This review will be about Nighthawk #5. If you haven’t read the first four reviews of Nighthawk, I’ll link them below now.
Every review so far has covered important topics that have been discussed during this run. David F. Walker’s story about race and culture has been an intriguing one so far. Topics such as Black Rage, systematic racism, vigilante justice, and riots have been the focus of this amazing series. Raymond Kane aka Nighthawk is a troubled man who deals with constant anger regarding the racism in our country. He protects the city of Chicago and will do anything to make sure racists will never hurt anyone ever again. Yes, this means killing. Nighthawk understands the horrors that people like the True Patriots, Dan Hanrahan, and Officer Dixon pose to minorities. They are horrible people who, in this series, have been responsible for the suffering of minorities. Nighthawk does what he must to uphold his values.
That’s the thing this issue covers. Values and ideals. We all have them. Some people don’t though. We all know that some people operate differently than we do. Every human is supposed to have a code they live by. Whether it’s not eating carbs or not associating with criminals, we all have a code. Something that has popped up recently in our country specifically, is this idea of agreeing to disagree. I don’t like to call people stupid, but this is a moronic way of diluting the idea of differing codes. Let me give you an example. The reason this pops up nowadays is because of the recent Presidential election and our idiotic President, Donald Trump. The narrative surrounding Donald Trump supporters isn’t a complicated one. There have been numerous videos of Trump supporters beating up people they deem necessary of an ass whoopin. Who are these people usually? Blacks and other minorities. Donald Trump is a 70 year-old billionaire. He’s had plenty of time to help the black community and other minorities during his time as a part of the top 1%. While Trump himself might not be attending KKK meetings or beating people up, he doesn’t care about minorities. All he’s ever cared about is his bottom line, his money. Which is a respectable trait, but to an extent. As humans, money blinds us. We preach Christianity, we idolize Martin Luther King, and study the teachings of Gandhi. But we tend to forget that the greatest men in history didn’t make their impact because of money. Money doesn’t equal intelligence, honor, or integrity. Money is greed. You need money to achieve anything in our society today, but it doesn’t make you any more special than a homeless man on the street. To quote the Joker, “It only takes one bad day.” I’m getting off track. My point in all this, is that Trump, to minorities, represents EVERYTHING wrong with America in terms of White Supremacy. And no, I’m not talking about idiots like Richard Spencer. I’m talking about that subtle white supremacy that has kept white people in power for so long. These people have run (and still are running) the country for quite some time. Now, that things are starting to change, there’s this idea of White Genocide going around. I for one, don’t empathize or sympathize with people who truly believe in the concept of white genocide. It’s goofy and a defense mechanism to what really matters in our society. When you think about what someone like Donald Trump means to our country, the type of people he represents and cares about, simple math leads you to only one group of people. Not blacks, Hispanics, gays, Muslims, transgenders, or even poor white people. The only people a white supremacist protects are those whites they deem worthy of their protection. Because they believe that whites are greater and the most capable type of people in the world. This is why someone who supports Trump gets zero respect from me. I can never agree to disagree with them, because they are apathetic, or even worse, vigilant, in their beliefs that minority groups need to be oppressed. There is no middle ground. There is no interpretation or discourse that needs to be had.
That’s the thing about this issue though. Sometimes there is no agree to disagree. I’d rather say fuck a Trump supporter than listen to their side. I’m bull-headed, I know, I’m working on it. There is some level of discussion worthy in this story though. The main “villain” in this story is the Revelator. He’s a serial killer and in the last issue, moved his way up to terrorism. Nighthawk is a pure vigilante, he kills but only when it is necessary. Even still, his rage consumes him to the point he becomes ill. Nighthawk has vomited after killing men before. The Revelator though, kills anyone who has harmed minorities. The reason this is complicated is because he’s killing people who are true scum of the Earth. People the world would be better off without, honestly. A judge who was involved in a child trafficking scandal and a cop who murdered an unarmed, black teen. This officer also had a history of harassment towards minorities. The story starts off with the trial of the cop. Well, there is no trial. The grand jury doesn’t indict the officer. The Revelator deems him guilty though. He murders the cop and a riot broke out in the last issue. He captured Nighthawk and now the two are face to face for the first time ever. The two of them have different ideas on how to turn the situation in Chicago around. Somewhat similar methods, but still, they are completely different. This is interesting because it is a relevant conversation being had today by our country’s black leaders. Whether it’s Al Sharpton or Chance the Rapper, everyone has a different view on the current state of the black community. We have our Uncle Toms who want to shame blacks whenever they can, but we also have people like the Revelator. This sometimes, is an obstacle for black people in our country when it comes to unity. I commend Walker for tackling this subject because it isn’t something everyone is aware of when it comes to the black community. As a people, we are still in our infancy. Our African heritage has been stripped away. We’ve only been free citizens since the 1860’s. Despite that “freedom,” some may argue that this country still hasn’t evolved into a safe spot for black people. While I disagree somewhat, stories about black citizens getting murdered or discriminated against call me a moron. My point is that black people are still figuring out our place in society. We’re witnessing a renaissance of black culture today, and a bevy of philosophies are being born as well. Nighthawk and the Revelator represent clashing, black philosophies. Walker gives us a front row seat for their conversation.
FACE to FACE
The Revelator is crazy. If you’ve read my other reviews, you know this. As Nighthawk wakes up, the Revelator puts on Nighthawk’s mask and says, “I’m glad to see your awake Nighthawk.” Their conversation goes straight into the battle of philosophies. The Revelator says that the mask smells of vomit. He tells our hero that he did in fact, see him kill the True Patriots in the last issue. He also saw the weakness in Nighthawk soon after when he vomited. The Revelator isn’t different from most villains. He likes to talk. He goes on to say that he was disappointed seeing Nighthawk show so much resolve, but then seeing so much weakness. He says that he almost threw up the first time he killed someone. Emphasis on the almost. I love this scene because it’s the Revelator’s time to shine. He’s been killing fools left and right. Now, we get a chance to pick his brain.
The Revelator tells Nighthawk that their visions are similar, but his are more focused. Nighthawk is appalled. He calls the Revelator crazy. He says, “I’m not the one chopping up judges and cops—lighting the fuse on a race riot that will—“the Revelator cuts him off. He’s had a while to think about his actions. That’s the thing about this character. I relate to him because while Nighthawk represents someone I could see myself becoming, the Revelator is the absolute breaking point for all black men or any minority whose been a victim of oppression. And not just any black men. Black men who are determined, have focus, and who’s anger matches that focus and determination. Of course, his crimes are sick, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about how good it’d feel to kill people in my life who have called me nigger. For no reason, other than to be racist scum. My composure is somewhat intact, thank god. The Revelator is the manifestation of that composure unraveling before your eyes. Except you don’t care anymore. You embrace it, because, in all honesty, you’re killing people the world can do without. Not innocents or people who may be innocent. You’re ending the lives of people who have committed sinful acts in the eyes of God. You’re doing humane work. It’s a place I could see myself getting to if say, my family and loved ones were taken from me. The Revelator deserves jail time for life, maybe even death, but I understand his struggle. He tells Nighthawk that the city is already destroying itself. Cops killing kids. Judges taking money to meet their quota in private prisons. The city is burning already as far as he’s concerned.
Their conversation ends there. Nighthawk headbutts the Revelator. They have a quick fight and he escapes. I wish this scene was expanded on more. I honestly would have loved it if Walker kept us here for the entire issue. No outside story elements, just these two. There was potential here for more dialogue on the state of the black community, but I understand why it was cut short. Still, a negative for me on this issue.
We flash quickly to Detective Burrell and his partner, Nina. Both are good cops. Burrell is Nighthawk’s ally on the force. They talk quickly about the fact that the Revelator kills five cops during his recent bombing in the middle of the street. Burrell assures his partner that he wants to stay on this case, no matter what. Tilda makes an appearance next. She hasn’t made contact with Nighthawk yet and is desperately trying to find him.
Our other two villains in this series, Dan Hanrahan and corrupt officer Tom Dixon are starting to sweat. We get a few pages of them arguing about the current state of the city. Hanrahan is a real estate developer who profits from weapons and chaos in the city, except that this isn’t what he wanted. Dixon tells Hanrahan that Burrell is somehow on to him. He’s had suspicions before, but now he knows something needs to be done.
Tilda has a cool moment next. She finally finds Nighthawk. The cops have locked down the streets of Chicago. He can’t go anywhere. Tilda comes to his rescue. She’s driving down the street, heading to pick him up. For the first time, Nighthawk is about to compliment his assistant and friend. Of course, Tilda cuts him off before he can say anything. She responds with a joke. This is something we’ve gotten used to from Tilda at this point. I enjoy her humor most of the time, and this time, is no different. Next, Burrell is back at the office with Nina. He receives a call from Dixon. Dixon tells him that he has a lead on the arson case he’s been working on (the warehouse Nighthawk blew up in the first issue.) Dixon tells Burrell that they might be able to crack the case. As he says it, he holds up one of Nighthawk’s spears found at the crime scene.
Raymond isn’t wearing his mask the next time we see him. He and Tilda are at their headquarters trying to figure out who the Revelator is. At the same time, Burrell is going to meet Dixon. As he’s driving, he’s leaving Nighthawk a message telling him where he’s going. He tells Nighthawk that he trusts him more than he trusts Dixon, which is insane, since he doesn’t know who Nighthawk is. Back at the base, Tilda echoes a point I was saying earlier. The Revelator is foul, but his motives are simple, nothing complex about why he’s doing the things he’s doing. Raymond is trying to identify the Revelator based off a composite of his face. Tilda reminds him that it’s a pointless endeavor because the identity of the Revelator is every minority who has experienced racism in our country. She says he’s the family of Latron Stannis, the teen who was killed by the cop, or the guy who found out his wife was dead in her jail cell after being arrested for a traffic violation (Walker clearly is referencing Sandra Bland. Rest in Peace.) Tilda reminds Raymond that the ONLY thing that matters is stopping the Revelator, not finding out who he is, because everyone is close to that breaking point. I love Tilda as a character because it takes a special type of person to have this type of wisdom while maintaining a sense of humor. Tilda is a realist, but she doesn’t let the world affect her. Her moment is interrupted though by the phone. Nighthawk received Burrell’s message.
The issue ends in a surprising way. This ending caught me off guard. Dixon meets with Burrell. Nina is watching from afar. Dixon wastes no time. As Burrell gets closer, he stabs him with the spear head. Nina springs up from her hiding spot, but Dixon shoots her. Nighthawk flies in on a glider soon after. He knocked Dixon down to the ground. Dixon is pissed. He calls Nighthawk stupid, emphasizing the fact that he’s a cop. Nighthawk approaches Dixon from behind, grabs his head, and says, “I don’t care.” He snaps Dixon’s neck, killing him.
Did Nighthawk go too far? Personally, yeah, I think so, but I talked about his style of justice in my Nighthawk #3 Review. I don’t read these comics to judge him. Because I know if I had the money and resources he did, I’d find my own way to exact justice on our corrupt system. I don’t think I’d ever kill a man to find that justice, but I understand his train of thought. This was the only solution to him. Not to mention the fact, it probably made him feel better. I must admit, I’m not shedding any tears for a corrupt cop’s death. Ever. Nina was wearing a vest. She survived the shot from Dixon and now has her gun pointed at Nighthawk. Burrell, in immense pain, tells her to stand down. He introduces Nina to his “friend,” Nighthawk. The issue ends with an image of the three of them outside the old warehouse.
I know it feels like I’m being repetitive with the praise I’m giving this comic, but it’s well deserved. I love the story, the action, the themes, all of it. This issue covered the different philosophies of the Revelator and Nighthawk. Not only that, but the story has reached its climax. Nighthawk has killed a cop. The next issue is the last issue, so everything should come together. Hanrahan, the Revelator, everything gets put together during this last issue. It’s going to suck reviewing the last issue of this run. David F. Walker has delivered a story everyone needs to read. This issue was just as good as the previous four. Next week, I’ll conclude this series when I review Nighthawk #6. Until next time!