Darkhawk annual #1
Issue(s): Darkhawk annual #1
Darkhawk is apparently on a rampage looking for Savage Steel. Tony Stark is spying on him.
I love that Stark basically thinks that every armored character stole technology from him, like he's the only one that could possibly put together an armored suit. It's perfectly in character for the egotistical Stark; i just think it's funny.
The Savage Steel in this story is actually a new one. He's Arthur Vale, someone that wanted to be a police officer but couldn't pass the psychological tests. So he became a driver for the police instead, and he stole the suit when he was taking the previous Savage Steel to prison. But he doesn't know how to maintain the armor.
Tony Stark, meanwhile, is running a sting operation. He's found out from Clay Wilson, formerly Force, about a group that repairs armored suits. So he's sent Rhodey in posing as someone that wants the Mauler suit souped up. But Savage Steel shows up, demanding that they give him replacement parts for his armor.
Iron Man shows up and joins the fight.
Chris Powell is currently in school...
...but hears the sees the fight in the sky and asks to go to the bathroom, and then joins in as Darkhawk. He shows up just as Savage Steel is being defeated, but Iron Man moves immediately to slapping Darkhawk with one of his disablers.
Savage Steel's armor does prove to have Stark technology, via Stane, but Darkhawk's armor gives Iron Man readings that he's "never seen anything like" before. Iron Man tries to get more info after that, but Darkhawk obviously isn't in the mood.
Iron Man still is able to overwhelm him, but then he offers an apology.
While Iron Man and Darkhawk were fighting, Rhodey got kidnapped. So now Iron Man and Darkhawk will team up to save him.
Iron Man contacts the West Coast Avengers and asks them to send Spider-Woman and Scarlet Witch while the rest keep an eye on Stark Enterprises. It's not clear yet why Stark thinks his company will be attacked, but we'll see in the next chapter that they interrogated Vale and found out that the Cabal got funding for the Savage Steel armor from Professor Power, and i guess the thought is that Professor Power might attack Stark Enterprises.
Separately, USAgent is contacted by someone in the government and given an assignment.
There is the usual top ten villains list in this annual, and it really highlights how many of Darkhawk's villains were poached from other characters. They really had to strain to make the list. It includes original Darkhawk villains Savage Steel, Lodestone, and Philippe Bazin, and i'll also count Portal in that category, although that's being a little generous. It also lists Hobgoblin, the U-Foes, Tombstone, and Venom, which, ok, they at least appeared in the Darkhawk series. But to round out the list, they added Midnight and Lynn Church, from the Round Robin storyline in Spider-Man, and the Folding Circle from New Warriors. I mean that's actually kind of sad.
There is a back-up recapping Darkhawk's origin and another one that is a power demonstration scene disguised as a story where he goes on a fishing trip with his friends and fights a bear.
Darkhawk doesn't really have a support cast to speak of, at least a super-powered supporting cast, which is usually what merits a back-up. But there is a back-up featuring the new Savage Steel that was introduced in the main story.
Arthur Vale is sent to jail, but someone from the Cabal shows up to kill him. Vale is saved by Jim Zafar, a former member of the Cabal. The two of them then go and rescue Harry Lennox, the original Savage Steel, who is also getting beaten up by the Cabal. The three are put into a safehouse after the FBI fakes their deaths.
I admit to having minimal interest in anything Savage Steel related. The main story barely counts as a set-up issue. It's just a fight. And the can get pretty goofy. That scene of Chris standing up in class looks like it's out of an issue of What The--? or something.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part one of Assault on Armor City. Part two is in Avengers West Coast annual #7. Because of Arthur Vale, this takes place before Darkhawk #21-25, which takes place during Infinity War, so i've placed this whole annual event before Infinity War. That also affects Avengers West Coast #84-86, which gets referenced in the Avengers West Coast annual, so it has to take place prior to this.
Crossover: Assault on Armor City
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
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