By Kyle Higgins, Juanan Ramirez and Erick Arciniega
There has been a somewhat quiet minority that has been pushing for Darkhawk to make a sensational comeback to comics for a long time. These people love characters like Sleepwalker and Fool Killer and cling to these outrageous hopes that these weird characters somehow find their way onto the big screen, or at the very least, a new comic book series. Their prayers have been answered, sort of. A new Darkhawk series does hit shelves this week, but it has a new character taking up the mantle. I can’t say if this will be enough to satisfy these fanatics, but to a casual Darkhawk reader, it should be enough to satisfy you.
Kyle Higgins has done enough good material for us to at least trust him when he takes on a project like Darkhawk. Much of this issue takes place and time in introducing us to Connor Young. In a small town, he’s a basketball superstar with a big college scholarship and an actual shot at going pro. There is one little hiccup in this plan though, Connor keeps having these visions and headaches. Higgins does a good job of establishing the dynamic between Connor and everyone he meets. He comes off as a humble and decent kid who has a good relationship with his father and seems very likable. Even shady kids who recently graduated treat him well and show him respect. Higgins allows us to see the pressure that mounts on a young “sure thing” as Connor’s father encourages him to make videos, possibly for tiktok or some other social media platform. What really stands out this issue is that Higgins dives into the troubles of living with disease. Connor gets diagnosed with an illness that completely derails his entire life. Higgins shows us a human element in a superhero book. There are few heroes who have to deal with a debilitating illness like Connor, but what Higgins is doing with this first issue is very interesting.
The pencils this issue are handled by Juanan Ramirez with colors by Erick Arciniega. Ramirez does an exceptional job of illustrating this issue. Panels where Connor is having his visions, the images, his face and fingers, look stretched out and dream like. As connor falls down, Ramirez draws a pretty graphic collapse on the pavement. Facial expressions are also a big deal this issue as a family goes from being extremely happy to almost depressed. Ramirez does an excellent job of showing the characters as the emotionally age. Connor’s face goes from constantly smiling to emotionless. The colors by Erick Arciniega add great depth to the pencils. It feels like once the depressing news hits, all the panels have a cold and blue back drop. Arciniega colors a bright and vibrant set of wings on the new Darkhawk that catch your eye every time you see them. Truth be told, the pencils and colors really allow this issue to feel complete. This just seems like a perfect fit for this title.
Darkhawk #1 was a surprisingly deep read. The issues Kyle Higgins brings to light are relatable and very real. The pencils and colors fit the story so well that they just seem like they were made for a title like this. Darkhawk is back!