Heart of the Hawk is a Darkhawk story told in six parts by series author Danny Fingeroth that acts as a conclusion to the extended origin story started in Darkhawk Classic. It tells the story of Chris Powell, and the entire Powell family, through the trial of Phillipe Basin. Throughout the story, Basin is presented as a particularly vicious mob boss who is not above bombing Grace Powell’s car in order to get her off the case, resulting in one of Chris’s younger brothers being in a coma.
The story is both epic in scope and remarkably shallow. It features much exploration of what is at Chris’s heart: his family? His friends? His crime-fighting career? It also has literal implications, as the main plot of the story involves Spider-Man villain Tombstone literally ripping the amulet out of Darkhawk’s chest — taking, literally, the heart of the hawk.
It’s in this literal section that the story falters. Tombstone and Venom are thrown in seemingly at random and contribute nothing to the overall theme of the story. Tombstone in particular, as a plot device, is horribly arbitrary and inconsistent. At the start of the story he is arbitrarily stronger than Chris, enough so to rip the amulet from him. At the end of the story, he’s arbitrarily beaten by Chris, again for no quantifiable reason.
Despite two issues of padding with Venom, the story is also remarkably rushed, with all plot threads cluing up quickly and coincidentally within a few scant pages.
Of the Venom chapters, I will say that they take place during a somewhat interesting point in his timeline during which he was in a self-imposed exile on a Caribbean island, so it adds an interesting (if brief) segue from his main storyline.
By the story’s end, both Chris’s father and Basin are dead and Chris an unbelievably heretofore unknown section of his father’s journal, vindicating him of wrongdoing and setting Chris down the path of the hero as Darkhawk. This resolution to Chris’s moral dilemma is far too simplistic and greatly undercuts the heart of the series.
In the end, the premise of Heart of the Hawk was okay, but the last chapter fails to live up to the potential promised and it is far too padded.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“The story is both epic in scope and remarkably shallow. It features much exploration of what is at Chris’s heart”