Current Reviews


War of Kings: Darkhawk #1

Posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2009
By: David Hodum

C. B. Cebulski
Harvey Tolibao, Bong Dazo, Joe Pimentel
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 arrives in stores tomorrow, February 4.

From As War of Kings approaches, the ascension of Darkhawk begins! New Warrior...Avenger...Intergalactic destroyer?! Chris Powell has been many things over his young life, but now he's stepping up with a new life on the East Coast and a serious job at Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S. But when his past comes back to haunt him and new information about his amulet and its legacy are violently brought to light, Darkhawk realizes he may have to face a much darker destiny that he ever realized. All this, plus the return of the Loners and a reprint of Darkhawk #1! You know how Annihilation made you look twice at Nova (now star of a critically acclaimed series)? This is where Darkhawk takes off!

With the launch of this mini-series, Darkhawk is lining up to be a major player in the upcoming War of Kings crossover. This issue brings a landmark change to the character and what has been known about his powers and origins. I won't mention specifically what happens at the end of the issue, but his power levels are probably about to jump from hero-sized to Nova-sized. This potentially makes him a one-man army, so his "point of view" in the upcoming "War of Kings" becomes very important... if he is even in control. His Darkhawk amulet doesn't communicate with him like the Worldmind communicated with Nova, but it tends to take over his physical form when it feels threatened. If Marvel is promising a "darker destiny" for Chris Powell, he may not be behind the steering wheel while his body plays host.

Chris Powell is taking the mythical heroes journey but his version has been more difficult than most. Spider-Man was orphaned due to his parents' death and his Uncle Ben being murdered. Chris Powell's father ran out on his family by choice right in front of Chris when he was an impressionable teenager, and he could potentially lose the rest of his family after this mini-series' first issue. New-found power has already been bestowed upon him, and he is relatively familiar with it, but he really doesn't have much control over it when it truly matters. Darkhawk's struggle with not losing control is conveyed very well by C. B. Cebulski. Chris Powell is very much on the edge at all times due to anger and the scars from his life, and an amulet with its own agenda doesn't help him keep the delicate balance. Now that his powers are potentially increasing, Darkhawk will have gone from restraining a beast within to restraining a freight train. Good luck with that, Chris.

The creative team did an excellent job here. Cebulski introduces every major player and easily mixes their history into the dialogue so that you know why each character is important. The panels all have dynamic positioning and posture that give each scene a feeling of motion. The coloring gives a rich quality to the art and provides a three dimensional feel.

It should be noted that Darkhawk #1 is reprinted here, which provides the character's origin story. This helps fully reintroduce Chris Powell so you know his rough history as well as the sketchy origins of Darkhawk. You can't exactly call his necessary use of the amulet reckless; it was a life or death situation and the Hobgoblin might've ended up with his power! I hope each issue contains a reprinted story so that when combined, the series demonstrates how Chris might have missed clues as to what was coming and why things are happening to him now.

Final Word: Darkhawk and his amulet have become a total wild card. Pick up this series to find out exactly what the future has in store for Chris Powell and if the rest of the Marvel Universe will regret not having helped Darkhawk rein in powers until it's too late!

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