Saturday, June 26, 2010


Darkhawk (Christopher Powell) is a fictional comic book superhero who first appeared in his own self-titled series, Darkhawk #1 (March 1991). He was created by writer and then Marvel editor-in-chief Tom DeFalco, and artist Mike Manley.

The Darkhawk body has enhanced physical abilities, including strength, agility and reflexes, powered by the extraterrestrial amulet he wears. The retractable glider wings under his arms allow him to glide on air currents, and he can also fly at speeds that let him fly from New York to California in only a matter of hours. Even major injuries to his Darkhawk body can be repaired by switching back to his human form; his Darkhawk body teleports back to its holding space on the Darkhawk ship in Null Space, where it can be repaired almost instantly. As the Darkhawk body is no longer separate from Chris and does not teleport to Null Space when not in use, it is questionable whether it can be repaired as quickly as it once was.

Darkhawk can project energy from the amulet in his chest as a focal point, either as concussive force blasts, or as a circular energy shield; (Chris referred to his force blasts as "darkforce blasts," until he encountered the actual Darkforce Dimension in New Warriors). Darkhawk also has telescopic and infra-red vision, and a grappling hook claw-cable on his right arm shaped like a claw.

In his human form, Chris Powell has no superhuman abilities, though he has taken some karate and kendo classes.

For a time, Darkhawk was upgraded to a new body design, which gave him greatly enhanced powers. His amulet could project force bubbles in various shapes and he could combine his force fields and force blasts into a giant, hawk-shaped construct around his body. He could fire heat beams from his eyes, be healed by generating an energy pod around his body, and had a single extendable claw on each wrist. He could also mentally communicate with the Darkhawk ship, and could teleport weapons from the ship when he was on Earth. At one point, he was outfitted with additional body armor on top of his android body.

In this body, he was separated from Chris Powell, and also retained Chris' memories. The two were later merged into one being in the final issue of the Darkhawk series, so that Chris could turn into Darkhawk on command. The Darkhawk android body no longer existed and the two separate entities became one.

At some point after the cancellation of his own series, Darkhawk reverted to his original form under unrevealed circumstances, although he can still summon his second armored form.

His appearance in War of Kings is somewhat more reminiscent of his second costume, and he demonstrates a heretofore unrealized ability to reconfigure the armor into a second form equipped with heavier artillery, and with bulkier body armor.

Darkhawk has two major weaknesses though. If the continuity is basing itself on his first costume, then if his amulet is separated from his body in Darkhawk mode then he will perish after the energy housed in his android form is completely released. His second weakness is that his body is capable of being hacked by technological means.

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