I’m always glad to see a character with a lot of potential really begin to reach it thanks to the minds of talented creators, so as I’ve mentioned in the past, the revitalization of Marvel’s Darkhawk has been a lot of fun to watch — first in the pages of Runaways, then The Loners, more recently in the pages of Nova and now in his upcoming mini-series “War of Kings.” And today, in a great article at Comic Book Resources, C.B. Cebulski gives us some nice insight as to what’s in store for the character in the upcoming storyline. Here’s an excerpt:
‘When Brian K. Vaughan was using Excelsior back in ‘Runaways’ [where Excelsior first appeared], he thought Darkhawk was a cool character that he could do something with and he proved that. And when I pitched ‘The Loners,’ I built off what Brian did, which was to reestablish the cool core of the Darkhawk character,’ Cebulski told CBR News. ‘Now, I think in ‘Nova,’ [writers] Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are doing a fantastic job of showing why he’s so bad-ass. So ‘War of Kings: Darkhawk’ is kind of the next natural progression of what we see as being cool about Darkhawk.’
Cebulski knows that some readers aren’t as taken with the Darkhawk character as he is. The writer believes it might be because when they look at the character, all they see is a far too familiar origin story. ‘In some ways back when he was created, they set out to make Darkhawk a Peter Parker-type character and followed the origin story pretty literally. He was a kid who lived in Queens and because of his actions he learned that ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’ Cebulski explained. ‘They tried to make him into the Peter Parker of that day and age, but Christ Powell is so much more than that. He’s kind of Peter Parker with an edge. ‘He’s a little bit younger and a little more unstable, and one of the things we’re able to explore with him is, what if Peter Parker didn’t always have the people there to help him make the right choices? How would someone who grew up without the guidance of Peter’s Uncle Ben and Aunt May handle the experience of becoming a superhero? Chris Powell had a lot of hard decisions to make as a kid and while he was growing up with his super abilities. So we’re exploring those themes and it gives the character more depth.’
The majority of Darkhawk’s adventures have been Earthbound, but the character’s background is tied to an alien culture, which Cebulski sees as an organic way of working him into the larger framework of the cosmic Marvel U. ‘There were a couple of instances in the middle of the original ‘Darkhawk’ series, I believe it was somewhere around issue #20 of the series, where Chris went into outer space and had a cosmic adventure, which tweaked the origin of Darkhawk a bit but was a little farfetched in certain ways,’ Cebulski said.
Indeed, in that story, it was revealed that Chris’s amulet and the Darkhawk form had been built for an alien crime lord. ‘The back-story of the amulet and the amulet’s creation ties him to the cosmic landscape of the Marvel U but parts of Darkhawk’s origin raised as many questions as they answered. So what we’re doing now is running with that seam that was established in his origin which did not — with the exception of some alien races that had been used in the past — have very many ties to the overall cosmic Marvel U. And we’re revealing that Darkhawk’s origin is more firmly tied into specific events from the history of the Marvel U. So you’re going to see some connections that seem pretty natural, especially given the bird-like nature of the character’s armor. Connections, where you go, ‘Oh @!$#! That makes perfect sense now.’
The 2-issue War of Kings: Darkhawk mini-series hits stands in February, and following that storyline Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning will likely continue work with the character (wa-hoo!) so for more on Marvel’s plans for the series, and Darkhawk in general, check out the rest of the article linked above. And if you’ve not read any of Powell’s recent adventures in the pages of Runaways or The Loners, I’d highly recommend tracking them down at some point. As for me, I’m anxiously awaiting the upcoming Nova TPB collections to see what both of these two “bucketheads” have been up to.