Top Cow’s The Darkness #108 Reviewed
The Darkness is a series that once you pick it up, will dare you to put it down.
This issue, The Darkness #108 gives you a respectable synopsis of the previous issues. It also provides in one of the early panels, if you are paying attention, a hint of a slightly intriguing surprise in this issue as well. For unfamiliar readers, a meatier preview could give a stronger foundation allowing new readers to have a greater perspective of The Darkness. The creative team of Marc, Garth and David come up with a drama filled and entertaining issue keeping the series appetizing. The artistic team led by Jeremy Haun shifts the visual flavor in this issue from the previous issues, yet maintaining the fine artistic foundation
The Darkness is a thriller with action; a new age science fiction with an old fashion gangster flavor if you will. This is the story of a young man, Jackie, who is consumed by an ancient force. This force is very disruptive to his family yet powerful. Recognizing his profession, with this force, he’s to be respected!. This tells of how he manages this force, which can be a challenge to him, and protecting his family. Everyone that knows him, or of him, gives him honor and respect. This is truly a series that once you pick up, will dare you to put it down.
As I read I couldn’t help but notice this issue has technically sound art with consistent lines, good quality, reasonable visualization, imagery character dimensions, and solid texture. Additionally the feel and color themes are generally consistent with previous issues and match the story’s theme. What is very different in this issue is the overall shift in art texture and style. The previous issues are all very smooth. It was like driving a high-end luxury vehicle with all the bells and whistles through a bumpy road. The color was consistently striking, eye-catching and visually stimulating. This shift comes like a downgrade. Still luxury but a model with few bells and whistles. This style does not generate the same level of visual artistic excitement. My recommendation would be to return to the luxurious style.
What is important and achieved by this style is it provides flow with the story. The colors are fitting. The panels with the characters have a stronger feel versus the panels involving the representation of the darkness. However with this issue, the shift does cause some distraction initially to the story. There is consistency with the internal thought text boxes yet all text boxes are different. This initially slows down the reading.
The level of dialogue maintains consistency within the series. It continues to paint the road of drama that exists for Jackie, his family and the intense conflicts with the darkness. It doesn’t overwhelm the art. You are able to follow the progression of the story with ease. The Doppelganger is kept in check and the balance between this and Jackie is maintained.
Even with this high level of dialogue, the grammar flowed with no distractions. The few distractions that did occur were due to a shift in the text box locations, shapes and colors.
Jackie, Jenny and Hope’s behavior were consistent with the personalities as portrayed. The new ancient villain, Balakov offered a nice challenge to Jackie’s empire. The Doppelganger definitely provided spice to the drama. More slight surprises developed towards the end of this issue. In the end, the one coming to the rescue is slightly unexpected, yet raises your interest for the next issue.
The Darkness #108 moves full speed ahead without hitting any speed bumps. Some panels, even though filled with action, transition smoothly to the next. Before you realize it, you’re at the end.
After recuperating from the artistic shift, I settled down and followed the story to its, well, somewhat predictable ending. Reading a comic that is artistically stimulating in my opinion takes the story to a different level. This issue didn’t provide that, yet I really enjoyed the story. To avoid repeating myself, shifting the artistic style definitely creates a distraction, yet the story remains strong. I do look forward to the next issue to see how Hope adds or deters away from Jackie’s goal of living with the darkness.
Geek Smash Rating: 69/100