The Darkness #75


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The Darkness #75


  • Words: Phil Hester
  • Art: Michael Broussard, Jorge Lucas, Dale Keown, Joe Benitez, Ryan Sook, Steve Firchow, et al
  • Inks: Joe Weems & Ryan Winn
  • Colors: Edgar Delgado, Steve Firchow, Benny Fuentes, Dale Keown, Dave McCaig, & Felix Serrano
  • Story Title: Absolute Darkness
  • Publisher: Top Cow/Image Comics
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Feb 18, 2009

Does the far-flung future reveal the eventual fate of Jackie Estacado, the man who holds the power of The Darkness?

Top Cow pulls a minor cheat here in order to kick off a publicity campaign. Combining the published issues from all three previous volumes of The Darkness would add up to 75 issues so the publisher decided to create this "special" 75th issue to commemorate. They aren’t the first publisher to do something like this so I suppose it’s forgivable. At the same time, Top Cow hopes that this issue will provide a tempting jumping on point for new readers as writer Phil Hester takes the character in some new directions. So how tempting is The Darkness #75?

In the distant future the Earth is a ruined mess, ruled with an iron fist by The Darkness – Jackie Estacado. There is a prophecy, however, of a street urchin with a destiny, and a band of human survivors who still have enough hope to fight and die for their cause. Is this truly the future? Can paths be changed? Only time… and Jackie Estacado may know for certain.

Phil Hester does succeed on a certain level – the story is easily accessible to someone who only has even a rudimentary knowledge of the Top Cow Universe. As for the rest of it… From a technical standpoint, the story is well-written and flows along nicely. It also does give readers a little glimpse into the basic character of Estacado – who he is as well as who he was. That being said, there isn’t much here that really sets the story off. Longtime fans of the character will likely be intrigued at this potential, dystopian future but for new readers there just isn’t much new under the sun. A post-apocalyptic, blasted world, prophecies, crosses and double crosses – it just all comes off as being a by-the-numbers story. There isn’t anything here that readers haven’t seen before in hundreds of other comics over the years and in that way there really isn’t anything that convinced me that this would be a title to spend my hard-earned money on for future issues.

One thing you can’t argue with is the long and impressive list of artists who have come out to contribute to this issue. While Michael Broussard is the regular penciler for the series, many of the other artists here have contributed to the character is some way or another in the past either in the form of actual issues or covers. When dealing with such a large number of artists where each contributes a handful of pages before passing the story on to the next person in line, the results can often leave a comic looking like it suffers from an artistic version of multiple personality syndrome. Surprisingly, however, the multiple styles actually work well together and while all of the pages are perfect, some are absolutely stunning.

Overall, fans of the character can be happy to see him get such a fine showcase. As a technical jumping on point the story works well but as far as sinking a hook deeply into new readers The Darkness #75 falls a little bit short of the mark. Still, Hester is a good, solid writer and has proven in the past to have interesting and inventive ideas. Where he takes Jackie in the future may well bear watching.

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