Production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is coming to a close and when it hits theaters just over a year from now, director James Gunn has said it will close the book on the version of the team that first came together in 2014. Given how wildly and unpredictably successful the franchise has been, however, that doesn’t mean a new collection of Cosmic heroes won’t come together to continue their good work. Over the years, Gunn has talked openly about some heroes that, for one reason or another, haven’t made the cut, which leaves the door open to them joining that new team of heroes. Adam Warlock, who will be played by Will Poulter in Vol. 3, used to top that list, along with Bug, ROM, Quasar and a handful of others rounding it out and now Gunn has added one more name to the list: Darkhawk.
In response to a tweet encouraging Gunn to take on a Darkhawk solo project, the director casually mentioned that the character “was almost in (Guardians of the Galaxy) Vol. 2.”
The character of Darkhawk has undergone some big changes since first being introduced in 1991. Teenager Chris Powell became Darkhawk when he stumbled upon an amulet that allowed him to suit up in an incredible suit of armor. For the majority, perhaps entirety, of the first 15 years worth of appearances, Darkhawk was an Earth-based hero who joined the New Warriors and teamed-up with the West Coast Avengers, Runaways, Spider-Man and over the years. During Marvel Comics Cosmic renaissance in the late 2000s, led by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the character was overhauled significantly and became a major player in 2009’s War of Kings. It’s almost certainly this retconned version of the character that would be of interest to Gunn.
With Gunn revealing the character was on the short list for an appearance in Vol. 2, the door is open to him popping up in the near future. Could he be among the heroes called to serve at the end of Vol. 3 or would a solo project be more in order. In August of 2021, writer Kyle Higgins launched a new Darkhawk series that put a new character in the familiar armor, so it is possible that Marvel was looking to get the character back in the spotlight ahead of a potential MCU appearance. With Marvel Studios now having access to all the major players of the Realm of Kings/War of Kings events and a Nova project in the works, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him enter the MCU in the near future.