The Darkness: Four Horsemen #1 Comic Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Story 7.5
Art 8.5
Value 7.0
Total 7.7
Publisher: Top Cow Studios
Release Date: 25/8/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Lyz Reblin

7.2


The Darkness: Four Horsemen #1

Let me get this out first. Up until a few days ago I was unaware of The Darkness. In fact, my only knowledge of Top Cow properties was the Wanted film and the Witchblade TV series. But Iím always looking for new and interesting material, so I gave The Darkness a try. Luckily for me, the first page of the comic catches a tyro reader up on the mythology of the character. A Mafioso granted demonic powers, who uses them for evil? Sounds like dangerous ground to tread on. At least with Dexter, he has scruples. But cheering for the bad guy is difficult. Not that it canít be done. Look at Freddy Kreuger or Jason. Donít we just love to watch them kill off slutty, dumb teenagers? 

Now for this arc, the Four Horseman, the story takes place before First Born (for those familiar with The Darkness that may mean something). Jackie Estacado is hired to kill a group of bikers who take the term Hellís Angels literally. In a little town called Ginsberg, these riders have brought Hell on Earth to its citizens. Is it a sign of the apocalypse and can our ďheroĒ take down a group of demons hell-bent on destruction? 

What first strikes me as interesting, as mentioned before, is the character of Jackie Estacado. Heís a villain, plain and simple. A hitman given abilities to control monsters from Hell is hard to root for. He isnít as charismatic as Kreuger, but he sure as hell scares you into liking him. Stay on his good side, boys and girls; youíd hate to meet his friends. 

Once you get over the fact that you might be damned yourself for liking this guy, the story has some other interesting shades of gray. Mafia members who donít care about family, crooked cops, or rescinded priests. No one is good in this comic, not even some of the victims are innocent. With no clear side to sit on, it becomes easier for one to root for Estacado. At least youíll get a cool fight out of it. 

And when I say cool I mean grotesque. Exposed brains, bitten off cheeks, descriptions for those that have an imagination that will make you want to tear your eyes out. This comic made me want a rating system for the industry. The Darkness is most definitely for mature readers only. Call me a wimp, but a little bit of warning would have been nice so that I didnít eat right before reading the book. 

Besides the blood and guts, the artwork is very colorful, using the whole spectrum vividly. The problem with this is some scenes donít even appear to be part of the same comic. There is, in fact, one scene in particular near the end that has nothing to do with the Four Horseman plot. My guess is that it will only make sense to veteran readers of the series. Also, some of the characters look very similar to others and it can be confusing at times as to who is who. 

Overall, I suspect that this comic is not meant for new readers to The Darkness. Sure, it comes with that paragraph explaining to you the mythology of the book, but you learn very little about Estacado in this part of the series. But it is entertaining nonetheless. The drawings are beautifully macabre and dark, probably will give me nightmares for a few days. Yet if a comic can affect me that strongly, who am I to say it is wrong, even if it isnít my particular cup of tea.  






 
 



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