Review - The Darkness #86

If you recall, issue 85 ended with Jackie walking into a trap. What was supposed to be a simple exchange between a Russian mob boss and art collector for one of The Sovereign’s host bodies got complicated when Jackie realized that the boss was trafficking children into slavery. That didn’t sit well with Jackie and in addition a mysterious song drew him back to the mansion.

In the meantime his crew is attempting to escape with the merchandise they came for but they are ambushed as well. Hester, Mitchell, Weems and Top Cow are back with another action packed issue of The Darkness. I’m dying to know how Jackie Estacado and his crew plan to escape this predicament. Care for a few hints? Well than, keep on reading.

Jackie is set upon by creatures he describes as both living and dead. Every time he cuts one down with either his guns or his powers they simply rise up again. A mysterious figure in old armor and shrouded in light with a shield, sword and Nordic looking beard tells Jackie to stop resisting for it only feeds the creatures rage. Eventually even Jackie admits that The Darkness still tires. Even with rage fueling his body and The Darkness assisting with its power, he cannot fight forever and is overwhelmed.

It seems that an old foe of Jackie’s named Martynov and a figure named Arvo have strapped Jackie and many other figures into a machine to harness their power. After some discussion between the two men where they talk about utilizing The Darkness’s power to fuel their own ambitions, we flash back to Jackie who is still struggling to escape.

The centerpiece of the machine is a creature both woman and bird named The Alkonost and the man informing The Darkness was once her champion and guardian. Her song, according to him, is the voice of God. However he grew old and his apprentice was Arvo, the very man holding them hostage now. The song should have kept him away after he was driven off, but Arvo mutilated himself so he could not hear. This allowed him to approach and drive a lance through the Alkonost’s side.

The song traps people in what they love most, forcing them to fight and see an illusion they cannot fight. Jackie, however, thinks he has found a way out and does something that I didn’t expect to escape the illusion. He can also wield the darkness in remarkably intricate ways that allows him to avoid hearing the song. At the same time he finds a way to allow Arvo to hear it for the first time, and all the pain of an Angel rips through his mind.

In the end people get what was coming to them and this mini-arc draws to a close. I really liked this story but wouldn’t have minded if it had dragged on for another issue or two. It just seemed anticlimactic in some ways. Despite that I’d be hard-pressed to say it wasn’t exciting and well executed. Jackie showed that his emotions aren’t always evil, but when necessary he will do WHATEVER it takes to escape danger. Onwards to the next adventure for Mr. Estacado.

Check out the interiors below and if you like The Darkness, pick this one up in stores.