Writer: David F. Walker
Penciler: Martin Morazzo
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Inker: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: September 28, 2016
Plot: Nighthawk finally comes face-to-face with The Revelator after tracking the killer for a lengthy period of time. With chaos breaking loose in the city, will the hero finally put an end to this psycho’s plan, or will the fallout from The Revelator’s most recent plan take priority?
Story: Nighthawk has been hunting The Revelator for a long time now, and as the story comes to a close, this issue opens up with it’s foot down on the pedal. The hero has been captured by the villain and Nighthawk finally gets to experience what type of a psychotic killer he’s truly dealing with. Nighthawk is a book that touches on a lot of important social topics that are extremely relevant to the United States right now. Walker really dives into the idea behind what a hero is, and he expresses that there might not be too much of a difference between heroes and villains. The Revelator discusses how similar his and Nighthawk’s plans for the city actually are, but that Nighthawk doesn’t have what it takes to push things all the way through killing and other extreme measures. Nighthawk is such a phenomenal book because it applies such important real life topics, and it is one of the few comics that truly incorporates real life events and begs the question, “how would a hero or vigilante react to this occurrence?”
It all comes down to killing for the villain, and while Nighthawk isn’t ever afraid to get rough with criminals, the character always holds onto his humanity by refusing to kill people. Walker really display what it takes to be a hero, and even though Nighthawk has to operate in a city where he faces racism, corruption and chaos, it doesn’t make him forget his cause or what he represents. The writing in Nighthawk is just so consistently strong because David Walker is never afraid to be blunt or real with topics and how he describes them.
He has established a character that is put into situations to really test the limits of willpower. Nighthawk is a man who could just as easily become The Revelator, and his reasons for turning evil would probably make sense. Constantly having the character walk that line is very compelling, but it adds such depth to the book as a whole and reflects who Nighthawk is and really fills readers in on the city the hero operates out of. On top of this, Walker has build Nighthawk up to be one of the strongest willed Marvel character with how resilient he has been through the entire story.
Nighthawk is a super strongly written book that continues to make valid and thorough points on a lot of important social topics. Walker’s ability to touch on these topics without overstepping as well as writing a superhero story around it is phenomenal and exciting with each episode. Nighthawk represents a lot of things, and the book’s writing has covered so much ground in such a short amount of time.
Art: The art in Nighthawk #5 comes from the great team of Martin Morazzo and Tamra Bonvillain. The two have a unique style that combines a minimalistic look with great detail on the up-close shots of the characters. There are a lot of great closeups of character’s faces that really show their emotion in a scene well and the incorporation of facial details make it very easy to communicate to readers what the characters are feeling. Morazzo seems to really thrive on drawing half-panel or full page scenes that give him a big canvas to work with, really filling out the backgrounds.
There are so many variations of panel type in this book from big broad scenes like the one above to short, quick, individual panels that display conversation between characters. Morazzo really creates a nice blend of pace by changing up the panel types throughout the story. It offers a nice build up to some of the important moments but also can hide the full story behind an individual scene and offering a different angle from a smaller panel on the next page.
Bonvillain should also not be left out of the conversation with her color and inking choices in Nighthawk #5. The coloring is always so well-done and she utilizes full color spectrums in unique ways. The scene above has a beautiful orange background that works well with the flesh color, but Bonvillain adds in some light orange shading on the character’s jacket and includes some very faint yellow choices for Nighthawk’s glider smoke. The coloring in this book does a fantastic job of rounding things out nicely and adding depth to the color pallet in a lot of the scenes.
Verdict: Nighthawk continues to be one of the best and most well-rounded books in Marvel’s lineup right now. David Walker is an incredible writer who knows how to set up a setting, character and story without wasting any time. He has incorporated so much depth into this book through only five issues while also touching on very important modern social topics as well. Nighthawk is still a must-read.