Death Hawk

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Death Hawk #1. Cover art by Dave Dorman.

Death Hawk is a fictional American comic book character, a self-styled salvage expert in the 25th century. The character starred in a namesake, three-issue series published by Adventure Publications from 1987-1988, created and written by Mark Ellis. He first appeared in a five-page back-up feature in Star Rangers #2-3, by the same writer.

Publication history[edit]

Death Hawk ran three issues cover-dated May to November 1988. The first issue was pencilled by artist Adam Hughes, succeeded with issue #2 by Rik Levins. The first two issues featured painted covers by Dave Dorman, the third by Steve Hickman.

Although initially planned[citation needed] as an eight-issue limited series, Death Hawk was canceled after the third when the publisher went out of business. A fourth issue was completed but went unpublished at the time.

In September 2008, Ellis' Millennial Concepts (with Transfuzion Publishingg) published a 128-page trade paperback, Death Hawk: The Soulworm Saga Volume One, that collected the published Death Hawk stories and the previously unpublished fourth issue. It included an introduction by Douglas Clegg and incidental art by Darryl Banks, Jim Mooney and Robert Lewis.

Fictional character biography[edit]

The 25th century as presented in Death Hawk and its companion series Star Rangers was a dystopia of solar system-spanning corporations that held the true power behind the centralized government of the Sol 9 Commonwealth. His true name unrevealed, the protagonist was the surviving member of a group of corporate outcasts who called themselves the Death Hawks. When the group was betrayed by one of their own, Death Hawk escaped in his 50-year-old spaceship the Peregrine. With the aid of his bio-engineered sidekick, Cyke, Death Hawk traveled the spaceways eluding arrest warrants and creditors, his eye always out for ways to keep his salvage business going — often when legality was questionable.

Brigid O'Shaunessy / Vanessa Bouvier. Art by Adam Hughes.

Cyke, described as an "intelligent blob of goo" was a telepathic protosymbiote produced by the Biotek Corporation. Although Death Hawk referred to Cyke as "he", the creature was sexless. However, it possessed the ability to morph into a variety of sizes and shapes. Not only was Cyke extremely intelligent, it was far more knowledgeable than his human partner and wasn't above reminding Death Hawk of the fact.

The story arc "The Soulworm Saga" revolved around the quest for a mythical alien object of immense power.

Other characters included:

  • Brigid O'Shaunessy/Vanessa Bouvier, a beautiful con artist who claimed to be an exo-archeologist.
  • R'yex, an Arcturan mercenary who first opposed Death Hawk then out of necessity joined forces with him.
  • Anton Chane, a director of the mysterious Biotek Corporation, whose agenda has far-reaching implications for the evolution of humanity.
  • Takaun, one of the "high daimyos" of the Sol 9 Shogunate, who was just as crafty as Chane and as greedy as R'yex, but in his own way.