Darkhawk #1-3 (1991)

Darkhawk debuts.

And he fights Hobgoblin/Demigoblin.

He’s just getting started, but he already knows he should stand and shout his own name in at least one panel.

He was a brand new character in a brand-new comic, but he faced an existing villain–Jason Macendale, the Hobgoblin, possessed by a real Demogoblin.

Oddly, though, Demogoblin does not appear on the cover.  You’d think a Spider-Man reference would help sell a new title—and in the 1990s, Marvel was all about having Spider-Man on covers.  It’s odd.

But by issue #2, Marvel had seen the error of its ways and slapped the guest star on the cover.

Darkhawk’s origin is…Dark.  He’s a kid named Chris whose dad is a dirty cop.  Chris learns this fact by secretly seeing dad take a bribe, and then, disillusioned, stumbling across a magic item that changes his clothes into body armor with claw hands.

Later, we’ll learn it’s called the Raptor Amulet.  In this issue, it becomes his chest emblem and blasts lasers.

From there, it’s fights with criminals, a losing fight with Hobgoblin, an appearance by Spider-Man telling Darkhawk not to be a killer.

…And calling him a jerk.

None of this is bad, but it’s not exactly fresh either.  Spider-Man himself says it: I’m sick of all the Wolverines and Punishers out there.

Jimmy Zafar, a cop, appears in this story. Next issue, he will become the first of several Savage Steel characters in this comic.

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