As a boy, Kyle Richmond witnessed the murder of his parents, the event that turned him into Nighthawk. Now, the people of Chicago are dying in the streets at the hands of a monster whose scars run deeper than Nighthawk’s.
A blonde white male in his 20’s flees with a can of red spray paint. He runs straight into nighthawk who breaks his nose and drags him back to the wall which he desecrated. It’s a mural of a black Jesus in a manger with black wise men. All over it the words “CONGRATULATIONS IT’S A NIGGER” with a swastika are spray painted. Nighthawk explains how the mural was made and how it caused the people in its environs to feel about themselves. Nighthawk then leaves the white man there just as the neighborhood is roused. (He will be beaten to death no doubt)
In Illinois a man is denied parole and the story of how he poisoned a whole family of black people is recapped. In prison he is badly scared and goes catatonic from the abuse.
At night Nighthawk meets with the deputy mayor about his brand of vigilantism and how it has impacted crime fighting done by the police.
At the hearing a gay clown and the man who was supposed to be watching our would be catatonic killer shag in a nearby bathroom, leading to the prisoner escaping.
Cover-I loved the cover art Nigthhawk just looked simply epic. An all black cover with his back costume blending in. The main source of light are his goggles. It sticks out on the stands and sets an awesome tone for what comes next.
The story- I liked that the first issue wasn’t about the origin of the titular hero….it’s been done to death and it bores me! Instead we get the full treatment of the villain. It’s a interesting tale for a number of reasons. The first bit of information we get on him suggest he’s a nice man who helped out a poor black woman, perhaps he was set up, the justice system is unfair etc. All of this quickly comes undone as we learn more, he’s potentially psychotic with scars on both sides of the face which leaves him with a perpetual permanent scowl. Joker would make face scars popular in Batman: the dark knight but it was done here first!
The hate crime at the start of the book was also a poignant statement, using the word Nigger three pages into any comic is just big furry balls bold! No matter what the message is. This one though left me thinking the mob killing this guy…may not be a bad thing, it’s that powerful a visual.
Adult content-Lots of over the top violence peppered with so many swears your head will spin is sure to appeal to those who like a bit more edge to their comics.
Nighthawk at this point is simply another anagram of D.C comics Batman with a really cool aesthetic.
Stay away-The art, violence and the potty mouth language makes this not suitable for kids or the family.
It was bold and quite controversial though tempered by subpar art. 3/5