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Don’t wake Jackie up when he’s sleeping. I could continue and make a bad pun… but I won’t. Hester and Mitchell continue to be one of the best teams in comics with their stand out Top Cow title.
Jackie’s dream team of convicts continues to fall apart as another member of the team looks to betray Jackie’s trust by attempting to murder him. The issue follows Tyne’s life and ultimately his death. Tyne was the mobster accountant that always had the right answer for Jackie. Well it turned out that he was a snake in the grass and was/is an agent of the Angelus – The Darkness’ mortal enemy. Tyne narrates the reader through his life explaining how he came to be in Jackie’s group.
Tyne was adopted by a man who runs a group that is loyal to the Angelus. They adopt hundreds of children at a time and raise them to be warriors. Tyne grows up to be in the top percentage of his class, until it’s discovered that he’s gay buy the top student. To prevent the student from talking to the Cardinal running the school, he bashes the students head in with a rock. To his surprise, this act of murder earns his a new assignment and a promotion to the top of the class.
Then the time comes that he must kill Jackie. He’s given the organizations secret weapon, a blade made out of the light from Heaven. Just as Tyne is about to strike, he has a change of heart. He feels that even though Jackie is his enemy, the Darkness is better off in his hands than the hand of another. The whole, “Devil you know” speech. Jackie awakens with Tyne standing over him with the knife and beheads him. Of course that’s only the beginning for Tyne, as Jackie reanimates his body with the power of the Darkness.
Hester continues to craft interesting lore and abilities for the Darkness. Granted this is basically an origin flash back issue, but it adds so much to the storyline of the book and the series as a whole. Here’s this supporting cast character that appears to be a boring mob accountant, that turns out to be a stone cold killer. Phil Hester is one of top writers in comics today and he shows on books like the Darkness month in and month out.
Within Top Cow, Sheldon Mitchell is second only to Kenneth Rocafort in the art department. Mitchell is remains perfect for this book, drawing a wide range of characters and locations. The level of detail he puts into every panel is brilliant. In one scene he’s drawing “Darklings” and in the next a group of fifty children, it’s quite the range of talent.
If you’re following the Darkness you’ll particularly enjoy this issue as it seems to be a breather before the final showdown with the Sovereign. For first time readers this issue may not be the best to start on, but if you choose to pick it up you’ll still be treated to a great comic by any standards.
Overall Score – 7.8/10