As the last of the Nova Corps, Richard Rider has been tasked with dispensing justice all over the cosmos. Rider’s jurisdiction may be the known galaxy, but Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” has begun and his home planet of Earth is at war with the Skrull Empire, which means it’s time for the Human Rocket to fly home. In next week’s “Nova” #16, Rider sets out for Earth and in next month’s “Nova” #17 he arrives to a planet under siege. Fortunately for Rider, he won’t have to fight the Skrulls alone. Nova will receive some unexpected help from his former New Warriors teammate, Darkhawk. CBR News spoke with “Nova” writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, collectively known to their fans as DnA, about Darkhawk and what the character’s return means for “Nova.”
Seventeen years ago, in the pages of “Darkhawk” #1, teenager Chris Powell touched a mysterious alien amulet and was transformed into an armored superpowered being. In his Darkhawk form, Powell had a number of abilities including flight, energy projection and a claw-like grappling cable, which he could launch from his right arm.
The “Darkhawk” ongoing series lasted from 1991-1995 and Powell also saw action as a member of the New Warriors. In 2005, Darkhawk appeared in the pages of “Runaways,” where he joined the former teen superhero support group known as Excelsior. Most recently, the members of Excelsior appeared in the “The Loners” by writer C.B. Cebulski and artist Karl Moline.
Darhawk’s appearance in “Nova” came about because of a suggestion by DnA’s editor Bill Rosemann, one that the writing duo thought made perfect sense. “For the most part, Darkhawk reminds us of Nova - young, hot-headed, under-appreciated, under-used,” the writers told CBR News. “But there’s a mystical quality to him, that contrasts him with Nova’s SF edge. And he’s got that temper, of course.”
Despite Darkhawk’s temper, DnA feel the character and Nova could possibly become very good friends. “They have been teammates, after all, and they complement one another,” DnA said. “Rich has a ‘big brother’ edge--especially after what he’s been through these last couple of years. He could probably teach Chris quite a lot.”
“Nova” #17 finds the title character battling to stave off a Skrull assault on Project Pegasus, a high tech alternative energy think thank where his brother works. Project Pegasus is located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains and also employs Darkhawk but when readers last saw the hero in “The Loners” he was with his teammates in California. “Bill Rosemann and C.B. Cebulski are currently locked deep within the House of Ideas coordinating Darkhawk’s flight path,” DnA remarked.
When Darkhawk appears in “Nova” he’s still having a little trouble controlling the fits of rage he’s prone to while in his armored form. “But he’s focused,” DnA stated. “He’s got a very responsible job, and he takes it very seriously.”
Things will be deadly serious for Nova and Darkhawk during the “Secret Invasion” tie-in arc of “Nova.” The duo will have to contend with an onslaught of both normal Skrull soldiers and Super Skrull shock troops. Fortunately the young heroes won’t have to fight off the Skrull siege on their own. “There are the Guardsmen patrolling Project Pegasus and--well, there is one other guest, but we can’t possibly give that away,” DnA teased.
“Nova” #17 marks the first time Darkhawk appears in the Human Rocket’s book, but there’s a good chance he may become one of the title’s reoccurring characters. DnA remarked, “Provided he survives--provided anyone survives, we’d like to do more with him.”