little more essential. Still the cliff-hanger moment makes for a great teaser to carry one into the next issue, and if nothing else this mass murderer arc has done a very impressive job of pulling the cast members together.
One of the most powerful cover images that I've come across this year, as how can one not get the sense that Nighthawk is in serious trouble when one looks at this cover. As for the interior art, Gary Frank's work is a little stiff looking at times, and there are times when the art looks a bit rushed (e.g. the scene where Doctor Spectrum powers up). However, for the most part his art holds up quite well as there's an impressive level of detail on the page, and the big impact moment is the final pages where Nighthawk becomes captive of the super-powered serial killer is a wonderfully intense sequence thanks largely to the abruptness of the initial attack. The visual impact of the final page is also a great final page image, as one can't help but hum the Mighty Mouse theme as Hyperion rockets toward the scene. The smoke effects used during the scenes in Hyperion's apartment were also a nice touch, though the art could've sold it more by showing the two men adversely affected by the smoke in the air.
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