(Los Angeles, California)
In a letter written by Chris Powell (Darkhawk), he recounts how when he was younger, people always told him he reminded them a lot of his father. But, since his family had had their share of problems while Chris was growing up, there were times when Chris disliked being compared to him. Chris' father had been a police officer, who'd always seen the worst in people and believed that the bad always maintained an upper hand over the good. He had sacrificed a lot to try and even that balance over the years, even at the expense of Chris's family's happiness. Because of this, Chris was resentful of his father. But, as Chris got older, he realized exactly why his father did what he did. He had hoped to tip the scales so that the good side would have a brighter future, and once Chris stumbled across the Darkhawk amulet, he found himself following in his father's footsteps. But, he's had to stop... for his own safety.
The Darkhawk amulet had given him all kinds of different powers and different armors over the years, but the more he's used it the greater a mystery it has become. Chris used to believe that the amulet only affected him on a physical level, but more and more these days, it's psychological. And not in a good way. The less he uses it... the better. Chris worries about all the trouble knocking at their door. Mickey (Turbo) is always stressed and seems constantly pissed at him. Julie (Lightspeed) has been lying about who and what she is. No one ever trusted Mattie (Spider-Woman III) and Johnny (Ricochet) seems like he doesn't even care anymore. Out of all of Excelsior, Chris strongly dislikes Phil (Green Goblin), because he knows Phil still carries a torch for Mickey. He's starting to become the most unhinged... but what can you expect from a former Green Goblin?
Chris has seen his real family pulled apart once before. He doesn't like seeing his 'family' here suffering through the same thing, so it's up to him to fight to keep them together... just like his father would.
(The apartment of Mickey Musashi)
As Chris recovers from the blow he received with the flower vase, he remembers how he learned most of what he knows about life from his dad. He had helped open Chris's eyes to the way the world really works. As a cop with too many years under his belt, he had believed that the good guys were the underdogs. "If only our side had an edge," is what he used to say. As Chris gets up, he is stunned to see that his Darkhawk amulet is gone from his chest and horrified to see that Phil, or the Green Goblin, is under the guise of Darkhawk. Right now, Chris could sure as hell use an edge.
Hollow, frightened, attacks Phil who promptly knocks her out, laughing the maniacal laugh of a Green Goblin. The Goblin grabs Mickey before she attempts to escape using a grappling hook. Darkly, he asks Mickey if this is what she had always secretly wanted - both loves of her life (Darkhawk and "Phil") put into one being. He asks her for a kiss, but this is when Chris gets up with a baseball bat in his hands. The Green Goblin laughs again. Chris, the knight without his shining armor. The Goblin taunts Chris; a baseball bat against the Darkhawk armor? That blow must have knocked him senseless. Chris, enraged, attacks the Goblin with the bat and roars about how he knows what his amulet is capable of. Chris touches the glowing amulet on the Goblin's chest, and within seconds, he becomes Darkhawk as well.
Darkhawk immediately throws the Green Goblin out through Mickey's roof. Julie, carrying Namie, flies overhead just in time to see the Green Goblin blasted into the air. Thinking the Goblin is Darkhawk, Julie attempts to help him. The Goblin, however, snaps and rams the both of them into a nearby pool. It is at this point where the real Darkhawk flies out through Mickey's roof and mutters about how he should have known Phil was crazy. The Goblin, in a fit of rage, screams about how he's nothing like the other Goblins. Darkhawk finally realizes that it was Phil who wasn't really listening at their meetings. He shouldn't deny his problem - he should open his eyes and accept it. And with that, both Darkhawk and the Green Goblin begin battling... in a fight that takes them through the streets of Los Angeles.
Julie and Namie, sopping wet, climb out of the pool and rush up to Mickey's apartment, finding her on the floor with Hollow standing over her. As Julie helps Mickey, Namie, stunned, freezes when she recognizes Hollow. Hollow instantly rushes over to Namie and hugs her, prompting Julie to wonder why she isn't surprised that they both know each other - both Namie and Hollow were Fujikawa escapees. Namie apologizes for Hollow's behavior, but Mickey cuts her off by saying Hollow attempted to protect her from that psycho. Mickey quickly recounts the events of what happened with Darkhawk and the Green Goblin. Julie wonders how two Darkhawks is even possible, leading Mickey to wonder how Chris's amulet works. Darkhawk had a couple of different armors over the years... and they always just assumed it was Chris inside. And it hits Julie: what if it wasn't Chris inside? That could explain his freak-outs...
Before she goes on, Johnny and Mattie both arrive. Mattie instantly understands that a couple guests 'in costume' have shown up. Mickey, sour, confirms it. She walks to her bedroom, and tells Julie, Namie, Hollow, Johnny and Mattie that she is tired of sitting on the sidelines. What good has it done her? She's been lied to, betrayed, and almost killed. Enough is enough! As she takes out a box from under her bed, she realizes that maybe the Goblin was right... maybe she is scared. But, there's nothing like a little fear to remind her what her responsibilities in life are. So to hell with their rules for the time being! As of now... the gloves are back on! And with that, Mickey puts on her Turbo gloves!
Darkhawk and the Green Goblin continue their battle, but are suddenly blasted away from one another. As it turns out, the rest of Excelsior has arrived: Turbo, Spider-Woman, Namie, Hollow, Lightspeed and Ricochet rush to Darkhawk's side, with Turbo proud of her costume. She blasts the Green Goblin off his feet while battling him at the same time. The Goblin attempts to escape, but Spider-Woman uses her many legs to pin him down. Ricochet blasts several of his discs at the Goblin while Hollow claws at him. Lightspeed then rams him into the ground, the same way he rammed her into the pool. Finally, one of Ricochet's discs hits the Goblin in his armored eyes. The Goblin screams his lungs out, but Namie tells him that blindness should be the least of his worries. The red laser-like dagger appears at the band on her wrist. Using it, she picks the Darkhawk amulet off the Goblin's chest. The Darkhawk armor disappears from the Green Goblin's skin, leaving him in a fit of despair.
Hollow attacks the possessed Phil, but Darkhawk tells her to stop. Instead, he attacks the Goblin... man-to-man. Turning off the Darkhawk armor, Chris holds the Goblin around the throat. Turbo tells Chris to stop. Instead, she attacks the Goblin, woman-to-man. She punches the Goblin to the ground, where he lands right beside the Darkhawk amulet. Turbo snatches it from him and hands it to Chris, telling him that he was right. Their powers, no matter where they got them from, are part of who they all are. It's time she started accepting that. Chris, taking his amulet back, thanks her.
The Goblin, still on the ground, laughs his wild laugh. He tells Turbo that he knew she had it in her; she just needed a little help bringing her demons back out. He knew she wasn't ready to give up her costume. He tells her that there is still hope for them. Turbo, disgusted, tells him that the only hope she has is that he get help with all his romantic delusions. And, once she makes sure he's taken care of, the costume is going back into the closet. The Goblin grins, telling her that Miss Fujikawa is going to be disappointed. Turbo, confused, asks him what he means by that. The Goblin reveals that he also cut a deal with Miss Fujikawa, and Miss Fujikawa was more than happy to tell him all about their little arrangement - about how she was planning on selling out Excelsior! Turbo roars at him to shut up, but Spider-Woman, taking off her mask, urges the Goblin to continue talking. If someone is bargaining with their lives, they'd all want to know about it. "Personalizing our problem is the first step in confronting it," Mattie quotes. Turbo snarls about how it's none of Mattie's business.
Mattie tells Turbo to let her be the judge of that. The Goblin maliciously taunts Turbo, who gives him a hard, solid smack across the face. Hollow rushes in and protects the Goblin. Someone always has to get hurt when the truth comes out. Turbo, angry, asks the Goblin how Hollow can defend him even after all this. Getting up, the Goblin tells her that maybe Hollow knows who her true friends really are. Or, maybe her memories are finally coming back. Lightspeed prompts the Goblin to reveal what Miss Fujikawa had said to him. Laughing, the Goblin informs her that for now, it's his secret. She, of all people, can respect that. Ricochet is disgusted with Phil's betrayal; he's like the Goblin calling the frog green... if that makes any sense. The Green Goblin moves away from them, and tells them it's his time to make his exit. Darkhawk tells him that he isn't going anywhere after all he's done. The Goblin, laughing, tells him there is no evidence to prove he did anything. He assures Excelsior that Hollow will be going back into good hands, where she will be cared for. Finally, the Goblin tells Excelsior that to hold up her end of the deal, Miss Fujikawa is letting them keep the Red Ronin in exchange for Hollow. Turbo, confused, wonders what Miss Fujikawa expects them to do with a giant robot. The Green Goblin corrects her and reveals that he never meant that Red Ronin. It was decommissioned years ago. Miss Fujikawa had left them the new model, the UJ1-DX... Namie!
Excelsior is shocked. The Green Goblin tells them that Namie is another lost soul who has no idea of what she truly is. Because of this, she's going to fit perfectly with Mickey's group. If they can ever pull themselves back together and get back on the wagon! And with that, laughing maniacally, the Green Goblin and Hollow leave Excelsior for good. After a short silence, Mattie admits that Phil was right. She herself is sour about how she almost bought into the whole 'doing more good by not using their powers' crock they're selling. Mattie tells Excelsior to count her out from now on. They've been trying so hard to stay out of costume and put their pasts behind them... some of them seem to have forgotten what it means to be a hero in the first place. Finally, she tells Ricochet that she can't believe she actually slept with him. And with that, Mattie also leaves the group as well, leaving a confused Excelsior behind. Namie, still shocked about what she is, sits by herself on the ground. Johnny awkwardly turns away from Julie, while Mickey desperately stares at Chris, wondering's what's next.
(The apartment of Johnny Gallo - one week later)
One week later, Excelsior meets in Johnny's apartment. Namie, in different clothes, sits with her head down. Julie has her arms crossed, Mickey sits sternly, but Chris stares at two empty chairs... chairs that should have been filled with Phil Urich and Mattie Franklin. Johnny apologizes for putting the chairs there... he had hoped the other two would come. Wishful thinking, he guesses. Julie bitterly makes a dark remark about how she knows what Johnny was wishing for (Mattie). Mickey then thanks everyone for arriving, especially given what happened the week before. She does feel it's important that they talk about what they're feeling out in the open, now more than ever. Mickey asks if Julie would like to open up to anything; Julie turns her head and says she's still confused about a lot of things. She then asks Chris about the whole double-Darkhawk situation. He says that there are a few things he needs to figure out himself. She asks Namie if she's had any luck with her memories, but Namie bluntly tells her that all her circuits are still busy. Mickey finally asks Johnny, but he tells her he pleads the fifth. Mickey stands up, and tells the group she'll start, as she clearly has the most explaining... and apologizing... to do. Mickey stands up, and introduces herself as a former teenage superhero. Everyone says hi.
But Chris Powell thinks... when your eyes are opened to the way the world really works, people usually find that they don't like what they see. Especially what they see in themselves. There will always be questions they want answered (Namie), and mysteries they want solved (Phil and Mattie). They have to accept the fact that some secrets will remain hidden (Johnny) and certain truths will remain untold (Julie). But even when trust is shattered and the pain of guilt is almost too much to bear, they have to remember that there's always hope. And no matter how badly things have fallen apart around them, that hope will slowly put the pieces back together again.
The end... for now.
- At the time these synopses were written, not much has been seen of Excelsior. They next appeared in a story called 'Secret Santa' in Marvel Holiday Special 2007 and then in War of Kings: Darkhawk #1. Darkhawk left Excelsior, registered himself as a super hero and became the Head of Security at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. He hooked up with Excelsior again in War of Kings: Darkhawk #1.
- The cover is a homage of the movie poster for Sixteen Candles.