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The Darkness: Level 1

Posted: Friday, January 12, 2007
By: Bruce Logan



Writers: Paul Jenkins & David Wohl
Artist: Stejpan Sejic

Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow


For the veteran Darkness-reader, there isnít much that is new in this story. For a new or even a passing reader, one who is just buying this because of the video game it is based on, this one-shot about the origin of The Darkness is a quick lesson in, well, the origin of The Darkness.

From his childhood in an orphanage, the place where he met the love of his life, Jennifer, to the fateful night when he got his "powers" at the same time losing so much more, this story gives the reader a glimpse of just about every major character in The Darkness mythos. All except for Butcher Joyce who although getting a mention (and even a single line of dialogue) doesnít make an actual "physical" appearance. It is noted however, that just as with any other video interpretation (cartoon, movie, video game), the actual timing and dynamic of the events are different from how they were in the actual The Darkness series (especially the first one, for this one-shot at least). Still, I donít think that even hardcore Darkness-FANactics will be perturbed by this origin story by Paul Jenkins and David Wohl. Well, they won;t be perturbed too much.

On the art front, going a step further than his work on the recent The Darkness/Wolverine One-Shot, Stjepan Sejic takes care of the complete artwork and not just the colors. A bit 3D-esque in a few panels, especially in the scenes with Jennifer, Sejic's work seems to get The Darkness, even if some of the panels tend to be a bit too dark. Now how is this for irony? That said, the artwork, even with its "could use a bit of sharpening around the edges" style, worked for me.

Conclusion: As a standalone, this story works quite well in what it aims to do. A young, somewhat innocent and out of his element (with his darkness powers) Jackie is something that hasnít been seen for quite some time, and even though I wonít be going in for the video game, I will thank it (the game) and Image/Top Cow for making this possible, as also for the upcoming The Darkness series. After all, it has been over a year since second series ended.

You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net



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