Review: Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the one and only Darkhawk. So it’s only natural that we (and by we, I mean the fans and Marvel Comics) celebrate by enjoying a new issue! Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk is an issue I have been waiting years for, and I wish I were kidding.

Darkhawk has long been one of those characters that is near and dear to me. I’ll confess that I always get irrationally excited whenever I hear his name cropping up in Marvel Comics. Far too often, it feels like he’s been cast to the wayside.

He’s a character who used to have his own series, but unfortunately, it’s been quite a while since that happened! I’m hoping that this cycle of getting new miniseries and solo issues is a good sign for his character. I desperately want to see him make a comeback in 2021.

Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk is a collection of three different stories, Cry of the City, Long Way From Home, and Last Flight. While I loved each and every one of them, I have to say that I’m really just so happy to see the original creators (Danny Fingeroth and Mike Manley) back on the scene.

Working alongside Danny Fingeroth and Mike Manley, you’ll find Chris Sotomayor, Dan Abnett, Andrea Di Vito, Le Beau Underwood, Sebastian Cheng, Kyle Higgins, Juanan Ramirez, Erick Arciniega, and VC’s Travis Lanham. It’s a huge cast of creatives, one I couldn’t be happier to see working together.

Writing

As I already mentioned, Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk is split into three different stories. Each one pulls from a different point in Chris Powell’s life. It’s fascinating to see his story broken into such a retrospective manner.

Cry of the City is the first story and was written and illustrated by the two original creators. That just felt…so right. This really felt like it was ripped right from Powell’s origin story. It’s like a missing piece that we’ve always looked for. Fingeroth’s storytelling helped to expand a little bit more on the time Powell spent on earth – while still adjusting to his newfound abilities and enemies.

The second story, Long Way From Home was written by Dan Abnett. It’s set sometime after The War of Kings and Cancerverse plots. That in itself probably speaks volumes to the fans, as both plot arcs packed quite the punch. This story helped to cement those events in Powell’s history while showing his continuing struggles and adventures.

Last but certainly not least, we have the Last Flight, written by Kyle Higgins. Out of the stories, this is by far the one that carries the most emotional weight. It’s set late into Chris’ story and is both heartbreaking and hopeful all in one. Truthfully, I don’t know how Higgins managed to weave so much emotion into the narrative, but he certainly did that. It makes for a powerful read. Again, especially for fans of Darkhawk.

Artwork

The artwork found in Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk is bold and vibrant, showing off some of my favorite designs for character. I have a feeling I’m not the only one that is going to appreciate the art and styles portrayed in this issue. While the three stories all have different artists, inkers, and colorists, they do have one person in common. VC’s Travis Lanham was the letterer for all three, providing a sense of cohesion throughout.

Cry of the City‘s artwork really does look like a blast from the past. By that, I mean it really could have been pulled straight from that time period. There’s no doubt when or where Chris Powell is! Mike Manley illustrated this part, while Chris Sotomayor (one of my favorites) colored it.

Long Way From Home is a vibrant and visually thrilling section to gaze upon. The number of aliens involved is reminiscent of a Star Wars style cantina. As is all of the action that follows, come to think of it. Andrea Di Vito (art), Le Beau Underwood (inks), and Sebastian Cheng (colors) all worked together to bring that scenario to life.

Finally, there’s Last Flight. Juanan Ramirez (art) and Erick Arciniega (colors) worked together for this one, and like the story itself, it will tug at your heartstrings. At least, it did for me. Some of the panels for this story, in particular, are breathtaking, and I would buy a print of them, given even half the chance.

Conclusion

Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk is an issue full of highs and lows. It is very much an issue that celebrates a character that I have come to love. In many ways, I’m relieved to see what has happened within these pages. It feels like fans are finally getting a sense of closure while also having the door opened for more potential down the road. Personally? I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next in Darkhawk’s story.

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