REVIEW: ‘Darkhawk,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Darkhawk #3 - But Why Tho

Darkhawk #3 is written by Kyle Higgins, illustrated by Juanan Ramirez, colored by Erick Arciniega, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It is published by Marvel Comics. While Connor Young still struggles with acclimating to his multiple sclerosis, he learns that his best friend Derek has been murdered. On the warpath, Connor transforms into Darkhawk and confronts the gang that Derek was a part of, who are led by the Hydra agent Mr. Colt. But how much does he know about his powers, and is it making his condition worse?

The thing that I’ve appreciated about the new Darkhawk so far is that Connor’s acquisition of the Darkhawk power doesn’t magically fix his MS. People often tend to think that having a disability means that you’re broken and that you can’t have a life. That isn’t true; I have autism, but I can still live my life-I just do things differently than others. In the same way, Connor wonders if the Darkhawk powers are speeding up the negative effects of his MS, especially when an MRI scan reveals new lesions in his veins. The fact that Higgins is treating MS seriously warms my heart; that he continues to host the “Air Space” at the end of each issue and talk with an MS specialist or someone who lives with MS is wonderful.

The issue also explores the inhuman nature of Darkhawk, as longtime Marvel fans will know that whoever holds the Darkhawk power switches bodies with an android from another dimension. Ramirez uses this fact to pull off some well-timed body horror, with a panel showing Darkhawk literally pulling his head off. If I didn’t know it was an alien robot I’d be absolutely horrified. And during a fight scene with Colt’s goons, it’s implied that Connor can still feel pain whenever Darkhawk suffers injuries. Again, I love that in the manner of other teenage superheroes Connor figures out his abilities on the fly, and doesn’t always end up on the winning side.

In addition to Darkhawk, Ramirez also designs a group of antagonists for the winged hero to fight, with each of them having a technological advancement. One wears a massive suit of golden armor with a brain floating where the head should be, another is a metallic scorpion-esque being, and there’s a dude who looks like a discount Winter Soldier. Their various skills make for a great fight scene and Arciniega lets their more muted colors serves as a contrast to Darkhawk’s black-and-silver armor, along with his glowing red visor and bright purple energy. Darkhawk also sounds utterly terrifying, as Lanham gives him distorted word balloons meant to sound like his voice is electronically filtered.

Darkhawk #3 continues to humanize its hero, as it shows him dealing with an unfathomable loss. The end of the issue, as well as the cover for Darkhawk #4, promises a team-up with two other Marvel heroes and I can’t wait to see it. With how well-constructed and engaging this series is, I hope we don’t see the last of Connor Young when it’s over.

Darkhawk #3 is available wherever comics are sold.


Darkhawk #3
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TL;DR

Darkhawk #3 continues to humanize its hero, as it shows him dealing with an unfathomable loss. The end of the issue, as well as the cover for Darkhawk #4, promises a team-up with two other Marvel heroes and I can’t wait to see it. With how well-constructed and engaging this series is, I hope we don’t see the last of Connor Young when it’s over.