Comics : Darkhawk #3

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Lost Classics

This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

Hobgoblin has contracted Phillipe Bazin, a small-time mobster, to acquire a mystical object of power for him. Bazin is also responsible for the corruption of Mike Powell, the father of Chris Powell aka Darkhawk.

Last issue, Darkhawk appeared in Bazin's office and advised him to leave. This led to a confrontation with Hobgoblin, who was protecting his interests. This ended poorly for the new hero. Fate allowed a rematch later that day, this time including Spider-Man to even the odds. Through their combined efforts, they forced Hobgoblin to retreat. However this is not over yet.

In Detail...

"Power Play"
Darkhawk #3
May 1991 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears, Hobgoblin
Editor:  Howard Mackie
Writer:  Danny Fingeroth
Pencils:  Mike Manley
Inker:  Ricardo Villagran
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Articles: Hobgoblin IV (Macendale)

Chris gets up early one morning and tests his new powers on a 1975 junkyard special when he accidentally ignites the gas tank and causes a fire. He gets the fire under control and creates a convincing cover story for the police that happen to be nearby.

He returns home and prepares breakfast and lunch for his younger brothers. Since his father left under unusual circumstances (taking bribes from Bazin, last issue) they are all coping with the new status quo. His brothers get into a fight which their mother quickly breaks up. She heads for work and they arrive at school.

When Chris arrives at school (Queen's famous Midtown High) his friends notice a drastically different person since his father left. After classes and an hour of basketball to relieve some stress, Chris overhears of a Bazin operation at the Playground Club tonight.

Chris sneaks into the club where he discovers Bazin's goons selling automatic weapons. He changes to Darkhawk and easily overpowers them. As they regroup, he attempts to leave but is attacked by Hobgoblin. He states that he's been watching all of Bazin's operations in the hopes that he [Darkhawk] would show up at one of them.

At this point, Spider-Man appears, following the signal from a spider-tracer he planted on Darkhawk (last issue), and joins in the melee. Hobgoblin has now decided that Darkhawk's amulet, which he "senses" is the source of his power, is the object for which he is searching. This will convince all his enemies of the righteousness of his "crusade". He deploys a special device he purchased from the Tinkerer against Darkhawk: high-density coils that constrict until the victim is crushed. Darkhawk easily breaks out but the near death experience sends him over the edge.

He eventually makes his way to the Hobgoblin and begins to choke him with the claw cable. A well-timed appearance by a drunken couple from the club provides enough of a distraction for Hobgoblin to break free and escape.

Spider-Man knocks Darkhawk to the ground with one punch. He informs him that he's as crazed as Wolverine and the Punisher. He gives the "we can't stoop to their level" speech, which Darkhawk completely ignores and flies away.

Later on Bazin convinces the Hobgoblin that Darkhawk is merely a man in a battle suit much like Iron Man; that amulet is not the object he has requested. Bazin promises to continue searching until he finds it. As Hobgoblin flies away, Bazin gloats at the ease in which he conned him. He resolves to possess this new power at all costs.

Back at home, Chris receives an ominous call, warning him of the curse of the Darkhawk.

In General...

Once again, trying to condense an explanation of non-lethal philosophy into a small space (two panels this time) doesn't really convey anything of substance. It comes across as fluff and therefore ineffective.

The rest of the issue flowed well. There were a few scenes that were filler and/or had odd dialogue but they were kept to a minimum. The showpiece was the Darkhawk/Hobgoblin fight which actually worked well. Chris has yet to subscribe to the aforementioned non-lethal philosophy, but I'm sure that will change in time.

Overall Rating...

A step up from last issue. Fingeroth needs to dedicate a bit more space to explaining why killing is bad instead of regurgitating clichés.