Monday, June 27, 2016

Nighthawk #2 Review - Marvel Mondays


Written by: David F. Walker
Art by: Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 22, 2016

Now this is the type of series that makes me glad we are doing this Marvel Mondays thing!  Going into the first issue, I had no idea who or what Nighthawk was, but David F. Walker showed me the light and by gum, I am enjoying the hell out of it.  Yes, I said, "by gum" and I stand by it.  Of course, it would be easy for me to just write Nighthawk off as a wannabe Batman, but that would be doing a disservice to the character, Walker and yes, even Batman.  There are layers here and they are not always pretty...race issues, violence and the beginnings of a serial killer story all set in Chicago makes this a bit more immediate and important.  So, without further ado, let's get on with my review for Nighthawk #2...

All of what I just said comes into play immediately in a flashback where Nighthawk puts an end to some police brutality in a very Hammurabi type way.  An eye for an eye, a broken arm for being an asshole as I always say.  If you are used to the type of comic where the hero is a boy scout in undies, you may be shocked by what goes on.  If you are looking for a hero dealing with the real life problems of today and not the 1950's, you will have a smile on your face.

Back in the present, we see that the police officer didn't really learn his lesson and is on trial for murder.  While Tilda has plans to take things into her own hands, Nighthawk heads out to the streets. In the meantime, we see the latest work of Revelator and it sure ain't pretty.  In fact, it's downright gruesome, but we do get an idea behind the serial killer's motivation.

Later that night, Nighthawk is at the crime scene and is joined by Detective Burrell and if this didn't already have a Batman-Commissioner Gordon vibe to it, David F. Walker throws in a pretty funny joke to seal the deal. After a flashback showing the history between Nighthawk and Burrell, we get to the heart of the matter...Chicago is about to rip itself apart in a Race War and the Revelator is just another cog in that messed up machine.  Another piece is the True Patriots (the pieces of shit that Nighthawk took care of last issue) who seem to be protected by the police...a problem that Nighthawk wants to solve personally.

After seeing that the True Patriots HAD a pretty big name with big pockets backing them, with end the issue with a series of events that show who the Revelator will go after next.  With everything going down in the powder keg that is Chicago, the serial killer may have to take a number and may even end up being the hero of the story in a real fucked up way!

David F. Walker is writing a book about race relations and it is far from being black and white. Nighthawk definitely lives int the grey area, a fact that Tilda seems to take pleasure in pointing out. In all of this, I love that Nighthawks only outside friend is a white cop who has also had enough and is relying on Nighthawk to provide some vigilante justice.  This is not a pretty story, but it sure is a good one.

Ramon Villalobos' art is far from pretty as well.  It's dark, gritty and doesn't pull any punches.  What I'm saying is it is a really good compliment to Walker's story and works with it to create a Chicago that may try to gleam on the surface, but is rancid underneath.

Bits and Pieces:

Nighthawk is a gritty and violent book that is dealing with race, corruption and a serial killer on the loose.  While that may not sound like a whole lot of fun, I am enjoying what David F. Walker and Ramon Villalobos are cooking.  While Walker is still setting up the characters and the lay of the land, I am intrigued by the multiple mysteries and where everything is headed.  Nighthawk may not be the hero that Chicago wants, but it sure looks like he's the one they need.


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