Haunted; Dawn of the Darkhawk last edited by Symlen on 06/26/19 06:44AM View full history


Chris Powell is late for work. He runs through the house, only to be grabbed by his mother who wishes to see more of him now that he's home. Chris apologizes and promises he'll make more time. He then rushes to work at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. where he is employed as security chief. As soon as he arrives, he has to deal with Vector who is attempting to escape his confinement. When Chris tackles him, Vector reaches for his amulet. This causes the gem itself to react, making Chris smash Vector down hard. Chris realizes what he's done, but when Dr. Necker tries to calm him down, she brushes her hand past the amulet and Chris assults her, too. Realizing the danger to everyone around him, Chris takes off and heads straight to where his old friends are having a meeting of Excelsior. Mickey Musashi is talking to the group and informing the new recruits what happened in Los Angeles. As she talks about being let down by friends, Chris makes himself known, and both Johnny and Mickey turn on him for betraying their cause. Chris understands their anger, but explains that he needs their help. The amulet is playing up again. Mickey calms down and asks how bad it is. Chris explains what happened at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and Mickey asks why he hasn't asked them to look at his armor. Chris tells her that he doesn't wish to become a lab rat. The pair of them head off, and start to become friendly again. When they reach Chris's home, the amulet begins to play up again, and suddenly, a new Darkhawk appears, crash-landing in their garden. Chris has no idea what's going on, and his problems are exacerbated when a second explosion rocks the house.

Full synopsis:

(Long Island)

Chris Powell isn’t happy, which isn’t good for someone with anger issues. He runs through the house, pulling on his clothes after oversleeping due to the alarm not going off. He’s gonna be late for work. Not that it’s too big a deal, but with him, things tend to escalate. He loses control and ends up hurting the people he cares about… the people he loves. He eyes a photograph of himself with Mickey Musashi and another one of his family. A while ago he decided to do something about it and he changed his environment, moving from Los Angeles back to Long Island.

His mother calls him to breakfast and he rushes downstairs to find his two brothers, Jason and Jonathan already there. He tells her that he’s late, but she insists he eat something. His brothers reckon it took him long enough to get there. They reckon he was out last night beating on the Rhino. Chris admits that there were no babes or super-villains last night. Part of the deal he made with him mom when he returned was ‘no more secrets.’ His secrets tore his family apart once. He won’t allow that to happen again. He shoves a slice of toast into his mouth and prepares to dash, and his brothers want to see him transform. It was a big step trusting his younger brothers with the fact that he is a super hero.

He tries to leave but his mother collars him and insists that he kiss her goodbye. She moans that they’ve just got Chris back into their lives, but he’s so busy at work they never get time to spend together. Chris apologizes and assures her that he’ll take a day off soon and make it up to her. “Promise?” she asks. Chris promises and tells her that he loves her before giving her a peck on the cheek.

Chris leaves the house. He doesn’t want to dwell over regret. They’ve put the past behind them. Some things, though, he did embrace. He changes into his Darkhawk armor which is all thanks to a crazy amulet which he found years ago. He fought alongside the New Warriors and Spider-Man but then tried to leave his old life behind and grow up. However, he was soon back in the armor and it took over his life - making him lash out at those closest to him. He might have lost control before, he thinks, but now he has his life in order. He’s Darkhawk, and finally, all is good in the world.

He takes to the air and makes his way to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Working here as security chief has helped Chris to control his anger by focusing on other people’s problems for a change. In an exotic energy research lab which also houses several super-villains, problems are never in short supply.

He is greeted by Dr. Necker who informs him of a breakout by a couple of the U-Foes. Another Skrull booby-trap helped shut down their containment grid for a few seconds allowing their escape. She adds that X-Ray was last seen in the basement. Before she can explain where Vector got to, he appears, smashing through the floor, demanding to be let out.

Darkhawk leaps into action immediately and confronts the villain, telling him it’s time for school. Vector punches his face mask, but Chris informs him that his armor just breaks the knuckles of those stupid enough to punch him. He adds that it’s also good at burning off unfortunate tattoos. “Care to sample?” He unleashes a blast from his chest plate which forces Vector to take to the air. Darkhawk follows and the pair of them tangle in mid-air. Vector reckons that the facility has underestimated him for the last time. Does Darkhawk think that he doesn’t know the source of his powers? He makes a grab for Chris’s amulet, and sparks start to fly.

Without even thinking about it, he blasts smash Vector away and he falls to the ground with his chest smoking. Chris can’t believe it. The amulet took over again and went nuts. He looks at Vector, lying on the ground with his mouth wide open. He chastises the gem for acting up after all this time. He had everything under control, but now, because of the gem, he’s got more blood on his hands. As his mind runs wild, Dr. Necker places her hand on his shoulder, but instinctively, the amulet takes over again, forcing Chris to sweep her aside with force using his wing.

Chris looks around and can’t believe what he’s done. He apologizes to Dr. Necker who realizes what’s going on and tries to get him to remain calm. He informs her that the gem is reacting on its own, and the doctor asks him to let them study it. Chris doesn’t wish to hurt anyone else and instead takes to the skies, leaving Dr. Necker calling for him to wait. Once airborne, Chris doesn’t want this to happen ever again. Unfortunately, the funny thing about leaving the past behind is that no matter how far you run, it always catches up with you… or you to it.

(later, the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Manhattan)

Mickey Musashi introduces herself to Excelsior as the former hero known as Turbo. They each respond with a hi. She’s set up the group in New York after leaving Los Angeles behind. She tells them that she is glad they could make it, and understands that some of them had doubts. They probably asked themselves the same questions she did. How could they let this happen to them? Why bother to continue meeting? What’s the point anymore? Unfortunately, she adds, there are no easy answers, but they’ll find them together. For the new faces amongst the group, she offers an explanation of what happened in Los Angeles. She informs them that they tried to give up the costumes and secrets, and to rely on each other to keep themselves honest. Unfortunately, they were betrayed again, and this time it wasn’t their powers that ruined their lives. They were betrayed by their friends!

She looks around at Julie and Johnny as Chris loiters in the shadows, listening to every true word. Mickey says that it’s hard when someone you know changes right before your eyes until you barely recognize them. You can’t help wondering if, somehow, it’s your fault. Chris decides the time is right to present himself. “It wasn’t Mickey,” he whispers, “It was mine.”

Johnny immediately tells him that he should turn around and leave right away. Mickey follows suit, asking Chris how he dare show his face after he turned his back on them and went back to wearing his precious costume. Chris tries to get a word in edgeways, but Mickey asks if he’s come back to gloat… to feel better about himself. “Help,” Chris replies, “I need your help.” He explains that it happened again and he lost control. Mickey calms down and asks how bad it was. Chris replies that it was real bad. Someone got hurt. Mickey touches his cheek tenderly, and hugs him. It makes Chris feels safe, but only for a second.

Chris informs her that he hurt a villain. He was just doing his job, but he tried to rip the crystal from his costume and the suit went crazy. It acted on instinct - like it was scared. Suddenly, he was back in control as if nothing had happened. When he saw the looks on people’s faces and realized what he had done… He apologizes but didn’t know who else to turn to. Mickey was always able to help him. The rest of the group look on with interest as Mickey assures Chris that she’ll always be there for him.

With the meeting over, the pair of them head away. Mickey points out that he works at a government lab that specializes in alien energies. Did he never ask them to study his armor? Chris replies that he never wanted to be a lab rat. Mickey tells him to get over himself. This isn't about him. It's about the people who care about him. Isn't this why he left in the first place? He can try all he can to change the world, but nothing is going to be different if he doesn't change himself. She adds that the Darkhawk armor and the amulet are a part of the problem. He should have it looked at - go get some professional help. "Do it for the family you came back for," says Mickey, with sincerity. "Do it for me."

They take the train and Chris thinks about how Mickey has always helped him through the dark times... always been there for him and helped him get back in control. This feels like old times again. They reach Chris's house and he asks Mickey if she'd like to come in and meet the family. Mickey reckons it's a little early for all that. Family's not something she does on a first date. Chris asks if that's what it was; a date? Mickey almost blushes and replies that it's more of a first step. Chris reckons that's not such a bad thing. They almost kiss, but Mickey holds back, asking Chris to get his suit checked out before they go any further. It's okay, she assures him. She's not going anywhere.

As Mickey brushes her hand over his chest, the amulet kicks off again and Chris clutches his chest in agony. Mickey asks what's wrong. Chris informs her that the amulet is red hot and burning him. He plucks it from his chest and Mickey asks if this has ever happened before. Chris replies that it's been acting strange for a while, but not like this. He feels... As he speaks, they both look up and see something strange rocketing through the sky towards them. It then crashes heavily behind his house with a huge explosion. They rush to the scene and discover something surprising. There, in the smoking rubble, lies another Darkhawk, only this time their amulet glows blue. Chris is astonished. It looks like Darkhawk, but his is the only amulet left! The new Darkhawk speaks, weakly, informing Chris, "That's what you were... led to believe... designate Powell."

Chris notices his mom and the kids appear at the door and he asks her to take Jason and Jonathan back inside the house, lock the door, dial the emergency Initiative number and tell them Code Black! Chris turns back to the stranger and he asks what they want. "I'm here to save you..." he replies. Chris asks from what!He can't even save himself! The new Darkhawk reaches for the red amulet and blue energies surround his arm. "I cannot," he replies, "Which is why I am here. Only together can we save ourselves!" Chris is suddenly transformed and stands there with his armor on. He demands to know how the stranger did that. He replies that there is so much that he doesn't know. As he speaks, something rockets towards them at high speed. Whatever it is, it's already found them. Chris's mom appears at the door again having heard something. Chris anxiously tries to get her to go back indoors, and then it hits the ground hard, causing yet another huge explosion.

Reprints Darkhawk #1.


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