Review: ‘The Darkness’ #109

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Readers will not see the twists and turns coming in The Darkness #109. Violent, gripping, and creepy, “The Darkness” series hits all the right marks to make for an entertaining read. Geared mostly for newcomers, readers will be able to jump into this series, without feeling left behind in the mythology.

WRITTEN BY: David Hine
ART BY: Jeremy Haun
PUBLISHER: Top Cow Productions, Inc.
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: January 2nd, 2013

When Jackie Estacado rebuilt the universe, he constructed the world in a way to benefit himself. He now has his childhood sweetheart, Jenny Romano, back from the dead. To keep his world from falling apart, Jackie has to protect Jenny and their daughter, Hope, from rival mob bosses and The Darkness. Jackie’s double, The Doppelganger, is causing all sorts of problems and trouble as he spreads the Darkness like a virus. With everything to lose, Jackie doesn’t know what to do when Hope suddenly manifests her own dark powers.

I really enjoy how David Hine keeps the fast pace flowing in the opening pages. Hine infuses all these genre elements – revenge, crime, and the supernatural – into an entertaining storyline. What’s also interesting is how Hine finds psychological qualities for readers to root for the bad guy. Jackie’s Doppelganger is killing off his enemies one by one, but he doesn’t believe any of his horrific acts are wrong. Like many mobster movies, the antagonist feels justified because he is sacrificing everything to protect his family. What matters most to Jackie is keeping his enemies away from his wife and daughter.
As the death count rises, Jackie must allow his Doppelganger to run loose and defend his self-created universe. Hine provides glimpses that everything Jackie is fighting for might be a lie. Because Jackie is blinded by his own devotion to his small family unit, he doesn’t realize someone close is actually going to betray him. Following the motifs of several mobster movies, Jackie doesn’t realize there is a traitor in the midst.

Readers will be glued to Jeremy Haun’s mind-blowing illustrations. When Jackie’s Doppelganger infects an innocent victim with The Darkness, the eyes start to ooze tears of blood. The victims appear slow and wobble in a trance-like state; similar to a zombie. Haun provides different character designs, in order for readers to distinguish Jackie and his Doppelganger. The Doppelganger appears in a flashy white suit, while Jackie is wearing a worn-out white shirt.

The panels where Hope manifests her newly-found dark powers are just awesome. Her skin looks fractured and splintered, as if to symbolize that Hope is “cracked in the head.” Hope whips out these long tentacles with green eyeballs and fangs. Hope’s dark powers are feeding off her emotional state, which Haun captures in the close-ups.

Readers should definitely be looking out for “The Darkness” #109. With the creative team-up of Hine and Haun, “The Darkness” series is becoming a truly enjoyable reading experience month in and month out.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis