Review: Darkhawk #51

Years ago, Chris Powell discovered a mysterious amulet that allowed him to transform into the spacefaring gladiator known as DARKHAWK. With his newfound edge against crime, he stood against some of the most extreme threats the Marvel Universe has to offer! Now, when two members of the Fraternity of Raptors descend on New York with designs on stealing the amulet and returning it to the stars, it’s not Darkhawk who has to rise to the challenge…it’s Chris Powell!

With these Marvel Legacy one-shots, Marvel is testing the waters to see readers’ reactions and if any of them should continue on in some way. Out of all of them that I’ve read so far, Darkhawk #51 makes the best case it should continue on.

Written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims Darkhawk #51 is actually better in many ways than a lot of the regular ongoing series Marvel’s currently printing. Bowers and Sims pull off the issue not only catching up readers but also making the comic accessible for new readers as well. You don’t need to have read the previous fifty issues, the issue has everything you need in one issue and then some. It feels like a first issue in many ways and the premise presented fills a gap and adds to one of the weaker elements of Marvel right now, their cosmic offerings. At one point a half dozen comics covered that side of the Marvel Universe resulting in epic stories and this issue feels like it’s the start of that in many ways.

But, more important than the set-up is the writing team’s focus on Chris Powell. This isn’t just about him as Darkhawk but his relationships are too. He’s engaged, his father’s history is explored, how that impacts his position in the police department. There’s a lot packed in and in one issue we get a hell of a lot of character development.

The art by Kev Walker is top notch. For a one-shot the art isn’t shorted here and if things were to continue, I’d love to see Walker continue. There’s some solid action and page layouts. The art is actually better than some of the regular ongoing series. It just clicks bringing a mix of slice of life and action.

I’ve enjoyed some of the one-shots released so far but this one makes the case it should continue and makes you question why it’s taken so long for this series to pick up again.

Story: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims Art: Kev Walker Cover: David Nakayama
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy