“Outer Darkness pt 1”: Jackie Estacado is the current bearer of the Darkness, and though he’s been in possession of it for quite some time, there are still things he doesn’t know about the Artifact. There are those who know a bit more, and one of them in particular is a mysterious character only known as the Foreigner. He’s been trying to educate Jackie on the Darkness since he is the only man we know that has separated from it and lived. Well, that’s the story he’s selling so far, but a lot about the man is still a mystery. What we do know is that there is an extension of the Darkness walking around killing people that Jackie is unaware of, and he’s also being hunted by an unknown group. Though it seems as if someone or something is taking them out as well.
In this issue, Hester takes some time to close the door on the last arc, which was a nice touch as Jackie’s teammates went their separate ways. Though it would be nice if Hester were to bring these guys back later on in the series only because he made them work so well together since introducing them back in Darkness #79. For the start of this new arc Hester soaks it in drama and some great character moments take place throughout. The narration as the Darkness extension is taking shape is both ominous and creepy, and was a great explanation as to how it differs from Jackie Estacado emotionally. He also gives you a look at Jackie’s self destructive nature, which has basically kept him on the same path his entire life. I’m still not sure what to think of the Foreigner yet, even though Hester writes him interestingly enough. He seems more like an annoying pain in the butt than a help. Though maybe Hester understands that sometimes you need those types of interactions to spur a character to get his crap together. Other than that, it was also a nice touch seeing that Jackie is still a father who misses his daughter, and that sequence at the playground was just fantastic.
Sheldon Mitchell brings a good looking issue to Hester’s script, which is to be expected. The guy does great work and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the Darkness look scared and pathetic but still scary at the same time. The page where the sniper gets taken out is just a great sequence and made even better by the coloring. Another scene that stood out because of Felix Serrano’s coloring skills was during the chat between the Foreigner and Jackie. It was a page that could have looked pretty simple but was heightened by those little Darkness wisps and some sunlight.
After successfully taking out Sovereign during the last story arc, Phil Hester sets Jackie on a new path and it’s one that brings up quite a few questions. About Jackie, the Foreigner (Really? That’s his name?), and about what we know or THINK we know about the Darkness and its ties to the Estacado bloodline. If you haven’t been following the series, then I’d suggest starting here since there are hints of brand new revelations for Jackie and the reader. This arc is part one of six, so there’s definitely room for the story to dig a little deeper, and with Hester at the helm it’s sure to be one hell of a ride!
Till next time!
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