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Review – The Darkness #89

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The Darkness #89Wow, can Joshua Hale Fialkov write.  The man behind Echoes dips his toes into The Darkness universe with this issue focused on the bearer of the Darkness during the Wild West.  It’s a great story hitting all the notes you’d want and making you want to come back for more.

Ramon Estacado is the worst kinda outlaw. He can’t be killed, his gang is a buncha Darklings and he has his sights set on a train fulla federal gold. When his old gang shows up with new demonic powers and an even more powerful grudge, will Ramon embrace the light and change his ways? Ain’t likely. Joshua HaleFialkov (ECHOES, Tumor) and Matt Timson (IMPALER, POPGUN) ride together to bring you a tale of outlaws, double cross and great big exploding trains.

Fialkov’s solid writing is backed up by Matt Timson’s art.  The entire issue is dark drawing from a color palette that could have easily drown out Timson’s pencils.  Instead it all works together to create a mood that fits the story Fialkov has put together.

The story is a weird west tale which can so easily become campy and silly as much as the other way which is a moody bad-ass tale.  Luckily Fialkov is a masterful writer and takes us the latter way with double crosses, a tough gun slinger, and everything that makes a western work.

If Top Cow was ever looking for a replacement for regular Phil Hester, I think they’ve got a talent in the waiting.

Plot: Fialkov can write, he’s proven that, and he can write other’s peoples creations.  He’s taken the elements that we like about the Darkness, a person that lies somewhere between good and bad, thrown him into the wild west and then twisted it all a bit.  It could have been a disaster, but it wasn’t, it was pulled off masterfully. Rating: 8

Art: Timson’s art is moody, dark and perfect for this comic.  It enhances Fialkov’s story adding some darkness to it (no pun intended).  It’s a great pairing.  Rating: 8

Overall: I’m a fan of standalone issues, especially for characters I normally enjoy to read.  In this case it allowed someone else to step in and crank out his take on the character.  It was original, entertaining and made me want more.  What can we do to get Top Cow to give us more Fialkov!?  Overall rating: 8

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 32 pages    Price: $2.99     Release: 1/26/11

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