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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Best Book You Didn't Read Last Week: Absolute Darkness

The Darkness #75

Written by: Phil Hester

Art by: Matt Timson, Joe Benitez, Michael Broussard, Lee Carter, Jorge Lucas, Marc Silvestri & Steve Firchow, Frazier Irving, Dale Keown, Ryan Sook, Stjepan Sejic

Man, there were a ton of great books that you foolishly forgot to read this week ... I mean a TON. In a week where I could have talked about Green Arrow/Black Canary (that so many of you left when Winick did [Fools! Fools, I say!]), DMZ, Scalped, Green Lantern Corps, Captain Britain & MI:13 ... I decided that it was probably best to reward a company that knows what kind of book is worth you $4.99 and talk a bit about the wonder that is The Darkness. 37 pages of incredible art by 10 different teams of amazing artists, all written by the impeccable talent of the one and only Phil Hester. The Darkness, for those of you who have never read the series, is the story of Jackie Estacado. Jackie is the bearer of a unique power known as The Darkness, it's basically the dark counterpart to The Witchblade. Jackie has used his abilities in the execution of his duties as a mafia hitman, as an amnesiac nyctophobe doing everything he can to run from the mafiosos he worked for, a brutal force against those who wished him dead, and recently as a sadistic druglord in South America.

In the last few issues we have seen Jackie reduced to a repo man of sorts working for The Sovereign, collecting on both contracts for immortal souls as well as condemning demons back to hell, he has also done all of this without most of his power as his body may be walking the Earth but his soul is trapped in Hell. The Sovereign has assured Jackie that if he does his bidding long enough that he will retrieve his soul for him ... who knows how long this agreement will go on, and little does The Sovereign know that Jackie has a pretty bad track-record when it comes to respecting authority figures no matter how much they might hold over his head.

This issue in particular is a look into the future (the far flung and dark future at that) and the possible death of Jackie Estacado, as told to him by a fortune teller. It is a really gripping and interesting story of the evil nature of Mr. Estacado overtaking the world and making it an infinitely dark place ... the perfect home for the weapon he is cursed to bear. Ultimately this is sort of a cross-roads issue for Jackie and I think that anyone who has even the slightest interest in reading the series would be well served by picking up this issue and getting right into the thick of it.

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