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The Darkness/Superman #1

The Darkness/Superman #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 12, 2005

Cover date: March 2005

Writer: Ron Marz
Penciller: Tyler Kirkham
Inker: Matt Banning

"Part One"

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

A Daily Planet paper inside a vending maching reads "MOB WAR?" as its title.

A stranger rips the vending machine from the sidewalk and hurls it through the air. It crashes through a restaurant window interrupting a mob family meal.

The stranger warns the family they are trespassing on another 'families' turf and should get out of Metropolis - Now.

The mob draw weapons and open fire on the stranger... bulletproof.

Enter Jackie Estacado, head of the visiting mob. He explains that they aren't leaving and that the stranger's boss, Grasso, should accept his offer to work for his family. Jackie Estacado is the Darkness and he uses his demonic powers against Grasso's messenger.

The Darkness' evil gremlins shred the skin from the messengers' bones to reveal Metallo!

Metallo warns that Estacado had his chance and now a war between them will begin before disappearing into the night.

The next day the newsroom is buzzing with rumours of Grasso versus Estacado in Metropolis. Lois is given coverage of the story while Clark gets a mouthful from Perry over his lateness and is awarded a 'filler' story as punishment. Clark and Lois leave the meeting and head to a supply room for a tender moment. As usual Superman is needed and off he flies into the sky.

Estacado and his sidekick are sitting in a cafe watching as Superman arrives and stops two trains from colliding. Estacado explains that he made a mistake before trying to take over Gotham's crime network and had no plans to ever cross Gotham and Batman ever again - instead he wants to cement himself as the best by taking root in Superman's town.

Estacado had issued a deadline to Grasso on his offer of employment and at Metropolis pier later that night the deadline had arrived. Naturally Lois and Jimmy are watching gobsmacked from the shadows.

The discussion between the mobs turns nasty and hot lead is unleashed.

Enter Superman!

Superman reluctantly protects Grasso and then once gunfire has stopped tells Estacado to leave Metropolis. Estacado seems unperturbed asking why Superman would allow such villains like Grasso and his mob to take root in his city. He then offers Superman a deal - he'll offer a 'clean' self-contained mob where his deals would be contained to the criminal underworld and there would be no more gang wars and innocents harmed in the crossfire. All Superman would have to do is pretend the Estacado mob doesn't exist.

Meanwhile Lois and Jimmy are blindsided by a shadowy figure.

Estacado envelops himself in a demonic armor and his slimy gremlins becoming The Darkness. He begins attacking Superman when it becomes clear Superman wants him and his mob out.

Superman manages to fend off The Darkness but as he gains the upper hand a green energy fills the air and Superman realises another attacker is present and he is suddenly too week to fight.

Grasso's hired hand Metallo has arrived to turn the tide and he has Lois hostage!

To Be Continued...

4Story - 4: This is a Darkness story NOT a Superman one. That said Ron Marz has done a fantastic job depicting the DC family characters with more clarity than the mainstream titles. The DC characters are guest stars but the story is engaging, It is handled with skill and care with a knowledge of both characters (I am not a Darkness reader or fan - but found his characterization interesting enough to keep me emersed.) My only negative (though it can be viewed as a positive to many) is that aside from a few lines on the inside cover no effort is made to delve into the backstory - admittedly this fact did nothing to dampen the story.

[I will say that I wish the mainstream titles followed suit and wrote stuff like THIS more often - lets face it as of late Supes has needed better direction across his titles *ahem continuity anyone?* (IMO).]

4Art - 4: Nice sharp and entertaining. Page layouts could be better spaced as sometimes they appear 'busy' especially with the heavy inking. Thankfully this issue doesn't rely too heavily on CG effects so the issue is a nicely rounded one. I look forward to seeing the next instalment.

3Cover Art - 3: A stock shot of two heroes. Nicely illustrated but far too much of the Darkness character hogging centre stage. Supes seems to be a Photoshop layer! I like it but would have preferred a nice action pose/scene.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2005

February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005

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