Darkhawk #19-20, Sleepwalker #17-18 (1992)

Look how many exclamation points are on the cover!!!!

Portal recently lost his armor.  The Genetech Corporation got a hold of it.  Portal wants it back.  And he rides a motorcycle through a portal to get it. Portal cycling around is nice. Very nice. And very early ’80s, when EVERYONE was riding motorcycles. But we’re quickly reminded of how “generic ’90s” the character can also be.

Yawn. He’s a dude with a big gun.

This story has an even better vehicle scene, pictured below.

I mean, that’s fat guy in a car. It’s awesome. And he’s practically dragging Pyro on the asphalt.

But someone else does, too. Toad leads his re-formed Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in a raid to get the armor, (wrongly) thinking that the armor is how Portal gets his teleportation ability.  

And Darkhawk also wants the armor, thinking (rightly) that it is similar to his own armor.

Genetech employs Guardsmen for security.

And yet another character is involved…

Sleepwalker wants it too, because he thinks he can use the interdimensional teleportation powers to get him off Earth and back home. I can’t blame him for wanting to leave. We’re not doing all that well as a planet these day.

AND also Spider-Man happens to swing by when everyone is fighting. He’s not busy because he’s only in about 14 other comics this month, so he stays to play.

If all that is not enough, after Spidey and Darkhawk fight off the Brotherhood and Portal gets his armor back.  But

So then they fight.  Portal teleports away and manages to get himself kidnapped by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants after all.  Sauron mind-controls Portal to get him to do crime with them.  Then Spidey and Darkhawk track them down and there’s a rematch fight.

During which, Spider-Man is teleported to the dimension of the Mindless Ones.

It ends with all the parties going their separate ways, and Portal having his armor back.

Note: Sleepwalker #18 finishes off this crossover story in the first pages and then goes directly into a pointless Infinity War crossover with monstrous dopplegangers of Beast and Daredevil not discussed above because, like I said, it’s pointless. I know the real Beast, Firestar and DD don’t appear in it, but I tagged them because of their dopplegangers…

I mean, as a huge Daredevil fan, I would hate to miss seeing that.

Note 2: Darkhawk #20 sets up the next story, starring Evilhawk. Inventive name.

The fighting in these issues feels a bit contrived, and it seems like the story being told here could have been done much more elegantly. Then again, these are two of Marvel’s consistently least interesting books. As such, the long list of cameos upgrades both series–but mostly Darkhawk, which for the first time was a really fun read. I give these issues a C+ for Darkhawk, and a C for Sleepwalker.

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