Brandon and I had planned out pretty much all of New Hawk & Croc before I had drawn the first page, way back in 2012. A handful of things got changed around, and we stuck Generation 2 in between chapters 3 and 4, but it MOSTLY stayed intact between its conception in 2011 and its finish in 2018.
But before it came to a conclusion, I had already started planning out what I would do next. And since we had already known Croc would lose his powers, Hawk in a solo series was the logical thing. I’ve still got a handful of characters who could be used as villains that we never got around to putting in the comic, and this could have been a great place for them.
So I got started on this in 2016, which would have been during the production of New Hawk & Croc Chapter 4. I was only working a part-time retail job at the time, so I had a lot of free time to mess around with making a bunch of art.
The original idea was to call the story “After the Dark,” the title being a reference to the fact that Hawk could no longer call his superhero identity the “Dark Raptor” thanks to the events of New Hawk & Croc Chapter 3. And it would also be a reference to After the Kiss, which was the apocryphal story that I had just finished working on at the time.
Anyways, I had roughed out the first four pages, and completely inked and colored the first two, and started inking the third when I got caught up working on the stuff that actually needed to come out weekly at the time, and this could wait until later.
I then decided that since we’re all looking at widescreen monitors and tablets these days, it made more sense to make online comics in a widescreen format, so you could see the whole page without having to scroll up and down (reading comics on a smartphone is just insanity. I legitimately don’t know why you’d ever do that). So I had to re-draw all four pages, but it turned out to be a good thing, because after revisiting the first drafts of each of these pages, I got to make some better decisions for the final versions.
Presented here are the first four pages of “After the Dark.” I’ve also posted their corresponding final Hawk Solo pages, for comparison, so you don’t have to open yesterday’s post in a new window. You just… have to scroll a lot.