Thursday, May 17, 2018

Demonic Dimensions

The Darkness: First Look (Top Cow, November 2007, 99 cents)
"Empire, Part One: Nightfall" Writer: Phil Hester, Penciler: Michael Broussard, Inker: Ryan Winn, Colorist: Matt Milla, Letters: Troy Peteri, Design: Chaz Riggs, Editor: Rob Levin.

This 16-page inexpensive comic is a preview of the 2008 Top Cow/Image series featuring the character created by Marc Silvestri, Garth Ennis, and David Wohl. Mafia hitman Jackie Estacado becomes possessed by the Darkness, an elemental force that can bridge to demonic dimensions. Dating back to the Christian creation story, the Darkness has existed since there was light, resenting it and "looking for purchase in the hearts of men" throughout history.

Estacado finds himself in Sierra Munoz, entertaining "a little friendly company"—though reluctant—over dinner before his waiter explodes and the Darkness is yet again called on. Broussard's artwork is standard early Image fare even 15 years in, reminding me of Rob Liefeld and Marc Silvestri. There's a fun Solomon Kane-like character in pp. 2-3's spread, and the hand holding on p. 8 reminds me a little of Tim Vigil. But I don't really find the character concept compelling.

I find characters like this strange. The title must have sold because it lasted for awhile, and artists and writers other than the creators took on the work for subsequent series. But did the Darkness really warrant so many Marvel and DC crossovers, and a video game? I don't get it.

Availability: This one shot is collected in The Darkness Accursed Volume 1. The character debuted about a decade prior, now collected in The Darkness: Coming of Age, Vol. 1.

This issue comes from the Henry's Green Cape collection of comics. Thank you for your donation!

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