DARKHAWK: Page 5 of 8

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


The New Warriors were only one of the groups Darkhawk became associated with. Through the magic of Doctor Strange, he was recruited to serve with a unit of Secret Defenders for a mission in Phoenix, Arizona. Darkhawk fought alongside Wolverine, Nomad and Spider-Woman from the Avengers West again. [Secret Defenders #1-3] Darkhawk and Spider-Woman remained in touch after their adventures together. The moment came when she invited him out to Los Angeles when the Avengers West were short-handed. Initially present only as an ally and Spi’s friend, Darkhawk got involved in an Avengers mission on behalf of the United Nations to the rogue state of Demonica. In order to gain authorization to attend, Spider-Woman nominated Darkhawk for honorary membership of the Avengers. A weekend trip to California had somehow led to Chris joining Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. [Avengers West Coast #93-95]

One night, Chris was awakened at his hotel room by a call from Allegra Bazin. She had concerns about her father’s business and didn’t feel like she could trust anybody but Chris. Intrigued, Chris left in the middle of the night to visit her in Westchester although it did little to ease his mother’s growing concerns about his behavior. At the Bazin estate, Allegra explained that the object of power stolen from her father’s grave had fallen into new hands, and the man who called about it had frightened her. In truth, Allegra mostly used this as an excuse to get together with Chris, and he was drawn to her in spite of their family history. Only a news report showing a new super-villain named Dreamkiller wielding the object of power drew Chris away from Allegra and back to his responsibilities as Darkhawk.

Darkhawk was beaten by Dreamkiller in their first encounter, given the entity’s great strength and ability to become insubstantial at will. Chris returned to Allegra to put their heads together, telling her that Dreamkiller seemed connected to her father’s property. Dreamkiller’s human host had called her again, demanding more information on Bazin’s objects of power, so Allegra was eager to help. With Allegra’s recounting of the conversation, Darkhawk tracked Alex Tennyson down and learned Dreamkiller was the embodiment of his will. Chris defeated Dreamkiller this time by assaulting his human body instead of his constructed one. [Darkhawk Annual #2]

Chris’ responsibilities as Darkhawk continued to interfere with his personal life. His mother only saw a kid suspended from school with no apparent drive to return, disappearing at all hours and completely unavailable to her. He refused to open up or seek counseling, and his anger seemed to come out of nowhere. When Chris cut their lunch together short (to return to Avengers Mansion and prepare for a cosmic battle with the Goddess alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), Grace put her foot down and told Chris he couldn’t live with them anymore until he got his act together. Her bluff, if that’s what it was, failed as Chris walked out. Later, Chris cleaned his things out of the hotel room. Jon was sorry to see him go, but Jason had begun to blame Chris for making their mom cry all the time, and told his big brother he hated him. [Darkhawk (1st series) #30-31]

Chris crashed with his friend Headset in an attic room at the Rubino’s house until he and his mother could come to terms. However, with no place to call his own, Chris was increasingly uncomfortable holding on to Evilhawk’s amulet, hidden away in a shoebox of all things. In his other life, Darkhawk was leery when he made the acquaintance of a kinder, gentler Savage Steel while fighting high-tech terrorists. (In truth, Steel was now Jim Zafar, one of the more rational members of the old Cabal, like Mike Powell, but neither of them knew who was under the mask.) They joined forces in defeating the Latverian extremists, but Chris had too much history with the Savage Steel armor to know for sure if this Steel was on the side of the angels. [Darkhawk (1st series) #32]

While dealing with an eco-villain named Cuda, Chris Powell also tried to rebuild his life. He returned to Radio WRCK hoping to beg for his job back, and was surprised when Traci apologized for messing with him by taking his amulet on the air. Based on his old internship, Chris secured a paying gig with the station. He also made the responsible call to turn Evilhawk’s amulet over to the Avengers for safekeeping. Allegra Bazin came by again looking for Chris’ shoulder and support, which Chris was eager to offer. Allegra seemed scared of her brother Broderick, but she wouldn’t fully confide in Chris as to why. Darkhawk’s hunt for Cuda interrupted them before Chris could find out more. [Darkhawk (1st series) #33-34]

The threat of Broderick Bazin was closer to home than Chris realized. Broderick was mentally unstable, and had killed his mother years ago. Only Allegra knew the truth and she covered for her brother, although she used this information to blackmail him into testifying against Philippe Bazin back at his trial. Broderick felt guilty about his father’s fate, and now considered Allegra and all the Powells enemies of the Bazin family. Broderick approached Jason Powell, intent on manipulating him against his family. He played the doting big brother for Jason in order to take Chris’ place in his mind, nursing Jason’s feelings of betrayal. After some vandalism and lashing out, Broderick convinced Jason it would be funny to “scare” Chris with a cap gun after all the trouble he had caused Jason’s family. In fact, Broderick had given Jason a real gun and intended for him to kill his brother without realizing it.

Jason confronted Chris at the Rubino residence, eager to put the fear of God in him. Allegra and Grace had worked out Brod’s plan and came charging in, but Jason had already realized Broderick was a murderer and turned the gun on him. Broderick got the upper hand and grabbed Jason momentarily, but he squirmed out of the way. Chris disarmed Broderick and beat him senseless, his anger growing out of control as he considered how close he came to losing more of his family. After learning Allegra had known Broderick was a murderer and covered for him until she was personally threatened, Chris ended things with her permanently. The Bazins were arrested and the Powells, at least for the moment, were at peace with each other. [Darkhawk (1st series) #35]

Chris was reuniting with Jason and Jon at the hotel when Grace played back a message from Mike Powell on the answering machine, alive but in danger somewhere in San Francisco. Grace was afraid to call the police in case she reached remnants of the Cabal, so Chris volunteered to take matters into his own hands for the family. As Darkhawk, he flew out west to the address Mike described, only to find his old sparring partners Venom and the Seekers. Louis Cale was an ex-cop turned financier who helped bankroll Savage Steel and also wanted to eliminate other vigilante threats like Venom. Cale’s people rescued Mike Powell from Althea Island to find out what else he knew about the fall of the Cabal.

Darkhawk and Venom were uneasy allies against the armored Seekers. Chris didn’t want Brock dead or experimented on, but he also couldn’t stomach working with a murderer. On top of that, he began experiencing problems with his amulet. It started to become harder to change back and forth from Darkhawk and Chris. He even found a note in his pocket as Chris, apparently slipped in while his body was in Null Space, warning him not to change into Darkhawk anymore. Despite the threat, Chris couldn’t abandon his father or Venom. Darkhawk defeated the Seekers and Venom, shut down Cale’s operation and reunited his mother and father. [Darkhawk (1st series) #35-37]

Before he could have a reunion with his father as himself, Chris was approached by the techno-organic St. Johnny. Johnny had retrieved the Evilhawk amulet from the Avengers and was fighting for control of his body from Evilhawk. He said Dargin Bokk and Osch were at war for control of the Darkhawk ship, and Chris was needed for the fate of the multiverse. Unable to abandon his responsibilities, Darkhawk left his family behind and traveled with St. Johnny to Null Space. Osch and Bokk had been in psychic conflict with each other, as Bokk’s spirit remained embedded in the telepathic circuitry of the ship, seeking to reassert itself. Osch had tried to warn Chris away, but welcomed his help now that he was present.

Osch had discovered that the six Darkhawk amulets had become unstable. Their trans-dimensional energies were upsetting the balance of the multiverse, and could potentially end all life in existence if their threat could not be contained. With Darkhawk present and Evilhawk’s amulet drawn into containment, Osch said there were still four more amulets loose in the multiverse that needed to be dealt with. Darkhawk felt a responsibility towards helping Osch on his “Amulet Quest” but he also had a life back home as Chris. Not knowing how long the quest would last in Null Space, Osch proposed an experimental procedure to split Chris’ mind between his own body and Darkhawk. Chris accepted the idea, and soon found himself staring himself in the eye, as the mind of Chris Powell separately co-existed in both Chris and Darkhawk.

Chris was sent home, transiting through the Darkhawk amulet to arrive back on Earth in his old house. Darkhawk remained in Null Space as Osch warned him that he and Chris could likely only remain apart for 72 hours. Evilhawk made another grasp for power when he seized control of St. Johnny and tried to use him against his allies. While Johnny’s coils kept Darkhawk occupied, Bokk attempted to cybernetically access the secret data from the ship’s computers through Johnny’s interface. Darkhawk broke free and tried to unplug St. Johnny’s cyber-interface, getting caught in the backwash of data as he did so. Darkhawk found himself transformed, reconfigured into a new advanced prototype of the Darkhawk android assimilated by his amulet from Osch’s database. Much damage was done to the Darkhawk ship, but Evilhawk was beaten back and St. Johnny was contained while Osch’s consciousness went to work on repairs.

Osch brought Darkhawk and the ship to the storm area being caused in Null Space by the first unstable amulet. He provided Darkhawk with extra armor, a containment unit and telepathic guidance towards the object of their quest. Reality itself was decaying around the amulet, and Darkhawk witnessed an entire planet consumed by its power. Despite the dangers, Darkhawk secured the amulet and returned it to Osch. Although Darkhawk couldn’t switch with Chris anymore to heal, Osch and the ship were able to perform repairs on his android body. The powers provided to him by his new body were awesome, and Darkhawk managed to recover the next two amulets in the quest as well, including the one his amulet was copied from and the amulet once worn by Portal’s former foe.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Chris was reunited with the twins and his parents while praying Darkhawk’s mission went well. They even finally managed to get the house repaired after Evilhawk ruined it. Back at WRCK, Chris got to know the new intern Laura McGuire, who was replacing him now that he was a salaried employee. Chris was attracted to Laura, but she had a chip on her shoulder since she thought she was better qualified for Chris’ job than he was. Chris’ mundane life was interrupted by Ned Dobbs, who carried a warning that Osch was the true threat on the Amulet Quest. As Chris started to feel the pains of his separation from Darkhawk, Dobbs recruited him to teleport across dimensions to the Darkhawk ship.

Sure enough, as Darkhawk allowed Osch to heal him once more before setting off after the last amulet, he was trapped in his Perch instead. Osch revealed he already had the final amulet (the one he wielded before his physical demise) buried deep within the ship. Osch had discovered the creation of the sixth amulet on Earth was responsible for the imbalance, and he believed it necessary to destroy all the amulets and their owners to avoid anyone abusing their power again. He forcibly removed Darkhawk’s amulet from his chest and began the process of destroying the amulets.

As Darkhawk struggled to find a way to stop Osch, Dargin Bokk used the distraction to reform his Evilhawk body, emerging from his own Perch as a physical being once more. A three-way conflict began between the past and present amulet wielders, and Darkhawk fought to retrieve his amulet from Osch’s stasis field. This new Darkhawk body weathered the loss of its amulet better than the old one and Darkhawk proved powerful enough to destroy his amulet. Darkhawk had been willing to sacrifice himself on Osch’s word, despite the scientist’s madness, but unfortunately the amulet reformed itself moments later. Switching gears, Darkhawk re-merged with his amulet to get back to full strength, and unleashed a massive attack on the ship (and therefore Osch).

St. Johnny emerged from stasis in time to rescue Chris Powell and Ned Dobbs as they materialized in Null Space. Darkhawk and Osch focused their strength on preventing Evilhawk from gaining a hold on the other five amulets’ power. Osch had forged enough of a psychic link with the amulets to command their power remotely, casting off Evilhawk and reforming the damage to the ship. All were brought inside, but the strain placed on St. Johnny’s body by the techno-virus and all the manipulations took its toll, and Darkhawk’s first confidant passed away. Evilhawk made another grab for the amulets, and Darkhawk entered their energy field as well to fight him. Osch was destroyed in the psychic feedback, and even Evilhawk was no match for Darkhawk’s will, as the man from Earth seized control of all six amulets’ power.

The amulets threatened to corrupt Darkhawk, but his second self of Chris Powell reached out and convinced Darkhawk a dumb teenager like him (them) shouldn’t command such power. Instead, Darkhawk used the amulets to stabilize the decay they were causing to reality, and then destroy all other amulets except his own. With the threat to the multiverse over, and Osch, Evilhawk and Johnny gone, Ned Dobbs stepped up to oversee the Darkhawk ship as custodian for the Perches and their android bodies. His review of Osch’s systems indicated that Chris and Darkhawk could now survive independently, and in fact could not be remerged at all. Facing this new change of circumstances, Chris and Darkhawk were teleported back to Earth from Null Space. [Darkhawk (1st series) #38-41]