In TheNineties, MarvelComics wanted to create a batch of fresh, hip superheroes to ring in the new decade. More often than not, this resulted in [[NinetiesAntiHero 90's anti-heroes]]. This included heroes such as SleepWalker, {{Cable}}, and more. {{Darkhawk}} was part of this batch and while his costume and name might suggest an AntiHero, his personality was more down to Earth, bringing a lot of realism to his character.

The character first appeared in ''Darkhawk #1'' (March, 1991), created by Tom [=DeFalco=] and Mike Manley. Chris Powell was an ordinary high school student who found a mysterious amulet which turned him into an armored hero. Darkhawk was original for its time in that the nature of his origin was planned out ahead of time but was kept secret for several issues, resulting in a very gradual storyarc that lasted for years. The armor (as well as others just like it) were created by a [[SpacePirates space pirate]] named Dargin Bokk . The alien scientists who created the technology turned on Bokk and sent one of the last amulets to Earth to keep it out of the wrong hands. Chris found the amulet in an abandoned AmusementPark moments after finding out his father was a DirtyCop. It transported Chris' body to a dimension called Null Space and replaced it with an android body which used the amulet as a sort of GemHeart. Years later, Chris found that there were many more users of this technology and was separated from the Darkhawk armor.

Darkhawk's series lasted for 50 issues (March, 1991- April, 1995), most of them written by Danny Fingeroth. During this time, Darkhawk joined the NewWarriors and ComicBook/TheAvengers. Despite his early popularity, once his series was cancelled, he languished in ComicBookLimbo for years. He returned in various books including ''The Loners'' (a spinoff of a team that appeared in the pages of ComicBook/{{Runaways}}), [[CrossOver Marvel events]] such as ''SecretInvasion'' and more prominently ''WarOfKings''. He is next slated to appear in ''Comicbook/AvengersArena''.

Not to be confused with {{Image Comics}}' ''ShadowHawk'', which had a similar nature and motif, but was an actual NinetiesAntihero.


!!This series provides examples of

* AlienBlood: Darkhawk's is green.
* AncientConspiracy: [[spoiler:The Current origin of the amulet is that it belongs to the Fraternity of Raptors, who were this, and due to {{ComicBook/Annihilation}} and ComicBook/WarOfKings the others have started to wake up.]]
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: He fits under the ''Animal Alias'' type since there isn't a lot of hawklike things about him.
* AppropriatedAppellation: Darkhawk got his name from a nearby hobo. [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer Seriously]].
* ArtifactOfDoom: The amulets that give the users armor.
* CanonDiscontinuity: In his final issues, Darkhawk acquired a new suit of armor and new powers (including finally being able to fly on his own). The series was cancelled, Darkhawk disappeared for a few years and when he came back, he was back to his older design with none of his fancy new powers. Also, the recent ''WarOfKings'' event sheds a new light as to the nature of Darkhawk's origins.
** [[spoiler:However, knowing that Talon was simply manipulating Chris now makes the canon even ''more'' uncertain than it was before.]]
* ChestBlaster: He can fire forcefields and from his ChestInsignia.
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: Darkhawk is different from typical armored heroes in that his entire body is replaced by an android that is connected to the armor.
* DisappearedDad: Mike Powell disappeared the night Chris found the amulet, apparently out of shame for taking a bribe.
* DontTellMama: The night Chris found the amulet was also the night that he witnessed his police officer father [[DirtyCop taking a bribe from mob bosses]]. He tried to keep this information from his mother for years.
* EvilCounterpart: Since many suits were made, Darkhawk has encountered a few evil armor-users.
** As mentioned above, Dargin Bokk was the original commisioner of the suits and wore a version himself,[[SpikesOfVillainy complete with plenty of spikes]].
** There was a dimension-hopping mutant named Portal who used the destroyed remains of a suit of armor. Since the suit was in pieces, he couldn't use any of its powers but it didn't stop him from looking like an evil Darkhawk.
** [[spoiler:As revealed in ''War of Kings'', the ''entire'' Fraternity of Raptors is this to Chris. Given that their numbers rank in the ''thousands'', let's hope they don't all wake up at once.]]
* TheFaceless: Darkhawk himself. He once took off his helmet to see what his android body looked like. It was pretty traumatic for him although the reader was spared. This scene turned into a mild NothingIsScarier moment.
** In ''War of Kings'', it is implied that taking off his helmet and looking at what was beneath was his first step into the suit-induced insanity.
* GoodThingYouCanHeal: Chris later found out that if he was wounded as Darkhawk, all he had to do was change back to his human form and the next time he used the armor, he was healed. This came in handy when the villain Tombstone [[BeatStillMyHeart tore his amulet/heart from his chest]].
* GrapplingHookGun: His suit came equipped with a grappling hook launcher, allowing him to send himself into the air and [[NotQuiteFlight glide with his wings]]. He later found out he could fly.
* HowDoIShotWeb: Early issues centered around Darkhawk trying to discover how his suit worked.
** By the time of ComicBook/WarOfKings, he has a general idea of how to work it. Then he meets [[TricksterMentor Talon]].
* HumansAreSpecial: [[spoiler: In ComicBook/WarOfKings, it is revealed that Chris's anger issues and psychotic episodes were the result of his suit. Because the humans are a young race, none of the suits can effectively integrate with them. Talon says this is a weakness, but a Skrull, stuck in the same position of Chris, says that it makes him special, allowing him to use the suit in ways Talon and Razor never could.]]
* NinetiesAntiHero: He has the name and look of one, but not the personality.
* OrganicTechnology: There is synthetic flesh under that suit, as well as blood. As mentioned, the amulet served as the android's heart as well.
* PoweredArmor
* PowerUp: As Chris understood more about his armor, the more powers he discovered. As mentioned in the CanonDiscontinuity section above, these powers were quickly forgotten but the ''War of Kings'' gave him a different set of upgrades any way.
** Specifically, he gained the ability to switch between different armor modes, each of which had their own unique powers. And it's also hinted by both Talon and a Skrull that he hasn't even begun to unleash his full potential.
* RoguesGalleryTransplant: Mild examples. Both [[SpiderMan the Hobgoblin and Tombstone]] showed up in early issues as reoccuring villains. In fact, the Hobgoblin was the first super villain he faced. Later, [[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants]] showed up quite a bit despite editors for X-Men comics being very picky about that sort of thing. Even later, ComicBook/{{Venom}}, of all people, developed a recurring feud with Darkhawk. Ironically, Darkhawk typically tended to have an easier time against Venom than Spider-Man did, possibly because Darkhawk wasn't psyched out by Venom the way Spidey was.
* SpacePirates: The original idea behind the armors.
* SuperStrength: Darkhawk was initially around as strong as guys like SpiderMan but has had a significent increase in power.
* TameHisAnger: Due to incompatibility, the armor increases Chris's rage, meaning he often has to struggle to control it.
* TookALevelInBadass: The ComicBook/WarOfKings crossover showed Chris holding his own, without most of his armor powers, against the entire Starjammers crew, and a pissed off Gladiator.