Darkhawk, the cult-favorite superhero of the ’90s, is returning to his own Marvel Comics series (if ever so briefly) this fall as a part of the publisher’s “Marvel Legacy” event that will see the return of many classic heroes and villains.

Unlike other characters (Deadpool, Cable) who came to define the decade and still have a strong presence in comics today, Darkhawk’s series never made it out of  the’90s. The Tom DeFalco/Mike Manley-created comic debuted in 1991 and ended in 1995 after 50 issues. Since then, Darkhawk has appeared in other Marvel series (“Avengers Arena”) and events (“War of Kings”) but has never returned to his own comic.

“Darkhawk” centered around a young teen, Chris Powell, who discovered an amulet that transformed him into an armored android. The original ’90s series at times hilariously almost always featured guest appearances from other heroes. Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain America and the Punisher all made cameos in the series before it reached its tenth issue.

If you’re a fan of Darkhawk who has been awaiting a return to his own series, this announcement is bittersweet. While a new issue will debut this fall and will resume the numbering of the original series (the new comic will be issue no. 51), the return is a one-shot.

“Darkhawk” no. 51 will be written by Chad Bowers and Christopher Sims with art by Kev Walker.  The trio will use the one issue they have to focus on what Darkhawk has been up to since his series ended as they attempt to make him a key player in the Marvel Comics universe once again. The Fraternity of Raptors, beings who share similar armor to Darkhawk and recently appeared in issues of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” figure into their plot plans as two raptors will arrive in New York looking to steal Powell’s amulet.

Maybe you don’t remember Darkhawk’s first major battle with the Hobgoblin after all these years, but perhaps you remember every time you saw Darkhawk on the cover of a comic saying to yourself, “that guy’s cool.” At least that’s how I remember my Darkhawk experience as an 11-year-old. Whether it was the armored alien suit with futuristic wings or the teenaged alter-ego underneath it, Darkhawk for many is stuck to the memories of those who loved comics back then and still do now.


“Darkhawk” no. 51 cover art by David Nakayama. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

For Marvel Comics, this is a win-win situation. They’re bringing back a hero who many fans have missed, giving him one issue, and seeing what happens. If the buzz is minimal, they can say they gave Darkhawk one more issue to attempt to tie up some loss ends in his story. If the fan response is beyond enthusiastic (which will be my response once I get my hands on the issue), perhaps it could lead to Darkhawk once again starring in an ongoing series.

The Darkhawk creative team hinted as much in an interview with Newsarama, with Sims telling the site: “To re-establish who [Darkhawk] is and what he does. It’s a tall order for twenty pages, but who knows? Maybe we’re not quite done with the Powell just yet!”

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