Following up this weekend’s X-23 Review, I’m continuing my series of Marvel Universe Wave 15 Reviews tonight with Darkhawk! Darkhawk is one of those characters who I thought would never get a Minimate, much less a Hasbro toy, so you’ll have to excuse me while I geek out for the first-ever action figure of Darkhawk. I remember being in a grocery store as a kid in 1991 and picking up the first issue of Darkhawk, a book that launched with little promotion and zero fanfare and somehow managed to survive on strength of story and character design in a flooded comic book marketplace for 50 issues. It’s taken 20 years to get the first-ever Darkhawk figure–was he worth the wait? As it turns out–yes, he was…
It’s Darkhawk! Fans have been asking for a Darkhawk figure for years, so when his name first turned up on rumor lists it seemed almost surreal. But this way no prank, and the first Darkhawk figure has arrived in the Marvel Universe line (with a War of Kings Talon variant coming soon!). Hasbro could have assumed Darkhawk would be a poor seller since he’s a D-List character and cut corners with him, but instead Hasbro has definitely done right by Darkhawk.
The paint choices made for Darkhawk are dead-on accurate and absolutely perfect, including shiny dark blue and silver paints and just the right pink for the amulet and visor. And as a rare treat, the factory did a fantastic job painting this figure! Unlike many Marvel Universe figures, there’s no unnecessary paint wash, no unevenly painted lines, and no paint slop of any kind. This has to be one of the best-painted action figures in the whole Marvel Universe line.
Darkhawk’s sculpt is consistently strong in every area. A brand-new upper torso and head were created for maximum for this figure, and the result is superb. The clawed gauntlet, the helmet, the belt and shoulder pads are all great sculpts–this is unquestionably Darkhawk. I initially thought the lower body chosen for Darkhawk was too slender, but after examining a lot of artwork of the character I’m convinced that Hasbro made an accurate choice for Darkhawk’s mold all-around.
Veteran readers of my Marvel Universe toy reviews know this is usually about the time I gripe about the price of a Marvel Universe figure, but I’m not going to complain about value on this figure. Aside from the ubiquitous figure stand, Darkhawk comes with two totally-new razor wings, an all-new upper torso, all-new wrist gauntlets (one with a claw), a brand-new head, and a new belt.
I don’t know if it’s a problem with the whole run of the Darkhawk figure or just mine, but the wings that plug into his gauntlets fall off every time you blow on them or walk into the room. I didn’t have this problem with my Wave 14 Falcon figure, so maybe the problem is only with my Darkhawk, but it’s all I have to review. I may actually end up using some superglue to keep his wings secure permanently. This certainly isn’t an insurmountable problem or one that ruins the figure, but it is really annoying since the wings are such a crucial part of Darkhawk’s design.
NOTE: It’s been reported to me that some Darkhawks have been stable wings that fit snugly into their gauntlets. I’m rating mine based on the one I have, but I will track down another to see if the wings are commonly stable and mine are just defective.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
Darkhawk shipped to retail stores about a month ago, where he’s been semi-difficult to find. There are also some online options for him:
BigBadToyStore has the best price on the Set of 5 for Wave 15 for just $49.99 (including X-23, Darkhawk, Ultron, Namor, and Steve Rogers Super-Soldier) . That’s essentially the retail price, and I doubt any online stores will beat it. They also have Darkhawk available individually for $14.99 for pre-order right now.
The fine folks over at CMDStore have Darkhawk in-stock right now and available for $16.95. They also have the whole Wave 15 set of 5 for $69.95.
Darkhawk is also available on Amazon for $12 with FREE shipping right now, though toys tend to go in and out of stock rapidly on Amazon.
Overall: Darkhawk is another one of those “Holy crap!” entries in the Marvel Universe line, joining past hits like the Guardians of the Galaxy set with Drax, Starlord and Rocket Raccoon. And just like in that set, Darkhawk is one of the best-designed and well-done figures in all of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe. The paint, sculpt, articulation, and even accessories are all top-notch, making this figure the total package. The only flaw holding me back from awarding this figure a perfect grade is the fussiness of his wings and their inability to stay tightly hooked into his gauntlets. It’s a problem that can be remedied with some glue or putty fairly easily, but I shouldn’t have to modify the figure to make it perfect. I’m really not sure that a 6″ Marvel Legends Darkhawk is in the cards, but if Hasbro is planning one, I hope they make it with the same care that went into making this excellent 4″ Marvel Universe Darkhawk. Absolutely recommended for any fan of the character or fans of good Marvel figures in general.