Darkness vol.1 #1 by Silvestri Darkness vol.1 #7 poster by Turner Darkness vol.1 #11 by Cabrera Darkness vol.1 #11 by Finch Darkness vol.1 #1 by Turner
Hildebrandt Darkness vol.2 #1 by Keown Darkness vol.2 #11 by Keown Darkness vol.2 #12 by Keown Darkness by Alex Horley

Orphaned, alone in the night, his blood determined his destiny. Thrust into an eternal war of light against dark, he wields the most fearsome power ever known to man. He uses it to bring vengeance down upon the enemies of the only family he has ever known-- the Franchetti Mafia.

In the light of day he is mortal.

At night he is a god.

Chaos. Creation. The Cursed Soul.

Jackie Estacado.

Jackie Estacado is a mafia hitman / enforcer who thinks he has it made at 21: fine cars, a lot of money, a lot of "easy" women and a really satisfying job. An orphan at birth, he never knew his parents and was raised by his "adoptive uncle" Frankie Franchetti, a feared don of the Italian mob. Jackie feels he has a really cool, trouble-free life.

This all goes to pieces at his 21st birthday though, when he recieves a power of unimaginable capacity, that was passed on from his father and all the Estacado's before him and had been lingering inside him for twenty-one years. It's the power of the Darkness, the unseen force of the night that harnasses all of creation and chaos in the universe.

The arcane power of the Darkness manifests itself as the ability to control the shadows and to create anything at will fromout pure darkness. In theory, the power can be used for both good or evil, but seeing as the Darkness is a ravenous and cruel power of destruction, the result is more often than not, evil.

It creates an impenetrable nectoplasmic armor around the host and generates a small army of Darklings, small or huge demons, as varied and violent as Estacado's mind can think them up. The Darkness is rapported over history to have many other, awe-inspiring functions that lend it god-like power, but Jackie has yet to explore them all.

So now he has this incredible power... are there no draw-backs? Of course there are. Jackie finds out that since the Darkness travels to a new heir through the seed of the former wielder, he can't have sex anymore, which is a tragedy for a guy with such a high libido as Estacado. Not only that, but really hounding him is a dangerous cult known as The Brotherhood, led by a seemingly immortal manipulative machiavellian called Sonatine. He'll kill Jackie before he'll let him have full access to the Darkness, that he sees as rightfully his.

The Darkness is also part of the TRIARCHY OF POWER.

Where there is Darkness, there is also Light. And the light is the Darkness' sworn enemy. Not only do Jackie's powers not work in daylight, there is an entity that controls the power of the sun and that uses it to destroy the damned Darkness: THE ANGELUS, who is the second part of the Triarchy. She is the agent of tyrannical order and light and thus the antagonist to the Darkness' chaos and claims the body of a woman when summoned. The current Angelus is the very wicked Lauren Franchetti, the former wife of Jackie's boss and uncle, Franckie.

The other part of the Triarchy are the "Blades", two ancient evil gauntlets that attach themselves to their hosts for life, one male and one female, both the most powerful humans of their generation. The female blade is called the Witchblade, the male the Excalibur. The Witchblade is now wielded by Sara Pezzini, a NY police detective and the Excalibur belongs to Ian Nottingham, a mysterious assasin, who through his misadventures has also briefly become host of the Witchblade AND the Darkness, a particularly dangerous combination.

Jackie has since met many more foes:

Members of his own family (stepsister Appolonia, grandma Estacado, twin sister Capris).
A depraved race of sexually fuelled creatures called the Necrobi.
Wyrmwood, an evil ghost town with a dark past.
A warrior for Christ - the Magdalena.
An army of hell-bent angelic beings called the Legion of the Cherub Hostile.
Warring crime organisations, like the Japanese Yakuza, the Russian mob and even opposing factions within the Italian mafia.

Luckily, Jackie can also count on a loyal gathering of some close friends (Wenders, Jenny, Butcher Joyce, Tom Judge and the occasional help of Sara Pezzini, despite her destiny that makes her the Darkness' natural enemy)

Jackie's life has become a quest that has kept him wondering how he can live with the Darkness, how he can live with himself and most importantly... how he can stay alive!

Most recently, the Darkness has fallen. #40 heralded the death of Jackie Estacado. In Universe #3, we have seen him regain hope in Hell. He has now returned to life, in Darkness Volume 2 #1, where Jackie has lost his memory and has to face a great number of troubles getting his life back to what it was. The maffia hasn't forgiven him for selling out his uncle Franchetti, but in a weird way, they're the only family he's got. And if you're the Darkness, it's maybe not a bad thing being the 'black sheep'...

The Darkness was created by Mark Silvestri, Garth Ennis and David Wohl. Silvestri pencilled (with certain small lapses) #1 through 12 (which were written by Ennis with # 9 and 10 by Wohl), his successor from #13 to 25 was Joe Benitez, with Malachy Coney, Marcia Chen and Scott Lobdell as writers. Further issues were pencilled by Clarence Lansang, Brian Ching, Keu Cha, Clayton Crain, Brett Booth and most recently, Dale Keown who will be continuing the series with new writer Paul Jenkins as of #1 until #6, when Eric Basaldua will temporarily take over the reins.

'Information and background from' Top Cow

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