Review – The Darkness #85

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Darkness #85 Cover AThe one thing I can praise Top Cow for doing is creating comics that are pretty easy to jump into.  The Darkness #85 does the balancing game by tight roping it’s way of building on what’s come before and still be entertaining for those who’ve been around for a while.

When Jackie’s mission to destroy all of the Sovereign’s host bodies brings him into the collection of an eccentric Russian crime boss, he and his crew are confronted with an evil that is all too human.

The story is good enough with Estacado and his crew dealing with a Russian crime boss trying to buy a statue.  The interaction between everyone is really great with some good banter going all around.  Sheldon Mitchell’s art is fantastic with a nice amount of details and good framing of each panel.

The problem with the issue is that without knowing the history and background of the Darkness it’s hard to really be shocked by the ending and even though this is a two part story, it’s built upon a story that seems to be going on for a bit.  Even in the wrap up at the end it’s suggested you should go back to Darkness Origins Vol. 1 and the soon to be released volume 2 to catch up with everything that’s going on.

Even though this issue isn’t quite the right jump it was still a fun read.  I generally understood what was going on and came away entertained.  It was enough that I might just take their suggestion and check out volume 1 and 2.  Check out below for a more detailed review.

Plot: Phil Hester clearly has a good voice for his characters and it shows through their interaction.  The banter is great and pacing of the story is real good.  There’s a good build up throughout the issue with the reveal at the end.  I will say that if you know a bit about the Darkness you’d probably appreciate this reveal more.  Hester weaves a very entertaining story, enough so that I want to check out more.  Rating: 8

Art: We became fans of Mitchell with his work on Pilot Season: Stealth.  Seeing his work there, I though the Darkness was a perfect character for him to try out.  Well, I got my chance and the results are what I expect, pretty impressive.  Mitchell balances panels full of discussion along with the action and the overall feel is consistent with a good amount of detail.  He’s an artist to keep an eye on, expect impressive stuff from him in the future.  Rating: 8

Overall: Though this issue is a bit bogged down in continuity, the story is entertaining and you can hop in here if you’re a new reader.  From what I’ve read of some back issues, I’ve always been impressed and entertained.  The Darkness is a character that’s one of the centerpieces of the Top Cow universe and under Hester and Mitchell, one can understand way.  Overall rating: 8

Recommendation: Read

Page count: 32 pages    Price: $2.99     Release: 7/8/2010

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.