Written by: David F. Walker
Art by: Ramon Villalobos
The term social justice warrior is frequented in our 21st century vernacular, but what exactly does that mean? For many of us it is someone who speaks up for the right causes through social media. For others the term has a negative connotation, when a cause is taken too far at the cost of another. If you want the true answer of what true social justice is I invite you to pick up David F. Walker and Ramon Villalobo’s Nighthawk.
So many creative outlets have tried to nail down the social justice element of our current society, but more often than not it comes across more self-serving than it does a true push for positive societal change. In Marvel’s newest incarnation of Nighthawk, Walker gives us the embodiment of social justice, brought to life by the gritty and vibrant art of Villalobos. Never at any point over the course of its first two issues has Nighthawk felt too pushy, rather it feels like a true effort at providing a societal commentary through a comic book vigilante. Whether battling for equality of race relations and against police brutality as Nighthawk or working toward improving the socio-economic status of the people in the slums of Chicago as Philanthropist: Raymond Kane our main characters motivations always feel authentic.
Never satisfied with providing just a social commentary, Walker catapults us into a horrific story that beckons back to classic serial killer films more than it gets caught up in prototypical vigilantism. The best way to describe Nighthawk is David Fincher’s Seven meets the Punisher, with just enough heart sprinkled in. In issue two Walker does a phenomenal job of using the serial killer known as the Revelator as the catalyst in the form of social injustice at it’s highest prejudice, brought to life by the grisly art of Villalobos making the heinous murder scenes eerily realistic.
Nighthawk issue one provided an organic introduction to a lesser known character in the Marvel mythos, issue two begins to truly establish the world of Raymond Kane and his two front war against villainy and prejudice. Like most I picked up the first issue knowing nothing about Nighthawk or his motivations and left satisfied. However I picked up the second issue thinking there is no way this non-established Marvel book can be that good right? Wrong, as proven by issue two Nighthawk is the gruesome and strangely heartfelt breathe of fresh air that Marvel catalog didn’t know it needed.