Chris Powell was the teenage son of Mike Powell, a cop, and Grace Powell, a District Attorney. Following his younger twin brothers, Jon and Jason, to the abandoned amusement park across from his home, Chris discovered his father taking a bribe from mob boss Phillipe Bazin. While trying to escape with his brothers from Bazin's henchmen, Chris discovered an amulet that transposed him into the Darkhawk armor. When his father disappeared after Chris saw him, he swore to use the Darkhawk armor as an "edge against crime".
He developed quite a roster of enemies: he would fight villains such as Hobgoblin and Tombstone, who were seeking to take his amulet, with the latter succeeding. He was extremely weakened and even dying from having the amulet removed, but still able to use all of his powers except for turning back into human form to heal. Once he retrieved the amulet he was able to put it back in his chest and fully heal. Darkhawk had 2 separate encounters with Venom, who felt that Chris was good natured and held back whereas Darkhawk was greatly opposed to Venom's ideals and way of handling crime, and swore to bring him to justice, despite Venom offering to be his ally. Lodestone: a magnetically-powered villain developed by Bazin, was often pitted against Darkhawk. He also fought against some who would later ally with him, such as Portal, a teleporting mutant who killed another Darkhawk and stole parts of his armor, Savage Steel, which had been created by the secret police cabal that Chris' dad had been a member of, and Damek, a mercenary sent from the future to kill Darkhawk.
Chris learned that his armor was actually an autonomously existing android armor, one of five commissioned by an alien mob lord named Dargin Bokk, being held in a sentient spaceship, Ocsh, in Null Space. When Chris grasped the amulet, it actually caused his body to switch places with that of the Darkhawk body, although his mind remained in control of the 'replacement' body.
After helping them several times, Darkhawk was brought aboard the Avengers West Coast as a reserve member, but saw little action with them after becoming a member, because they were dissolved shortly thereafter. Nonetheless, he did at least start a lasting friendship with Spider-Woman.
Later, Chris and Darkhawk actually split into two separate entities, with the armor being updated into the "2.0" form, as it was informally known. This advanced form of armor gave Darkhawk new powers, such as the ability to form a force shield encasing his body, an actual "Hawk" construct (a gigantic force-field shaped like a hawk), and the ability to summon weapons from Osch. Darkhawk 2.0 and Chris re-merged, with the prospect of no longer needing to use the amulet in order to switch bodies.
Chris joined a self-help group of ex-teenage-superheroes, the Loners, who admitted to being addicted to their powers. Members included: Turbo, Green Goblin IV (Phil Urich), Ricochet, Lightspeed, and later Spider-Woman III (Mattie Franklin). The group was hired by a mysterious benefactor, later revealed to be Rick Jones, to track down the Runaways in Los Angeles.
Powell displayed trouble controlling his anger in his Darkhawk persona, leading to a short skirmish with Turbo. Dismayed with himself, Powell admitted to his teammates that he suffered a nervous breakdown. Powell decided to never turn into Darkhawk again, but this decision did not last long, as shortly thereafter the group battled the notorious Avengers villain, Ultron. Darkhawk delivered the final blow, using a darkforce blast at point blank range to blow Ultron to pieces.
The Loners continued their meetings and Chris was drawn back into heroics by Spider-Woman and made an enemy of MGH manufacturers who had abused Mattie Franklin and the woman running them as well as Nekra, a woman who was getting rich by selling her bodily fluids to them. Chris then got his Darkhawk amulet stolen from him temporarily by an unbalanced Phil Urich but was able to regain it with help from the group.
Having registered with the government, Darkhawk was assigned to the position of security chief at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.. During the Skrull invasion, he worked alongside his old teammate Nova against the Deviant Skrulls.
Fraternity of Raptors
The being known as Talon came to Earth, and offered to teach Chris how to control his amulet. They went to the Negative Zone to fight Annihilus. There, Chris bonded fully with his amulet. This allowed him to learn that the Fraternity of Raptors that Talon represented was evil and that the Fraternity had created the amulets. Evilhawk had been a hallucination caused by his mind, which had been unable to process all the information the Amulet gave him. The Raptor, known as Razor, took over Chris' body and assassinated Lilandra.
Later he fought Gyre another member of the Fraternity of Raptors that had been recruited as a pawn of the Sphinx. Darkhawk, Nova, Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic and Namorita defeated the Sphinx and his pawns. Darkhawk was able to separate Gyre from his Kree host by using the same technique Talon used to separate Chris from Darkhawk and bring back Razor.
Arcade kidnapped Chris and fifteen teenage heroes and brought them to Murderworld, a secluded island where no one could find them, and forced them to fight each other to the death, and only the last man standing within thirty days would be allowed to leave. One night, he was attacked and had his amulet removed, leaving his fate unknown. His amulet would get passed around by others locked in Murderworld.
Chris was later shown in a coma-like state in a strange tank along with the deceased heroes, where Arcade appeared to be healing him. Waking up, he located Arcade and knocked him out. He later reclaimed his amulet and was among the survivors of the battle.
Powell eventually resurfaced back in New York, set to marry a new fiancée by the name of Miranda Cruz. With whom he'd shared all of his exploits while piloting the sentient automaton known Darkhawk. Nowadays his Amulet has become inert, not so much as even changing when he focuses his thoughts on becoming his alter ego again; but lately has been suffering from nightmares of the Tree of Shadows every time he slept. Following in his father's footsteps, he eventually became an officer of the law at the NYPD. Taking to the same beat Michael Powell used to back when he was one of the police, he reminisced about how his father would listen to people and remember their names while trying to keep the peace on the streets.
Trying to be the every bit as big a man and a better cop than he was by holding the values he once thought Mike stood for before, Chris found out his father was a corrupt cop. All the while ruminating on whether the world needed him as Christopher Powell, police officer or as the cybernetic hero he once was. While on patrol, dispatch sent out notice of a disturbance at Wonderland Amusement Park, where he first found the Raptor Amulet.
While investigating the derelict establishment, Powell was approached by two shady cops right near the area where he first became Darkhawk. Officer Hal Fingeroth and Sergeant Harold Conrad came to Powell offering certain opportunities while on the force which Chris quickly denied, when the latter opted to be a bit more forceful in his persuasion; Conrad was quickly eviscerated by members of the Fraternity of Raptors who were after the young officer's depowered amulet. Canorus and Aceptar created the odd circumstances which led to Christopher retracing his origin as a superhero in order to kill him and take what they believed was theirs by right, but the former raptor didn't go without a fight; discovering that these new raptors were in actuality just armored Shi'ar thugs given how easily Aceptar was stunned by a shock baton.
Though Christopher was eventually subdued by Canorus and his gem taken from him. Canorus was able to activate it again with a damaged Razor taking his place, whom nearly beat Powell's other would be assassin to death until Chris got his attention. The badly broken android grabbed hold of Powell and ported him to a portion of the Datasong he called the "Perch," where memories of previous host pilots were stored within a Raptor's own motherboard.
Razor, now calling itself Darkhawk after the recombinant persona imprinted on itself due to their shared escapades as a hero. Chris learned from his other half that a whole new Fraternity has sprung up in the wake of Novas' decimation, eager to bring the universe to heel under their thrall and had been searching for a means of acquiring the Raptor androids from the Null Space void to cement their dominance. Horrified by this development the now empathetic Razor sought to defy this mandate by said cabal of zealot pretenders by escaping his pod and severing his link to the Tree of Shadows, which was the reason why Powell couldn't become Darkhawk anymore. Severing his brethren's connection to their amulets earned Raptor their ire, however. They nearly hunted it down and executed until he was summoned to Earth by Canorus. Seeing the opportunity to heal itself, and hoping to enlist aid in stopping the renegade Raptor sect, Darkhawk sought union with Chris Powell once again in order to recover and grow in power.
Seeing as the whole of the universe was at stake, including his own homeworld in the long run. Chris knew in spite of his misgivings about space travel and the new life he has on Earth, that since his android had grown a conscience since the War of Kings. That he could not just sit by and pretend what effects the galaxy has no consequences for everybody involved, himself included. Donning the name Darkhawk once more, he took to the skies after blasting the other raptor back to his enclave in space before taking off, wondering how Miranda will react to the change of pace.
After learning from Richard Rider that the Fraternity of Raptors were after the Infinity Stones, Chris wanted to find a way to stop them, but he was stuck on Earth. He was later attacked by the bounty hunter Death's Head who was hired by the Raptors to capture Chris and bring him back to them alive. After learning that Death's Head had a spaceship, Chris was able to convince Death's Head to take him to the Raptors. After saying goodbye to Miranda, Chris and Death's Head traveled to where Death's Head was to meet the Raptors, the planet Arcturus IV; however, the Raptors betrayed Death's Head and destroyed his ship. Chris survived the ship's destruction and confronted the Raptors, but he was quickly overwhelmed by their numbers.
Chris' Darkhawk Amulet was removed from his body by the Raptors' leader Gyre and used in a ceremony to transform Richard Rider's brother Robbie Rider into the being called Dark Darkhawk by fusing him with Ratha'kon, a being supposedly more powerful than the Phoenix Force. The Raptors then left a dying Chris where he was set off to destroy Earth. As Chris dragged himself across the ground, he encountered his other half Razor who revealed to him the origins of the Tree of Shadows and of the first Raptor. After some coaxing from Razor, Chris tapped into his hidden strength and emerged with a new Darkhawk body after fully fusing his mind with the armor. Chris then flew after the Raptors to stop them.
Chris battled the Raptors with help from Death's Head and Nova Prime. Nova made it difficult to fight Dark Darkhawk as he preferred to reason with his brother Robbie than fight him. Dark Darkhawk then shockingly turned on Gyre and destroyed him while stating that he would bring order to the universe, not Gyre. The Raptors were eventually stopped when Death's Head rigged the power core of the Kree ship the Raptors stole to explode. Only Dark Starhawk survived the explosion, though stunned, allowing Chris to reclaim his Darkhawk Amulet. Dark Starhawk then disappeared in a flash of light after striking his Nega-Bands together. Grieving over the loss of Robbie, Nova angrily told Chris to stay on Earth or he would have him locked up. After Chris returned to Earth, he decided stay out of space for a while. Later that night, he was met by Sleepwalker while he dreamed, telling him that the influence of the Infinity Stones threatened the Mindscape and that the only way he could protect it was to become a Sleepwalker.
Darkhawk attended Thanos' funeral along with prominent cosmic figures where it was revealed that Thanos had transferred his mind into a new body. However, the Black Order came and stole Thanos' corpse, while opening a rip in space in order to trap them. While trapped there, Darkhawk's atoms began to break apart, affecting his link to the suit. After being captured by the Universal Church of Truth from a possible future, Chris found out that his body was merged with the armor, and that he had become younger than he had been when he first found the amulet. Under the control of the Church, Darkhawk and the other prisoners attacked the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Rocket Raccoon was able to free them from the Church's control and sent the church back to their timeline.
After the Void lead the forces of the Cancerverse to invade the Negative Zone, Darkhawk was among the heroes summoned by Mister Fantastic using his Dimensional Anchor in order to defeat the Scourge. Once the Silver Surfer managed to merge Bob Reynolds back with the Void, Nova sacrificed himself in order to defeat the Scourge, ending the threat.
Skilled Combatant: Chris is skilled in Kendo and an unidentified branch of Karate.
- Darkhawk Amulet:
- Consciousness Transfer: Chris can transfer his consciousness into the Darkhawk's alien android while at the same time, switch the robotic body's place with that of his own body wherever he is at any time.
- Darkhawk Android: The Darkhawk Armor is advanced Shi'ar technology meshed with magic, allowing the host numerous superhuman capabilities:
- Superhuman Strength: The Armor allows Chris to lift in the excess of 25+ tons. Able to knock out Venom.
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Durability: Darkhawk is superhumanly durable; he is capable of shrugging off physical impacts, energy blasts, and most artillery fire.
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Reflexes
- Armament Conjuration: The Android can summon weapons from the extra-dimensional expanse from whence they came, or manifest desired munitions from its own body at will.
- Flight: The retractable glider wings under his arms allow him to glide on air currents. Darkhawk can also fly at speeds that let him fly from New York to California in only a matter of hours. After the Darkhawk armor attained a new form, Chris is able to fly interstellar distances.
- Self Repair: Even major injuries to his Darkhawk body can be repaired by switching back to his human form.
- Superhuman Vision: Darkhawk has telescopic and infra-red vision. He can see through most camouflage.
- Force Field: Chris can utilize a circular wafer-thin force field.
- Concussion Blasts: He can fire blasts of destructive dark energy from the amulet on his chest.
- Mode Shifting: Talons can morph their bodies into a host of augmentative forms. Becoming transparent, doubling body armor, projecting greater weaponry, etc.
Formerly Avengers Identicard
Formerly Avengers Quinjet
- Darkhawk's armor and appearance has been a continued source of debate amongst Marvel "True-Believers." After his series was canceled, his new appearances often reverted back to the original Darkhawk armor. As of his Loners appearances, he is in "DH 1.0" form, although he had appeared a few times as DH 2.0 prior to this.
- It has been a misunderstanding amongst many readers and fans of Darkhawk that he was aware of his status as a hero within the Marvel 2099 universe, in which he is known as "The Powell," one of the "most powerful, and feared, heroes in the universe." This wasn't Earth-928 (or Marvel 2099), it was a similar cyberpunk dystopia world within Chronopolis. This was resolved by DeFalco himself within the letter columns in one of the final issues of the ongoing series.
- 176 appearance(s) of Christopher Powell (Earth-616)
- 14 minor appearance(s) of Christopher Powell (Earth-616)
- 12 mention(s) of Christopher Powell (Earth-616)
- 149 image(s) of Christopher Powell (Earth-616)
- 13 quotation(s) by or about Christopher Powell (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Christopher Powell (Earth-616)