David F. Walker’s big break in the comics industry was his Shaft miniseries at Dynamite, showing that he has a strong talent for telling street-level stories that don’t shy away from major social and political issues. Walker wasn’t able to use those writing muscles when he was working on DC’s Cyborg, and jumping over to Marvel Comics was a wise choice that has brought out the best in his writing. His work on Nighthawk is quickly shaping up to be the best of his career, telling a tense, vicious story about a vigilante who is fiercely devoted to stopping crime and corruption in his city. Making Chicago the home base of Kyle “Nighthawk” Richmond has allowed Walker to explore the fraught racial dynamics of the city, and he’s working with an art team that amplifies the impact of his hard-hitting narrative.
While regular artist Ramon Villalobos isn’t on next week’s Nighthawk #3, Marvel has found an excellent fill-in with Martin Morazzo, whose style is so similar to Villalobos that the switch isn’t jarring in the least. They both have finely detailed linework and an eye for dramatic composition and brutal action, and these preview pages showcase how well Morazzo fits into the world of this series. Tamra Bonvillain’s coloring grounds the visuals with a muted palette at the start, which makes the action all the more powerful when she incorporates bursts of colors, particularly the neon pink blood that has become one of this book’s boldest visual elements. The sequence of Nighthawk impaling a man on his grappling hook is even more painful thanks to letterer Joe Caramagna’s evocative sound effects, and the combination of Morazzo, Bonvillain, and Caramagna’s skills makes for an especially dynamic start to the issue.