Writer Phil Hester has taken the Darkness bearer, Jackie Estacado, from the height of power and influence to the pits of despair and everywhere in between in his four year run on THE DARKNESS. This month with the release of THE DARKNESS #96, Hester begins his final arc, appropriately titled “Total Darkness,” leading up to the landmark 100th issue.
Jackie Estacado has been blessed and cursed with the ancient power of the primal force known only as the Darkness since his 21st birthday. Since then he has always tread his own path, never fully hero nor villain; choosing to live in a world of gray rather than light or dark. Now, the Darkness and its rebellious bearer are finally fully at odds and left with no other recourse, Estacado plunges himself into the Darkness’ home dimension to confront the very source of his power. Will Estacado be able to triumph over a being older than time itself in his greatest conflict? Or will the Darkness find a new, more malleable host?
“This is the story I’ve been building to since I started on the book,” explained Hester. “There’s a huge dissonance at the heart of Jackie Estacado’s existence: How can he wield unimaginable power, yet still be a slave to its source? How can he ever know if his character is genuine, or simply the affectations of The Darkness? That conflict is resolved in my final arc when Jackie confronts The Darkness for the final time, and on its own turf.”
The “Total Darkness” story arc will run from issue #96 to the over-sized issue #100 in February. Issue #100 will also serve as Phil Hester’s final issue on the series, concluding his 36 issue epic exploration of Jackie Estacado. Joining Hester for his final arc will be artists Romano Molenaar (THE DARKNESS II: CONFESSION) and Leandro Oliviera (Superman).
Phil Hester added, “The lords of comic book hype keep ringing that ‘things will never be the same’ bell, but at Top Cow real change is still possible. My last run on THE DARKNESS is proof.”
THE DARKNESS #96 (JAN120502), a 32-page full-color supernatural horror comic book for $2.99, will be on sale in stores and digital platforms on December 21 and will be available for order in the March issue of Previews. The issue will ship with two covers, one by regular cover artist Jeremy Haun (AUG110515) and one from Sheldon Mitchell (AUG110516). For more information, please visit www.topcow.com.
ABOUT TOP COW PRODUCTIONS INC.
Top Cow Productions, Inc. (www.topcow.com), a Los Angeles-based entertainment company, was founded in December of 1992 by artist Marc Silvestri, who also co-founded Image Comics earlier that same year. Top Cow currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and two licensed) in the industry’s Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise,WITCHBLADE, was TNT’s #1 original film of 2000 and the subsequent TV series was released on DVD on July 29, 2008.WITCHBLADE is also the first American property to be fully adapted in Japan as an original anime and manga by Studio GONZO in 2006. Top Cow’s other flagship property, THE DARKNESS, was developed into a major next-generation video game release by Starbreeze and 2K Games and achieved platinum sales status. A second game is slated for release from 2K Games in the Fall of 2011. WANTED, an Eisner-nominated miniseries published by Top Cow from 2003-2005, is now a major motion picture from Universal Pictures starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. Virtually all of Top Cow’s other properties are in development as feature films, live-action television, animation or video games. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die-cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and roleplaying games.
ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.