Writer: David Walker
Artist: Martin Morazzo
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Cover: Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, & Chris Sotomayor
Over on our resident podcast, Tales From The Water Cooler, we’ve been shouting the praises of Nighthawk since day one. It’s been everything you’d want in a story like this as David Walker lets us know that our title anti-hero is not playing around with criminals on either side of the law and those who consider themselves untouchable. Protecting Chi Town (Chicago for those that don’t know) in brutal fashion with Tilda Johnson backing his plays, handling intel, and making sure he doesn’t get himself killed in the process of beating down criminals.
Walker’s story is a visceral one and not for the squeamish or easily offended. So it’s no surprise that this issue kicks off with Nighthawk chasing down an arms shipment transported by crooked cops and local gun runners. An encounter that ends with plenty of blood and a high body count. The kind of things you expect when the hero basically harpoons a guy through the roof of a van. When compared to what happens later, that guy got off pretty easy. The Revelator has also claimed another victim and leaves a grisly crime scene for the police to find. He’s the wildcard villain here that should make for a great confrontation when Walker finally brings him face to face with Nighthawk. Another major plus for this series is the amount of characterization we get in the supporting cast, mainly the scene stealing Tilda Johnson. She’s come a long way thanks to this creative team. They’ve given her a new look while showing off her intelligence and tactical skills instead of her cleavage and butt cheeks from years past. She’s also very direct and gives us a bit of humor to lighten the mood. The good cops that are on the Revelator case are just as engaging and stand on their own just as strong as our heroes.
Morazzo and Bonvillain once again make sure that Walker’s story is just as visceral and gritty on the artistic front with some intense sequential storytelling. That opening chase scene really sets the pace and when we see the cross section of the van displaying what’s happening inside it was just wonderful. During the time jumps there’s a different color pallet used helping those scenes stand out and amplifying the overall tone of what’s happening. I was a little confused as to why in some scenes the blood splatter was a brighter pink and in others it was closer to red like when the Revelator was murdering his victim. Aside from that inconsistency this issue is filled with panel after panel of some great work which I’m hoping to see from this art team for a while on this series. Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, & Chris Sotomayor can also keep doing these covers until the day Lockjaw leads the X-Men.
Nighthawk is a series that everyone should be talking about, reviewing, and adding to their pull lists immediately. While expertly weaving in the social commentary with comic goodness, Walker finds that sweet spot that makes for some exciting though extreme justice taking place. His approach to this character and the world he lives in has ruffled a few feathers (no pun intended) and that’s probably a good thing. It keeps Nighthawk relevant and brutally honest to the times we live in without compromise. And if the truth hurts then so be it.
Go and pick up Nighthawk because it’s currently way ahead of several of Marvel’s marquee titles in both story and art. It packs a gritty punch to relevant issues and it’s just damn good!