DARKHAWK: Page 2 of 8

Publication Date: 21st Oct 2021
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Gremlin.


Seeking answers, Chris sought out St. Johnny in the Wonderland wreckage. He wanted to find out if Johnny was the one sending him messages and what he knew about the Darkhawk. Chris' conversation with St. Johnny was oddly disjointed, however, with Johnny intermittently hinting at greater knowledge and also claiming he had no idea what Chris was talking about. Frustrated and unfulfilled, Chris dropped his questioning. Grace Powell took her sons to the Museum of Natural History in an effort to seem normal under all the pressure, but the visit turned sour. A hitman from Bazin's mob approached them and Chris was shot in the leg after tackling the assassin. Counting on the healing powers of the amulet, Chris hobbled away from his mother and after the shooter until he was out of sight and changed into Darkhawk to catch Bazin's flunkie.

This simple encounter for Darkhawk became far more complicated when a dimensional rift opened in the museum. It deposited another man in Darkhawk armor, with a gaping hole where his amulet should be. This was Charles Little Sky, aka Portal, a mutant whose power marooned him far from home in extra-dimensional space. He had encountered a different “Darkhawk” during his journeys. That man attacked Portal unprovoked, so he ended up killing him and taking his armor. Chris was eager to learn more, but Portal assumed Darkhawk was in league with his former foe and they fought. Darkhawk knocked out Portal, but couldn't stay to interrogate him because he had to get back to his family. Chris found out the hard way that only Darkhawk healed when he swapped bodies, as Chris Powell still had a gunshot wound in his leg when he resumed his normal form. Grace Powell was grateful her son ultimately had only a flesh wound, but her nerves were frayed even further by the incident. [Darkhawk (1st series) #5]

A furious Chris went after Bazin again as Darkhawk, storming his estate. The mobster's goons were utterly incapable of stopping Darkhawk, and even Philippe Bazin's cool broke when he realized Darkhawk was prepared to kill him this time. Chris only paused when he was accosted by Bazin's children. Teenaged Allegra Bazin and her brothers Broderick and young Andrew came in to find Darkhawk with his hands around their father's neck. Allegra believed her father was a legitimate businessman with jealous rivals, a fiction that the Bazin children had clung to ever since their mother died. Forced to see Bazin as a human being despite his monstrous actions, Darkhawk couldn't go through with the murder and left the Bazins behind.

At home, Chris saw Grace meeting with Officer Zafar and Mike's old colleagues, trying in vain to get any leads about her husband's whereabouts. With no new info about Mike Powell, Chris decided to visit New York Hospital, where Portal was being held by Guardsmen pending his transfer to the Vault. Portal's old enemies the U-Foes attacked the hospital while Chris was there, and Darkhawk teamed up with Captain America and Daredevil against the super-villains. The U-Foes put innocents at risk to distract the heroes, and Portal fled during the commotion. Darkhawk pursued Portal and convinced him that he wasn't the same as the Darkhawk whom Charles fought before. Still, Portal had little information for Chris, other than he was once attacked by someone in similar armor and whom he killed in self-defense. Portal used his powers to teleport away, and Chris was left alone with the dangling mysteries of his life. [Darkhawk (1st series) #6]

Darkhawk crossed paths with many of the 127 super-heroes in Manhattan (ref: Marvel Boy, New Warriors Annual #1) as his career continued. Chris befriended Speedball and Namorita of the New Warriors when they caught smugglers pilfering Atlantean artifacts at the docks. [New Warriors (1st series) #14] While meeting with Officer Zafar to clean out his father's desk, Chris witnessed Midnight of the Secret Empire trying to break out Dr. Eliot Franklin, aka Thunderball. Darkhawk and the passing Spider-Man fought against the Secret Empire together, but Midnight and Thunderball escaped. Afterwards, Spider-Man got a second chance to impress upon Darkhawk his beliefs on power and responsibility for super-heroes. A few days later, Chris was drawn back into the Secret Empire plot with Spider-Man, along with a gaggle of vigilantes including Moon Knight, the Punisher and other New Warriors named Nova and Night Thrasher. They teamed up against the Secret Empire and their various agents such as Midnight, Lynn Church, Thunderball and the armored mercenaries called the Seekers. [Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #353-358]

Chris was confronted by Cheryl for being increasingly absent from their relationship, and he struggled with the decision of whether to inform her of his double life or not. While trying to scare drug pushers away from Midtown High, Darkhawk was surprised by the gang bringing out a bazooka against him. His friend Headset was seriously wounded in the crossfire while walking home. Darkhawk's fight with the gang also drew out Lodestone, Bazin's latest enforcer. Chris was forced to lose to Lodestone in order to end their fighting, allowing emergency services to safely get on the scene and attend to Headset.

At one of Bazin's facilities, Darkhawk was strung up and subjected to a battery of scans and analysis as Philippe Bazin tried to ascertain how to access the amulet's power for himself. Allegra Bazin arrived to meet with her father and caused a distraction that gave Darkhawk the chance to break free. Darkhawk and Lodestone fought through the warehouse, and the weakened Chris was threatened by Lodestone's magnetic powers trying to wrench the amulet from his chest. Bazin controlled Lodestone using a remote torture device, but he lost the remote in the chaos. Curiously, Allegra picked up the device and used it to save Darkhawk's life, allowing him to flee the scene. Chris was left wondering whether Allegra was returning the favor for him sparing Philippe Bazin earlier, or if something deeper was going on with Bazin's beautiful daughter. [Darkhawk (1st series) #7-8]

Chris being distracted by Allegra (even though he had only met her as Darkhawk) made him delay his talk with Cheryl even further. While the couple was shopping together at the mall, the Punisher was targeted for execution by Savage Steel while staking out a high-tech gang of gun runners. Their skirmishing crashed into the mall, and Chris feebly lied to Cheryl in order to get away and change into Darkhawk. This amounted to a four-way battle: as the criminals tried to kill the vigilantes, the vigilantes tried to kill the criminals and each other and Darkhawk tried to prevent anybody from dying. Chris was horribly wounded again as Darkhawk, shot in the back by the gang and even losing a hand fighting Savage Steel. He only survived by crawling into a dark corner and using the healing trick by quickly shifting bodies. The Punisher and Savage Steel briefly teamed up to kill the gun runners before turning on each other again. Punisher used some of the exotic armaments to bring down Steel, but Darkhawk stood between them. Chris had finally decided to take Spider-Man's advice and trust the courts to deal with criminals instead of killing them in the streets. He stood up to the Punisher and rejected his path of vigilantism, which ultimately allowed Steel and Punisher both to live to fight another day. [Darkhawk (1st series) #9]

Grace Powell’s indictment against Philippe Bazin went forward, and the day of his trial came. To waylay the trial, Bazin’s organization had a bomb planted in Grace’s car. This ended up putting Jason Powell in a coma when he went out to warm up his mother’s vehicle. Chris barely got his badly injured brother out of the burning wreckage before running off in a rage. Ready to toss aside his convictions against not killing, Darkhawk was on his way to confront Bazin when he spotted a robbery in the streets. Darkhawk learned from these thugs that Julius Malone (Bazin’s former accountant and Grace’s chief witness) was being targeted for assassination. Chris put his mom’s case over his fury at Bazin and flew to the safehouse. However, while Darkhawk managed to defeat the armored Hunters sent from the 1400 Club of assassins, the stress caused Monroe’s heart to give out and the witness died anyways.

Back at the trial, Chris took a breather and ran into Mike Powell of all people haunting the halls. His father fled before Chris could talk to him, aided by a man named Harry Lennox. When Grace caught up with them, Chris decided not to mention his dad to avoid distracting his mom from the case, but he also learned Lennox was a private detective and ex-cop who Grace had HIRED to find Mike. Reeling from all the lies and secrets in his life, Chris returned to Wonderland to press St. Johnny further about his ties to Darkhawk. However, when he arrived, he found the mobster Tombstone beating on St. Johnny to learn more about the object of power Bazin had been after. [Darkhawk (1st series) #10]