Thursday, September 16, 2010

THE GUT-WRENCHER: Looking Back At The Dawn Of The Darkhawk and Mike Manley

It's weird what purchases your gut instinct forces you to buy huh? Like this little ditty Darkhawk #1. Yeah wiseguy - Darkhawk. 1. The only comic I wanted so much, I borrowed money to buy it.

I didn't hide it, go home get my wallet and come back for it - fair too logical and time consuming. I simply 'pestered' the folks I was with to flip me a few bucks so I could take it home right then and there. Its shelf-buddies Uncanny X-Men or Iron Man would've been an easier sell I'm sure, but nope, I wanted Darkhawk.

Like Nova before him, Darkhawk was an edgy new-generational 'Spider-Man type' and the first 25 odd issues of the series were pretty solid stuff. Especially considering this was the 90's and there wasn't a shortage of books running with the lights on and no-one home.

Part of the fact the first 25 issues went off like the 4th of July, was the work of artist Mike Manley. I still stand by the fact despite the random places ol' DH pops up, no one has made the armour look as good.

When I was drawing every spare second I got as a teenager and filling sketchbook upon sketchbook, artists like Mike who told the story and didn't go overboard with needless splash-pages and detail, yet didn't skimp on backgrounds and design, were the guys I honed in on.

Come to think of it Darkhawk (and it's art) is also tied to a theme I've got coming up in October, but more on that later. For now I'll just let you bathe in Mike Manley's uncoloured cover art to Darkhawk #1 and wonder what a perfect world it would be if we could all have a last name like 'Manley'.

(Inked cover from Mike Manley's blog DRAW! - check it out!)

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