Sketch Fridays #80 – Darkhawk

This was drawn for my good friend, Kyrun Silva, of Taurus Comics, as part of his preorder of Long John, Volume 4 (every book order from the store comes with a free Long John sketch). Normally, I draw a Long John sketch, but knowing Kyrun––and his love for this ’90s Marvel Comics character, Darkhawk.

I was only marginally familiar with the character, seeing ads for his book in the pages of the X-Men comics I read, but beyond knowing his name and what he looked like, I was completely oblivious. So, drawing this was a lot of fun to get caught up in abbreviated time through image searches and Wikipedia articles.

Cover to Darkhawk #22 (1992). Art by Mike Manley. In an episode of the podcast, Con Artists, Kyrun told me this was his favorite cover from the Darkhawk series. Source: Marvel Comics.

Darkhawk is definitely a character that could only come from the ’90s in terms of design––edgy, the word “dark” in his name, claws, big shoulder pads, gritty action, daddy issues––but what’s interesting is that it was a character that burst from the Marvel bullpen like Athena from the head of Zeus: fully formed and ready for action. A lot of popular modern characters debuted in the pages of popular books and, if readers demanded it, they would be given the chance to break out into their own series. This was the case with characters like Wolverine, Deadpool, Punisher, and Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel. Darkhawk, however, debuted in the first issue of his own series.

I’m not sure of his current status in the Marvel continuity, but drawing this snapshot from the ’90s when I was deep in my comics fandom was a fun, nostalgic experience, and I think that energy came through in the final drawing.