Darkhawk #20

 Title: Darkhawk
 Posted: 4 Nov 2021
 Staff: Jeremy Roby (E-Mail)

Background

Portal is a guy that can transport himself across dimensions and worlds by using, uh, portals. Everybody wants to be his friend. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants want to use him as a bus to and from their fights. Darkhawk wants to learn more about his armor. And Sleepwalker just wants him to take him back to his home dimension, the Mindscape.

Story 'Sleepwalker's Rage'

  Darkhawk #20
Summary: Spider-Man Appears, Sleepwalker
Arc: Part 2 of 'Portals of Power!' (1-2-3)
Editor: Nel Yomtov
Writer: Danny Fingeroth
Pencils: Mike Manley
Inker: Mike Manley
Articles: Sleepwalker

Sleepwalker continues being a pushy jerk by demanding access to Portal's armor. “You must let me study it!” (I guess being a superhero means never saying please.) Portal replies, “All any of you cares about is yourselves!” Which seems to sum up the situation pretty well, unfortunately.

Then, Portal opens up one of his, uh, portals. Sleepy grabs his hand but Portal blasts him with his laser gun. Sleepwalker is knocked away just long enough for Portal to escape. Sleepy attempts to follow him, but Spidey (remember him?) restrains him with some webbing. When Sleepwalker turns his wraith on our hero Spider-Man says he just saved Sleepy from getting lost in an alien dimension. Sleepwalker counters with “I am lost in an alien dimension.” That's a really nice comeback, actually. And a good bit of characterization.

You know what isn't a good bit of characterization? Sleepy is still being a butt-head. When he sees Darkhawk (who I'm not sure he's ever met before) and notices his armor is the same as Portal's he starts getting grabby again. DH has to explain that the power is in Portal himself, not the armor. Before the two come to blows (jeez, Sleepy, read some Dale Carnegie!) our hero Spidey once again has to be the voice of reason by reminding them they are all on the same side.

Meanwhile, Portal has transferred himself to the offices of Thomas Fireheart (known to you and me as Puma, a one-time foe of Spider-Man). It seems he and Portal are members of the same Indian tribe and he needs help from one of his own people. He's interrupted by a security guard but Portal recognizes as Edgar Running Bear, yet another fellow tribesman, and they come to an agreement. He'll allow Portal to sleep on the couch and wait until the morning for Mr. Fireheart's arrival.

Unfortunately, morning comes and old Edgar Running Bear lies dead. There's also a hole in the wall of the office and no sign of Portal. Our team of misfits have spent the entire night combing the city looking for their adversaries. Of course, they come upon this scene but prove to be poor detectives. The only clue they find is that the security guard's body is still warm so they figure whoever did it must have just left. But where?

To the Brotherhood of Evil Mutant's hideout, of course! Sauron is using his mesmerism powers to brainwash Portal while everyone else is just standing around leering. Then, Toad announces their next target - a storage facility outside Seattle that has an experimental laser cannon. Toad also says this will be a test run to use Portal's powers to see if Sauron's hypnotism really worked. Portal opens up another, uh, portal and they all jump in.

Except they don't end up in Seattle at all; they reappear right in the middle of Times Square. Toad immediately leaps (hah, a pun!) to the conclusion that Portal double-crossed them! Blob knocks him out while Toad tries his hand at carjacking. Luckily, our Tired Threesome is immediately on the scene to stop the bad guys. Spidey fights Blob, Sleepy fights Phantazia and Toad, and Darkhawk fights Sauron. Sauron commands Portal to shoot DH but his dark force shield protects him from the blasts.

Now switch your partners and do-Si-do...

Pyro attacks Spidey while the Blob attempts to free himself from our hero's webbing. Sleepy attacks Sauron when Darkhawk is knocked off his feet by Toad. The Blob grabs DH while he is distracted looking after an innocent bystander but gets a dark force blast for his efforts. Meanwhile, Spidey attacks Toad but Pyro's flame makes him leap away, right in the path of one of Portal's, uh, portals. Bye bye Spidey!

Even though our heroes are now outnumbered three to one, Toad decides to get away while the getting is good and has Sauron create a diversion by smashing the support rods on one of those big Times Square billboards. Then, he gets Portal to whip up another one of his, uh, portals and warns, “Betray us this time and your life is forfeit.” The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants take their leave, and Sleepwalker jumps into the portal to follow them, leaving Darkhawk to stop the sign from falling onto innocent bystanders. He does manage to catch it, but he isn't sure how long he can hold it up...

General Comments

I hope you liked all the fighting from last issue, because it's more of the same this time around.

Overall Rating

I wanted to point out how out of characters our heroes aren't acting very heroic this issue, but going back I see that Darkhawk did show concern for innocent bystanders and Spidey at least made an attempt to track the bad guys down with a failed Spider-Tracer gambit. It seems that only Sleepwalker is being more belligerent and careless. This depiction is very different from how he is portrayed in his own series and definitely doesn't show him in the best light.

Footnote

This storyline concludes in Sleepwalker #17.

 Title: Darkhawk
 Posted: 4 Nov 2021
 Staff: Jeremy Roby (E-Mail)