The first arc of Phil Hester and Michael Broussard’s run on the Darkness comes to a close this week. Hit the jump to find out if you should be disappointed for missing it.
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Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: Michael Broussard
Cover Artist: Dale Keown, Stjepan Sejic
As with many new series, or relaunches in this case, I generally give the creative team one arc to get me hooked into staying with the title. When Phil Hester and Michael Broussard were announced as the creative team behind Top Cow’s Darkness restart, I had a feeling I might be staying for more than six issues. After reading through this final chapter of “Empire,” that feeling was more than confirmed.
For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with Jackie Estacado, you’ve truly been missing out. The creative teams on Top Cow’s two more popular titles, Darkness and Witchblade, have turned both books into great reads every month. Hester’s writing on the book is sharp, and brings some much needed depth to the title. I’m not saying previous incarnations of this book were awful, but they lacked a certain panache that Hester is able to deliver each month. The world he’s shaped is dark, violent, and the character’s inhabiting it actually feel real for the first time in a long time.
While Hester’s plotting is certainly a highlight of the book, Broussard’s artwork is what really has me turning pages. Broussard has certainly managed to make himself a standout among other Top Cow artists. There’s detail in his pages, but nothing is over-rendered. It’s nice to see a guy let loose on a panel, but also to have that same artist not fall into the trap of constantly adding more lines just for the sake of style. While the layouts are good, they aren’t mindblowing. That’s okay when such a strong story is there to carry the moment, and the artist isn’t trying to make up for weak story with crazy panels. I’m interested to see what Broussard can do on this book now that he’s six issues in, and has settled into a groove with the look of the book.
With all the strides Top Cow has made in trying to make Darkness and Witchblade the strongest titles they can be, I think they’ve managed to grab at least one more monthly reader. If Hester and Broussard are able to keep this type of storytelling up, it won’t be long until this team will be considered the Darkness creative team everyone remembers. I look forward to future issues from these guys, and you should too.