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Review: The Darkness #5

Posted by Sarah LeBoeuf On September - 10 - 2008

Yesterday, we brought you a preview of The Darkness #5, which continues Jackie Estacado’s struggle to survive after losing control of his powers and being held hostage in the previous issue. Man, and I thought Darkness #4 was a shocker! Hit the jump to find out more.

The Darkness #5
Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: Michael Broussard
Cover Artist: Dale Keown, Stjepan Sejic

Previously in The Darkness, Jackie was being held by a small resistance group in Sierra Muñoz who are very unhappy with the drug cartel he has created, since it has left many a junkie in its wake. While being forced to help them with a bomb strapped to his chest, Jackie comes across former lover Elle, who is quite pregnant. “What can I say? Hasn’t been the best year for me and family planning issues.”

While a lot of the last issue had Jackie in one place, trying to fight the Darkness that he used to control, this one is a fast-paced, constantly-moving issue. As if Jackie wasn’t in enough trouble already, it becomes clear when Elle confronts him that she is mildly insane, possibly because of the Darkness baby she’s carrying in her womb. After Jackie and the rebel group make a narrow escape, the story diverges into two directions: Jackie and Marisol, who obviously are developing feelings for each other, trying to figure out what to do next, while Elle goes into a troubled labor and is assisted by a creepy man who doesn’t have anyone’s best interests in mind while playing doctor.

We’ve seen a lot of Jackie’s vulnerable side lately, both in The Darkness and Broken Trinity, but this issue really takes it to the next level. Phil Hester handles these emotional changes in Jackie beautifully, and every panel of this issue is completely genuine–never cheesy or awkward. In the hands of a less skilled writer, watching Jackie’s heartfelt moments might be cringe-worthy, but Hester delivers a very powerful story within these pages without going over the top.

Let’s not forget about Michael Broussard, whose artwork is jaw-dropping in this issue for several reasons. Once you see the detail that goes into each panel, it’s easy to see why it took almost three months for this issue to come out, but as always, it was worth the wait. The final pages especially will stick with you long after you finish reading. Broussard and Hester work so well together, and I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

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