WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk #4, from Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, Gang Hyuk Lim and Travis Lanham, on sale now.
With the race for the Infinity Stones heating up in Infinity Countdown, the cosmic landscape boasts threats that not even Marvel Universe's biggest players are aware of. But while some of them are reinvigorated yet familiar faces, others are new. One of the latter has recently surfaced in Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk in the form of the Dark Starhawk.
This entity, formed when the recently reborn Fraternity of Raptors fulfilled a prophecy involving Rich Rider's (Nova) brother, Robbie, and Darkhawk's (Chris Powell) amulet, is known as the devourer of the famous Phoenix Force and is now heading towards Earth. However, Darkhawk, even without his amulet, has somehow leveled-up and is aiming to prevent Dark Starhawk form succeeding in his goal -- even if it means killing him.
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In Issue #4 though, Chris makes a major decision in the heat of battle, and it's one which turns him into Nova's most hated enemy.
As Robbie, who believes he's now a god, leads his Raptors towards Earth, intergalactic bounty hunter Death's Head, Nova and Chris (in a brand-new Darkhawk mecha-suit), try to intercept them. A dogfight ensues, with Nova taking out the other Raptors while Death's Head backs him up. Chris, though, is focused on the Raptors' leader, Gyre, the warrior who oversaw Robbie's ascension into this all-powerful being.
Nova, realizing Darkhawk may well be willing to kill Robbie, tries to extract his brother from the amulet's power, but Gyre stops his every move. Eventually, Gyre is overpowered, after a long speech about ruling the cosmos. However, it's not by any of the heroes, but by the Dark Starhawk himself. He kills Gyre and assumes control of the Fraternity, making it clear he'll spare Earth, though he still intends to reshape the universe as it needs cleansing. Rich is stunned and tries to talk Robbie out of this, but Chris recognizes his promotion as one evil simply taking the place of another.
While the trio argues over the fate of the galaxy, Death's Head repurposes Kree technology on his ship and rams it into the Dark Starhawk, leaving Robbie temporarily vulnerable. At this point, Darkhawk, driven on by the essence of his suit aka Razor, plucks the amulet from Robbie's body, and before an angry Nova can get to his brother, there's a flashing light and he disappears. It seems Robbie has exploded, although there is a chance he may have teleported elsewhere. However, Razor makes it clear to the heroes... "He's gone."
Nova is furious because he thinks his brother is dead and not knowing exactly what happened has made him all the more ticked off at Chris. He warns him that while justice was seemingly served today, he was robbed of the chance at saving his brother's soul, which is so painful given they only recently found out each other was alive. Nova departs, but warns Chris next time he sees him as Darkhawk in space, he'll pummel him and lock him up.
Chris, despite acknowledging this victory, knows he just lost an ally and a close friend, and takes things to heart. Nonetheless, he returns home to resume duty as a cop and also to the woman he loves, only for his mind to be taken to a mysterious realm where he's warned of the cosmic drama to come.
It turns out he's been taken there by the cosmic entity known as Sleepwalker, who promises the Infinity Stones will be bringing more chaos to the cosmos. Hopefully they find a solution quickly, because if things get really ugly, it doesn't seem Darkhawk will be able to call on Nova's services anymore.