Hey everybody, welcome to another exciting character spotlight! In this edition of Marvel Snapshot, we’ll be focusing on one of Marvel’s lesser known characters in Darkhawk! Yes, that amped up, computerized, flying death-dealer is going to be getting the royal treatment, so get ready! Darkhawk/Chris Powell was created by Tom Defalco and Mike Manley in 1991 (Darkhawk #1).
When Chris was a young boy, he watched as his father, a policeman, accepted a bribe from a crook. At that moment he discovered an amulet that gave him the ability to change places with a flying bird-like, futuristic being that could deal out punishment to those that deserved it. His first encounter with a supervillain was actually alongside Spider-Man when the two faced the Hobgoblin. Adventures with Captain America and the Punisher followed.
He then was a partner of the New Warriors on a few different occasions. He also was a member of the West Coast Avengers. Powell eventually discovered that his body switched places with the armor, and that it’s from a place called Null Space. Powell was later able to switch back and forth between the two without going back and forth between Earth and Null Space.
Darkhawk didn’t really become a major player until War of Kings. In this epic story, Darkhawk learned of his true origins, and then also what his purpose is with the armor. Briefly before that, he was security chief at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. where he and Nova fought off the Skrulls during Secret Invasion. Back to War of Kings, though. During the series, a second armor appeared and forced Powell to turn into Darkhawk. It then explained that they both were a part of the “Fraternity of Raptors,” allegedly making them the caretakers of history and the last two of their kind.
“Talon” told Powell that he could help him do things with the armor that he never dreamed of, and after some thinking, Powell accepted this offer, and the two headed to the Negative Zone. They reappeared fighting forces of Annihilus, but then Powell noticed that he’s beginning to fight as lethally as Raptor. Powell later engaged the Datasong of the Null Source, and saw visions of the past. He saw that the Fraternity of Raptors was a league of killers, and began to resist Talon. Talon then purged Powell’s mind from the armor, and it began to call itself “Razor.”
While Powell was struggling with his inner demons, Razor and Talon stole the Cosmic Control Rod, and gave it to Blastaar in exchange for his help in the War of Kings. Just as Powell began to reassert control over the armor, Razor shot several Shi’Ar, including Lilandra. Powell later fought with Talon, and realized that he must find all of the amulets that had previously been owned by other Fraternity members and destroy them, or else the fraternity would be reborn. Eventually, Darkhawk was reunited with his friend Nova, and the two encountered another Raptor named Gyre. The three battled, and then were part of an event horizon at The Fault. After suffering a beating at the hands of the “evil” Quasar (from the Cancerverse), Darkhawk was taken to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. for medical treatment. He’s recently surfaced in the pages of Avengers Arena.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list along with some of Darkhawk’s best covers! See you next time, and enjoy!
Darkhawk Classic vol. 1 – Tpb
Nova: Secret Invasion vol. 3 – Tpb
War of Kings – HC