Marvel (January, 1993)“Return To Forever” part 3 “Betrayal!” WRITER: Danny Fingeroth PENCILER: Mike Manley INKERS: Frank Percy, Chris Ivy, & John Lowe COLORIST: Troy Sayers LETTERER: Bill Oakley EDITOR: Nel Yomtov
Sometime last issue St. Johnny turned into some robotic tank thing and knocked out the previous owner of the amulet. Now he’s after Chris to erase his mind so he can be a template for someone called Dargin, who has his own Darkhawk armor and is coming to Earth, controlling St. Johnny, whom he calls “Srev”. As Chris tries to get through to Srev to reach St. Johnny, he has to retrieve his amulet and become Darkhawk. Meanwhile everything is going insane that he doesn’t know about. One of the Savage Steel guys breaks out of witness protection to go kill some criminals but gets caught by the bad guys. He’s being kicked out of the radio club but that doesn’t matter because he’s being suspended from school. Cheryl is rethinking their relationship while Allegra is thinking of pursuing one, while some other friend they have is accusing Darkhawk the way old J.J. accuses Spider-Man. With a slight distraction by NYPD’s new “Code Blue” team and the predecessor, Darkhawk is able to defeat Johnny, but then Dargin blasts into his mind, declaring he will finish what Srev started.
What they got right: The fight between Chris/Darkhawk and Srev is a good one, and seeing as it takes up most of the comic it better be.
What they got wrong: But then they have to start looking to everything else. The bit with the Savage Steel guy is unless, that other friend going “Jolly Jonah” on Darkhawk is forgettable, and just watching Chris’s personal life fall apart during an epic fight is an unnecessary distraction. At least when they cut to the other Powells in their home it was because Srev had blasted the house with an errant shot and they’re hiding in the basement trying to figure out what’s going on.
Recommendation: Ignore the unnecessary stuff and just watch the fight and you’ll get something good out of this comic. We’re getting closer to the origin of Darkhawk and the other Hawk armors (Portal’s and now this Dargin character). That’s what makes the comic worth picking up.