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War of Kings: Darkhawk #2

Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
By: David Hodum

C. B. Cebulski, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Harvey Tolibao & Paolo Pantalena
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 arrives in stores tomorrow, March 25.

From Marvel.com: Is Darkhawk ready to embrace his new role in the cosmos? What drives Chris Powell into unknown territory? What is the truth kept long hidden from him? And what side will he take in the War of Kings? The latest Marvel cosmic star is born here!

Review: War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 hits shelves this week, and joining the party are Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning! Why is this important? These are the seasoned space scribes, current writers of Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, and War of Kings! In this issue, we find out more about this "second" Darkhawk who arrives with trouble hot on his heels. Unfortunately, it took me a while to figure out what was going on in the fight. Not only are there (slightly unnecessary) dust whisps, fire, and light effects in every panel, but the two Darkhawks are pretty similar in costume and color except for the colors of their visors. There is a chance that the pencils are crisp and the confusion is an effect of the coloring, which I actually enjoy because of how vibrant they are. Without the ability to view the pencilled and colored pages side by side I cannot say. After the opening action scene, the art of the rest of the issue shines.

We're given a bit of information on a certain fraternity that Darkhawk never knew he belonged to by the newcomer, Talon. The dynamic being laid out between Talon and Darkhawk has a mentor/student relationship, a sort of ObiWan/Luke Skywalker feeling. Unfortunately for Talon, this takes Darkhawk along the hero's journey. The unknowing hero is first orphaned (his Mom and his house take a beating), then he travels far away in order to be trained. Eventually the mentor has to die and the youngling must continue on his own, which is why it looks bleak for Talon, in my opinion.

Since "War of Kings" has already started, Darkhawk's story is going to play a lot like the ancillary stories from Secret Invasion. Darkhawk won't be critical to the "War of Kings" main story since it will only detail how Darkhawk arrived with his new skills or abilities, but this mini-series will make an experience of the main event more complete.

It would appear that Chris Powell is finally going to get a grip on his aggression problem, which seems to stem from an incompatibility between the armor suit and the human body. I appreciate this character flaw being addressed and not being just completely dropped or forgotten, even if it was a very compelling and seldom used personality trait in superheroes. From another point of view, Chris's aggression was probably a stagnating situation that needed changing to move him along so he could grow as a person; he needed to clear that hurdle to become a major player in the Marvel universe.

Final Word: If you want to know the backstory for Darkhawk when he drops into the "War of Kings", you'll want to read this story. Darkhawk fans won't be disappointed!







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