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The Darkness returns in comic book relaunch

The Darkness #1/2
(Image credit: Marc Silvestri (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions))

Comics' dark anti-hero the Darkness is returning with an all-new series next year as part of its 25th anniversary. Co-creator Marc Silvestri is teaming up with artist Christopher Mitten and color artist Bryan Valenza to relaunch the Jackie Estacado saga in January 2022 from Image Comics and Top Cow Productions.

"Jackie Estacado has always been one of my favorite characters. There is something immensely appealing about a hero that is not only very powerful but – certainly in Jackie’s case – very, very flawed," Silvestri tells Newsarama. "Characters that have to battle themselves just to do the right thing make for complex and compelling protagonists. I've been wanting to write about Jackie and the Darkness power he wields for a long time. That time is now and I couldn't be more thrilled."

(Image credit: Image Comics/Top Cow Productions)

This new era of the Darkness will kick off with a special teaser, The Darkness #½, that will debut as part of a Kickstarter taking pre-orders for a collection of its early stories, The Darkness Complete Collection Volume 2. The first volume raised over $140,000 on Kickstarter, with the finished book debuting earlier this year.

The Darkness #½ will be exclusive to Kickstarter, with a print run limited to backers that pledge for the issue specifically. Top Cow doesn't plan to offer the teaser issue digitally.

The Darkness Complete Collection Volume 2 hardcover includes The Darkness #19 - #40, Witchblade #336, Witchblade/The Darkness ½, Witchblade/The Darkness #1, The Darkness/Witchblade #1, and the new The Darkness ½. Every The Darkness Complete Collection hardcover ordered via Kickstarter will be signed by Silvestri, and include a special dust jacket exclusive to this crowdfunding campaign. In addition to The Darkness #½, other Kickstsarter rewards will include a vintage retro t-shirt, keychain, logo patch, stor-folio, and more.

The Darkness #1/2 unfinished cover (Image credit: Marc Silvestri (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions))

"I am excited to see what the Darkness creator Marc Silvestri is coming up with," says Top Cow's Matt Hawkins. "25 years is a milestone for comic book properties not achieved by many. It's gratifying to have been a part of Top Cow and Marc's evolution of this character. The best is yet to come!"

The Darkness follows a mafia crime lord named Jackie Estacado who gets pulled into even more dangerous territory when, at the age of 21, he inherits a biblical curse which connects him to a chaotic dark entity known as the Darkness. The comic book series proved popular enough to run for decades, and even spawn two video games.

The Darkness Complete Collection Volume 2, which will include The Darkness #½, is scheduled to launch this week at on Kickstarter with a campaign to run through August 13.

The Darkness' proverbial sister title, Witchblade, is scheduled to relaunch later this year. 

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.