Comics : Darkhawk #2

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Lost Classics

This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

Chris Powell discovered that his father was receiving money from mobster Phillipe Bazin. While trying to escape from Bazin's goons, Chris discovered a mystical amulet that transforms him into a creature called Darkhawk. He used his new powers to defeat his would-be assailants. Confronting his father about his actions, he abandons his family. Faced with an uncertain future, Chris resolves to live up to his father's ideals when he couldn't and provide an "edge" against crime.

The Hobgoblin has contracted Bazin to retrieve an unnamed object of great power for him. This may or may not be the Darkhawk amulet.

In Detail...

"Goblin's Prey!"
Darkhawk #2
Apr 1991 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears, Hobgoblin
Editor:  Howard Mackie
Writer:  Danny Fingeroth
Pencils:  Mike Manley
Inker:  Mike Manley
Staff Only
Issue
Review
Articles: Hobgoblin IV (Macendale)

Darkhawk crashes through the window of Bazin's office. He dispatches his bodyguards and informs him that he's going to be watching his activities from now on. He should take this opportunity to leave town. He goes so far as to throw him out his window (and quickly catches him) to prove that he's serious.

At this point the Hobgoblin arrives and attacks Darkhawk. Despite his best efforts, he is unable to defeat Hobgoblin. He changes from a badly beaten and bleeding Darkhawk back to Chris and returns home - very slowly.

When he returns to his home in Queens, his mother, Grace, is on her way back to work. She is an assistant D.A. who is trying to bring charges against Bazin despite numerous threats.

Later that evening Chris spots Hobgoblin flying toward the nearby abandoned amusement park (where he discovered the Darkhawk amulet). Within moments, Spider-Man appears having seen Hobgoblin as well. Chris comments that he's good but his enemies keep coming back, unlike the Punisher.

Initially wanting to stay out of their way, he watches as one of the Goblin's pumpkin bombs ignite two homeless men's shelter, pinning them underneath. At this point he instructs his younger brothers to stay inside and saves the homeless men.

When Spider-Man begins to lose the fight, Chris transforms into Darkhawk, whose injuries have fully healed. He teams up with Spider-Man to drive away Hobgoblin.

Before Spider-Man leaves, he reminds Darkhawk that he needs to control himself. He apparently knows about his encounter with Bazin earlier in the day. Spider-Man reminds Darkhawk that there are heavy consequences for killing people and swings away.

In General...

The use of the Hobgoblin actually makes sense in this case. He's contracted the main villain in this series to locate an object for him, so his appearances come across as much less random. As a result, placing the alter ego of Darkhawk in Queens makes a guest appearance by Spider-Man even more convincing.

Due to his current circumstances, Chris is portrayed as a troubled teenager with some hints that killing one's enemies is acceptable. As we all know, that is a bad idea. The "practical" solution always seems like a good idea until the hero arrives at that point.

As of this issue, the series is set up quite well but does suffer from some rushed moments. There is no explanation for Spider-Man's knowledge of Darkhawk's encounter with Bazin unless he heard it from an informant. Spider- Man's speech about consequences is abrupt and without any real weight. It comes across as "killing is wrong" and leaves it at that. Yes we know that, tell us *why*. The fight sequence could have been shortened to provide a nice moral but that was the road not taken.

Overall Rating...

Typical Spider-Man-meets-the-new-guy story. The next generation of hero always thinks that killing the "bad guys" is a perfectly acceptable solution. Spider- Man is there to point out that it's not a good idea. If Spidey's reminder packed a bit more punch than a public service announcement for recycling it would have been better.

Footnote...

This version of Hobgoblin - which I jokingly refer to as "Saint Hobgoblin" due to his religious fixation - started in Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #6.