Sunday, March 13, 2005

THE DARKNESS v2 #19

David Lapham's busy painting Gotham black over in Detective Comics and he's having some fun here, too.

Jackie Estacado has gone through life remarkably weak-willed considering who he is and what he does -- inheritor of the Darkness and a full-time mafia thug raised to mafia boss. His few moments of strength have come at perilous cost: betraying the Franchetti family by turning State's witness got his best friend (and true love) Jenny killed, his revenge for that murder was to trap Don Franchetti and his crew and kill himself along with them, and now Jackie's decided to finally stand up to the Darkness... it can't possibly end up well. And it doesn't.

The story itself is the strongest we've seen on this title in a while -- Jackie has had a very pedestrian set of obstacles -- but it's a little muddled and pat in places. The reach of the Darkness is properly grand and suffocating; it has every right to be annoyed with its avatar and there's no reason anyone with as little imagination as Jackie should be able to outrun it. On the other end, Lori the Hooker with a Heart of Gold (and a sob story to match) is rather annoying in her Woe Is Me mode, then gets all creepy with the fast rebound after her son's death and sounding for all the world like she's made of the Darkness, too. Which would be great for Jackie's aching libido, but with everyone turning into Darkness beings, it does start to feel like Invasion of the Body Snatchers after a while.

As is generally my beef with Top Cow books, the art is unappealing. For once, however, Marc Silvestri isn't to blame. Dale Keown's striking cover is not matched by Brain Denham's interior art, which is alternately over-lined, indistinct, and trying to be more in line with what Top Cow books usually look like.

2 Comments:

Blogger Brian Denham said...

I appreciate your review of this book. It was not my shining moment in comics. However, I was doing finishes over David lapham's layouts. I was trying to do my best "David Lapham" as I was hired to do the book exactly like him.

I went for more brush style effects as his his style. I was not trying to do a Silvestri as their styles are very different.

Good review though. Maybe you'll like my newer art which you can see at BrianDenham.blogspot.com

Thu May 19, 07:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Brian Denham said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thu May 19, 07:54:00 PM EDT  

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