Issue(s): Darkhawk #4, Darkhawk #5
The person in question here is Savage Steel, an armored vigilante that actually works (off the books) with the police. The suit was acquired from some "former Stane technos", and Savage Steel is described as "what we wanted at last, a 'Punisher' who's controlled by cops". It's said that the real Punisher is a "psycho - a wild card", and he'll eventually have to be eliminated.
Darkhawk comes into conflict with Savage Steel because he starts off this issue raiding Ryker's Island Prison to get more info from one of the guys that was paying off his father.
Chris Powell may get a different voice when he's Darkhawk, but he still acts like a teenager and thinks throwing in a "Not!" at the end of a statement is clever.
But he does help recapture the prisoner he was interrogating, leaving the police unsure if Darkhawk is a good guy or not.
Note the new zoom view power that Darkhawk learns about during that scene. He also gets shot, and he's forced to climb a passenger boat to get away from Ryker's (and it's "Cool." that the boat passengers are scared of him).
When Darkhawk gets off the boat, he's able to get into an alley and transform back into Chris, and his gunshot wound is gone, as we've seen before.
When Chris gets home, he gets the idea to transform into Darkhawk and take his helmet off to see what he looks like underneath. But he hesitates so long in actually doing it that his younger brother starts banging on the bathroom door, wondering what he's doing in there. So Chris leaves the house, transforms back into Darkhawk, and goes after the Liliput plane that the guy in prison mentioned. It's there that he's attacked by Savage Steel, who isn't sure whose side Darkhawk is on.
During the fight, Darkhawk's helmet comes off, and Savage Steel is shocked by what he sees underneath (which we don't see).
Savage Steel then breaks off to chase the smugglers coming from the plane, killing them. Watching that makes Darkhawk wonder about his own threats of using lethal force ("Was he a hero... Am I?").
Darkhawk goes home, and this time does work up the nerve to take off his helmet. We again don't get to see what's underneath, but Chris sure doesn't like it.
Darkhawk transforms back into Chris, and runs out of the house (a lot of interactions between Chris and his family involve him running out of the house, brushing off his mom's complaints that it's a school night). He finds St. Johnny, the homeless person that warned him about Darkhawk earlier. Johnny, drunk, tells Chris that "under the mask is the face we all deserve".
Chris had also inadvertently chased off an assassin sent after Chris' mom when he left the house. The next day Chris goes to the Natural History Museum with his mom and brothers, and the assassin comes back for another chance. Chris recognizes him and blocks the shot.
He transforms into Darkhawk, and the bullet wound is gone. So he continues to chase the assassin, but he's interrupted when someone in armor very similar to his comes through a portal, and whose name is Portal.
Portal recognizes Darkhawk, but the reverse is not true.
As the fight progresses through the museum, Darkhawk hears portal complain that Native American artifacts are being kept there. When Darkhawk finally knocks Portal out, he sees that he's a teenager the same age as Chris.
Darkhawk then takes out the hit man. Darkhawk's encounter with Savage Steel doesn't seem to have tempered his violence.
But Darkhawk has to change back into Chris when his mom comes into the corridor. And, unlike when Darkhawk is wounded and then put into stasis, Chris finds that he hasn't healed from the bullet wound (Chris' mom's hair is miscolored in the scene below).
But Chris wakes up in the hospital. It was "just a flesh wound". As for Portal, it's determined that he's the guy that opened a portal and fell through it in Avengers #304 (a fill-in written by Danny Fingeroth, the writer here).
Good use of existing (personal) continuity from Fingeroth, and a good job developing the mysteries (Darkhawk's face, Portal's armor and recognition) and themes (the question of using violence and lethal force).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showDarkhawk, Grace Powell, Jason Powell, Jonathan Powell, Louie McPhee, Phillippe Bazin, Portal, Savage Steel (Harry Lennox), Savage Steel (Jimmy Zafar), St. Johnny
When I was reading this in "real-time", I thought it was cool that we saw the character from Avengers #304 reappear here. When they finally got to his backstory, I felt it was a bit of a let-down.
Posted by: clyde | October 19, 2015 2:12 PM
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