Tuesday, April 7, 2009

War of Kings: Darkhawk #2(of 2)

Overall- I have to say, considering there were 3 writers on this book and 2 artists, I kind of hoped for more. A LOT more. 3 writers? Seriously?? Anyway, let me throw a quick review out there and then I'll do some griping.

So Darkhawk's(Chris Powell)mother's house is destroyed while she and his two little brothers were still inside by some kind of huge monstrosity. Darkhawk ignores the monster and finds his family unconscious under the rubble of the house. After freeing them, he hands them off to his on again, off again girlfriend, Mickey Musashi, the hero formerly known as Turbo, and attacks the monster along with another Darkhawk. Chris and the other Darkhawk, who goes by the name of Talon power up their armor and wind up destroying the monstrous creature. Chris is naturally alarmed by the fact that there is another Darkhawk out there(he thought he was the only one), but powers down and goes to the hospital to check on his family.

At the hospital, we find that Chris' brothers are OK, with the exception of a few nicks and scratches, while his mother is in a coma. Chris tries to hold his temper in check, but begins to lose it after getting into an argument with Mickey. Talon arrives and that pushes Chris over the edge and he attacks Talon. Talon obviously has a much better understanding of how to use the Darkhawk armor and stops Chris by flooding his mind with images of the past, present and future. Talon explains that the Darkhawk armor is actually called "Raptor" armor, and those who wear the Raptor armor have the duty of "safeguarding the advance of intergalactic culture", whatever the hell that means... Talon goes on to explain that Chris' mood swings and angry outbursts are caused by the fact that a human being was never supposed to don the Raptor/Darkhawk armor because the human mind isn't configured to use it... OK then... Talon offers to help Chris reach his potential(I guess ?)and after Chris meets with Mickey and his Loner friends one last time to ask them to watch his family, Chris and Talon head off to the Negative Zone, where presumably Chris will learn more about his role as a Raptor and the armor he possesses.

Hmmm... I have a lot I want to say here, but I'm not sure how to put it... First off, the 3 writers for this issue were C.B. Cebulski, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. I loved C.B.'s work in the Loners mini-series and my love for the work of Andy and Dan goes without saying. The artwork really didn't work for me. The duel artists, Harvey Tolibao and Paolo Pantalena, really didn't impress me at all. The battle scenes were so cluttered that I didn't know what was going on and the characters didn't look that great either. Chris looked like some kind of a pumped up superman, while all of the women had huge breasts. You might be saying, so what, bigger is better! But it was weird when Chris was flying his unconscious mom to safety and all I could think was, "Man, check out Chris' mom, her rack is HUGE!". Sure, you expect that out of female characters like Power Girl or Spider-Woman, but Darkhawk's mom, the lawyer??? That was just creepy... The art was just all wrong for me.

Honestly, the story wasn't much better. Darkhawk is one of those weird, quirky 90's Marvel characters that I have a deep attachment to. I own the entire Darkhawk series, and this issue really ignored HUGE amounts of Darkhawk's past/origin. I remember that Danny Fingeroth's(the original writer of the Darkhawk series)origin of Darkhawk was NOTHING like what we see in this issue, although, I will admit, Danny was pretty vague concerning the origin of the Darkhawk armor throughout most of the original series. I'm OK with writers(especially great ones like Andy and Dan)taking SOME liberties with characters I like, but this mini-series REALLY altered much of the original Darkhawk series...

BUT, I'm going to let that slide, if it means Chris/Darkhawk will be receiving a larger role in the Marvel Universe, which appears to be occurring. This comic is a tough one to score... On one hand, I can appreciate what the writers are trying to do(take an obscure character from the 90's and make him relevant today), but on the other hand, I didn't like how far away the writers strayed from the original Darkhawk character/series... Plus the artwork really bothered me. For a score, I'll give this comic a 5 1/2 out of 10. I really could have gone as low as a 4 or as high as a 7, so I figure a 5 1/2 is a good compromise.

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