The Infinity Countdown has rapidly gone on to become one of the most expansive galactic stories from Marvel, and it tackles the existence of reality stones in the Multiverse, the comeback of Galactus, as well as the difficulties being faced by the Nova Corps and the Guardians of the Galaxy in maintaining peace in far space.
The comic book Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk has a more systematic approach as it focuses on the iconic character during his battle with the Fraternity of Raptors, an elite group of armored killers created by the Shi’ar Empire. Although, after eventually getting the control of Darkhawk role, Chris Powell ventures into the galactic space and gets more on his plate than he can manage.
While battling the members of his ‘species’ Chris not only battles a galactic threat but, his actions result in the comeback of a prominent Marvel cosmic character, though with a twist. He turns out to be the reason behind us getting our first look at the Dark Starhawk, which sadly arrives courtesy of a few important human sacrifices.
By the looks of it, this book seems to be keen on further expanding the present cosmic stories in the Marvel-616, as now the Raptors are shown to be so well equipped that they are the deadliest army in space, and this is further bolstered by the arrival of the Dark Starhawk, a creature that clearly is mightier than the being it was supposed to hunt, aka the Phoenix.
After Chris returned to the Raptors due to Death’s Head, to receive a bounty (a false pretense set up by them in Issue #1), the Raptors attack the duo and transfer Chris to a secretive Shi’ar outpost, as they easily defeated him in his Darkhawkarmor. It is revealed that Gyre who had earlier escaped the Null Space accompanied by his fellow Raptors, wanted Chris’ amulet because he was aware of its powers. This also happened because sometime back Chris had managed to convince his amulet’s alter-ego, Razor, to escape from the Fraternity. However, all these were pieces of a prophecy that Gyre wanted to activate.
The leader of the Raptors further reveals that the sentient amulet was vital to the creation of the Ratha’kon or Dark Starhawk, which the Shi’ar wanted to be a hunter of the Phoenix. However, another sacrifice was needed to make it rise, and it has to be someone who is willing. This turned out to be Robbie Rider, and now it becomes clear why he was so eager to ditch his brother, Richard, back in the main Infinity Countdown series.
Gyre impaled Chris’ chest by punching it, leaving him assuming he was dead and went on to use his amulet to merge with Robbie’s, and this allowed Ratha’kon to enter Robbie’s body. Realizing the power of the weapon they had, Gyre took the Dark Starhawk and the Raptors to Earth, the favorite haunt of the Phoenix, for a secret mission.
This has made a few changes to the Marvel’s cosmic settings for two reasons. One, fans know Starhawk from the Guardians of the Galaxy comics as a creature who was given powers by the Hawk God Arcturus, in the alternate world of Earth-681. This entity converted StarkarOgord and his half-sister Aleta into vehicles for the cosmic being, but, despite all those stories, the Hawk God was never linked to the Phoenix, until now that is.
Then there is the revelation about Shi’ar planning something at a secretive outpost which might defeat Phoenix. It has always been clear that they wanted to either control or kill Phoenix, but, the Dark Starhawk is a totally different ball game and has emerged out of nowhere. Although the Shi’ar couldn’t use this weapon earlier, and the reason for that is still not revealed, but, now the Infinity Countdown: Darkhawksuggests that there are various unexplained secrets to unfold now.
Robbie has now ultimately fulfilled what he considers to be his fate, turning into a universe-destroying being, and now it will be interesting to see how Richard would respond upon their imminent meeting. Right now, the Nova Corps, the Guardians of the Galaxy and not Richard are enough to defeat Ratha’kon aka the Phoenix killer.