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Okay, you know how this story starts?
In the beginning, there wasn't s--t, literally but void and darkness.
That's how The Darkness liked it.
It wasn't until God decreed "turn on the lights", that things got nasty.
Start up small, a planet here, a sun there.
You - you know? Next thing, you know? The humans and cows.
And then stuff running all over the place. It's to say,
The Darkness was pissed!
~ Johnny Powell explains The Darkness.

Known only as The Darkness, this shadowy and twisted preternatural beast serves as the eponymous force of Top Cow Production's The Darkness series and the namesake living symbol of darkness. He is an ancient demon spirit who bonded with the protagonist Jackie Estacado and operates as a driving force in his own personal war with all life and his light-based opponent and feminine counterpart, The Angelus. The Darkness is arguably the primary antagonist of The Darkness series, both in comic book series and videogame adaptation of the same name.

Background

Dark history

Darkness' history until bonded with Estacado family as described in comics.

According to the series' lore, The Darkness was part of the void that existed before God's light led to Creation. During that time, Earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of existence. Then God said, "Let there be light.". And there was light, and God saw that the light was good and so separated the light from the Darkness. The Darkness resented this and so bitterness and spite were born before time itself. Disgusted with the new lives that formed since then, he decided to infect various male human hosts throughout the ages. At the age of 21, The Darkness would take control of his host. He eventually comes across the Estacado line when it bonds with Anthony Estacado during World War I.

In comic books of the same name which is the game series based upon, aside with Heaven, The Darkness also had conflict with the Vatican, who have plotted against and sent the Magdalena to assassinate him on many occasions since the death of Jesus Christ. In spite of disgusted with the new life that created by God and Angelus, The Darkness and Angelus decided to made a truce to stop fighting as their constant battle have destroyed much landmarks of the world, including Krakatoa mountain. Both opposing entities then sealed the truce with The Darkness impregnated Angelus, leading to the birth of hybrid being called Witchblade.

Even with the truce already held to prevent further damages from their eternal conflict, hatred and spite within The Darkness still burns, and upon seeing mankind, God's favourite creation, as perfect vessel and conduit to cause another destruction and carnage. From there, The Darkness has made his way through history well over the span of 10,000 years using Human males as hosts and is passed on via sexual intercourse with Human women, leaving his old host as he takes his newly concieved vessel and remaining dormant within the new living vessel until awakening on the eve of his 21st birthday. Hosts that The Darkness prefer came from the worst and depraved men who led their lives as mafia, murderer, rapist, etc. and steer their lives into ruin. This tactic proved to be fighting fire with fire, as Angelus herself uses human females as her host of choice though she didn't pass her essence via sexual intercourse, but rather choose her host randomly.

It should be noted that in comic series, The Darkness would had his old hosts died (presumably once his host's wife has giving birth a son that would became a new vessel). However, in video game adaptation, the host of the Darkness remained alive when the demon left his body in favor of his son's without ill-effects.

Videogame History

The Darkness (2007)

The Darkness attaches himself to Jackie Estacado's body on his twenty-first birthday after Jackie escapes Paulie's betrayal and attempt on his life. Speaking to him through a dark voice, The Darkness manifests as twin shadowy serpents that also provide him with weaponry and offenses. True to his form, The Darkness is harmed by lights, which prompts Jackie to destroy virtually every light source they encounter in order to keep The Darkness strong. He feeds on the hearts of Jackie's slain enemies and can summon little beings called Darklings that serve as his minions.

Throughout the game, The Darkness drives Jackie to kill and taunts him with the knowledge that he is trying to make Jackie his puppet. This is particularly noted in his Moral Event Horizon-crossing action when he prevents Jackie from saving his girlfriend Jenny from being shot dead by Paulie in revenge. Following this, he periodically taunts Jackie about Jenny's death while further stating that Jackie is his slave.

In some portions of the game, Jackie is killed and sent through a hellish otherworld themed after World War I. There, he meets Anthony who provides information on the Dark Weapons that may be used to keep The Darkness in control. The Darkness threatens and pleads with Jackie to avoid these weapons, but Jackie finds them and activates them regardless. The Darkness splits into a form like Jackie and attacks him. Jackie however, defeats The Darkness and assumes control over him.

Towards the game's conclusion, The Darkness slowly manages to regain control over Jackie with each life he takes. Desiring to take revenge on Paulie for Jenny's murder, Jackie makes himself susceptible to the Darkness as he is overpowered by the shadow of a solar eclipse. When Jackie slays Paulie, the Darkness assumes total control of him.

The Darkness II

2 years following the first game's events, The Darkness is once again put under Jackie's control as he rules over the mafia in Paulie's place. However, he is forced out when Jackie is attacked, with The Darkness tempting Jackie to unleash his power once again. During a weakened state, The Darkness assumes total control of Jackie's body and slays the henchmen of a mysterious enemy that sent to kill him. He also entraps Jackie in an otherworld modeled after an asylum, so as to prevent him from ending his life so he may be reunited with Jenny.

Things are further complicated by The Brotherhood and its leader Victor Valente who knows of The Darkness. The organization desires to take the power of The Darkness for themselves. Eventually, Jackie finds that Valente is in possession of The Siphon of the Angelus, the weapon that will destroy The Darkness. Jackie kills Valente and uses the Siphon to commit suicide. The Darkness responds by entrapping Jackie in the asylum as he reconstructs Jackie's body.

In the game's conclusion, Jackie dives into Hell itself in order to save Jenny's soul held by The Darkness. However, Jenny has been taken as a host by The Angelus (something that turned out to be the a freudian excuse why it goes so far to had Jenny died in the first place), who states that Jackie will be imprisoned along with The Darkness for the suffering he has caused. Jackie and The Darkness then become sealed inside a hellish prison.

Characteristics

Personality

The Darkness is unquestionably malevolent force to be reckoned with. He shows a disdain of what he refers to as "common people". In the subway sections of the game, The Darkness constantly mentions his disgust with the good people. With Jenny in particular, he mentions she "reeks of innocence". Nevertheless, he takes delight in human suffering and sees them as only a means to cause or be forced into suffering, particularly since he was forced to bestowed first members of mankind their souls. He also only concerned with itself and merely sees his host as expendable conduit and puppet, and not hestitate to discard his old host to new one.

The malevolence that The Darkness had was as result of God's action in separating light and darkness in the world as well as having him bestowed first humans their souls. Embittered and consumed by wrath, The Darkness sought spill Chaos over the world of light. Even with the truce made with his light opposite and equal Angelus, his wrath and hatred only intensifies as time passed until he chooses God's most favored creation, mankind, as his host. Not surprisingly, humans whom he choose as conduit to spreading chaos usually sinful and depraved from the ranks of murderers, thieves, rapists and warlords, steering them to ruin in the process. His selfishness also what caused many of his host unable to gain full potential over his powers up until Jackie become his host.

Powers and Abilities

The Darkness

Jackie With The Darkness

As demonstrated in both comic books and its videogame adaptations, The Darkness demonstrates an array of powers and abilities in his disposal for his host, limited only by strong light and their imagination. Hosts of The Darkness can also gain access to an otherworldly dimension and control over the countless legions of Darklings and other otherworldly beings who dwell there.
  • Darklings Conjuration: A host of the Darkness can conjure Darklings to their side. Darklings are impish, deviant, base and foul-mouthed servants of the Darkness and his host. Created from necroplasmic materials and animated by the spirit of the Darkness, the Darklings are the foot-soldiers of the Darkness host; serving and obeying his every whim, protecting him from harm, and tending to his needs. The hosts communicate with the Darklings through telepathy, able to give them commands and receive messages from across long distances as well as see and hear through their eyes. Darklings are more powerful and effective in many ways than men, as they superhumanly strong, agile, resilient and fast, regardless of size. They are able to evolve to become stronger, bigger and more viscous. They can scale sheer surfaces and jump several feet into the air. Their teeth and claws can rend steel and many possess prehensile tails and large bat-like wings for flight. Many also have corrosive saliva or fiery breath as well as other powers, depending on the will of the wielder.
  • Dark Swarm: Aside Darklings, hosts of The Darkness can conjure a swarm of green bloodthirsty flies made of pure darkness that will swarm and attack his foes, for simply distract them to slowly and painfully killing them.
  • Darkness Armor: The signature ability of the Darkness is the creation of an invulnerable mystical armor about the host. This armor significantly augments the host's strength, speed and endurance, making him a powerhouse and a challenge to even the most physically powerful of super-humans. The appearance and design of the armor is a reflection of the host's character. Following abilities that bestowed by Darkness Armor are:
    • Invulnerability: The Darkness armor is impervious to even the most destructive of conventional weapons. Even if the armor can be damaged, the armor can regenerate itself.
    • Superhuman Strength: The armor dramatically increases the host's strength to the point of reaching levels on par with the most physically potent of superpowered beings. Batman, a man in peak physical condition with a bench-press capacity of 1,000 lbs, described the strength of the Darkness armor as "infinitely stronger" than himself. While wearing the armor, Darkness hosts become almost unstoppable; no man can stand against them and even most superpowered beings must consider their strength when facing an armored Darkness host. Even Superman himself whom invulnerable with most conventional weapons and anything that can kill humans can be harmed with powers bestowed by The Darkness himself. The armored host can lift cars with ease, bend steel, break chains, crush stone, send grown men flying across a room or through a wall with the slightest touch, and uproot trees.
    • Superhuman Speed: The host can run in excess of a hundred miles per hour while in the armor. Their reflexes are similarly accelerated, allowing them to deflect bullets with their wrists. In close distances, hosts can seem to appear and disappear from sight.  
    • Shape-shifting: The host can alter the appearance of the armor to perfectly mimic the appearance and voice of another. On an advanced level, they can take on the forms of dragon-like creatures.
      • Wings: The host can manifest either bat-like or feathered wings to allow high speed flight. 
      • Claws: Can grow razor-sharp talons at the ends of their fingernails sufficient to pierce human skulls easily. These claws also aid in adhering sheer surfaces.
      • Blades: The armor can form blades and spikes to slay opponents.
    • Superhuman Stamina: The armor energizes the host and allows him to remain active indefinitely without tire.
    • Respiration Protection: The armor supplies oxygen and protects the host from low-oxygen environment such as outer space, underwater, or in a gas-filled room.
    • Superhuman Agility: The hosts possess unnatural agility and coordination; able to perform parkour feats effortlessly and jump several yards in a single bound.
  • Healing Factor/Rapid Cellular Regeneration: The Darkness endows his hosts with versatile regenerative abilities; able to heal grievous wounds and massive loss of tissue in mere seconds. These healing abilities are advanced enough to regrow damaged or lost internal organs. When Jackie Estacado was raised from Hell by Tom Judge, the Darkness re-assembled a new body for Jackie using only raw material from his jawbone and the burnt corpses scattered around the scene.
    • Healing: These healing powers work both ways; both on the host and - if the host chooses - others.
    • Immunity: These restorative abilities also render the host immune to diseases and other forms of biological affliction, including those of a supernatural nature. The host's immunity also extends into resistance to magical attacks to the body or mind.
  • Construct Creation: The Darkness is, by definition, the literal chaos that brings about creation. This primordial and chaotic power is held by each host, allowing him to create solid constructs from pure darkness-born materials. The Darkness is able to create anything he desires, ranging from physical constructs to sentient beings.
    • Tentacles: Hosts can summon tentacles of various shapes and sizes to do their will. These can range from piercing spears to clawed talons to fanged mouths. These tentacles are strong enough to lift cars and dismantle buildings, as well as eviscerate other creatures at the host's command. Like the Darklings, the hosts controls them telepathically.
      • Serpent Heads: Depend on the host's will, the summoned tentacles can transformed into more chaotic and sentient Serpent Heads that can brutalize foes and victims in more violent and effective manner. One serpent head can also be sent to creeping about for opening locked doors, ambush foes, and vandalizing light sources. In video game, The Darkness' Dark Essence can be powered by having the serpent heads consuming of human hearts.
    • Chemical Engineering: With the right understanding of physics and biochemistry, hosts can create such base chemicals as water, organic materials, fire, bodily fluids, drugs, or potent corrosives from the Darkness by changing the molecular structure of raw Darkness-born material to the appropriate sequence.
    • Weapon Constructs: With the right knowledge and mechanical engineering, the host can fashion weapons such as swords and guns from the Darkness.
  • Extrasensory Perception :The hosts can occasionally perceive a person as they really are, beyond the glamour of humanity.
  • Dark Magic: The Darkness allows the host other, more arcane abilities that defy the laws of physics.
    • Empathy: The host can interpret a person's emotions and thoughts.
    • Precognition: The host can see a person as they will be when they die and can instinctively know when, where and how that person will die.
    • Reanimation: The Darkness can reanimate the dead as zombies.
    • Soul Absorption: The Darkness can hold vast quantities of souls within his body as well as expell them at will.
    • Witchcraft Negation: In certain instances, the Darkness has shown strong enough to overpower a witch's immortality by flooding her mind with his memories and emotions. The experience is so overwhelming to the witch that it depletes her life force completely. The host does not seem to be in full control of this power and only works if a witch casts a memory-drain spell on him.
    • Black Hole Conjuration: In video game series, host of The Darkness can conjure black holes that brutalize anyone within their vicinity.
    • Teleportation: The host can travel anywhere in the shadows.
  • Immortality: Hosts of the Darkness have the potential to live eternally as time and death have no full dominion over them.
  • Heightened Senses: Certain senses are heightened; such as the ability to literally feel a person's footsteps from several yards away, even while underground.

Notable Host(s)

Aram

Aram, also known as the Foreigner, was a Witch-King who lived in ancient Africa. He was a wielder of the Darkness who used his powers to slay entire armies of his opponents and to conquer nations. At some point, he used his natural magic to drive the Darkness out of his body without killing himself in the process. In retaliation, the Darkness cursed Aram with eternal life and condemned him to wander the Earth for all time. Aram spent the next 10,000 years as a simple witch. At some point he met the Sovereign and defeated him and also slew the Djinn that was created to kill wielders of the Darkness.

Jackie Estacado

Jackie Estacado Top Cow Darkness

Jackie Estacado

Jackie is the current host of The Darkness present on Earth and is among the greatest and most powerful hosts ever known. He is a former hitman for The Franchetti Mafia after he was adopted and recruited by Frankie Franchetti under Sonatine's instructions at age 6. He is the twin brother of Capris Castiglione and the son of Danny Estacado and an unknown prostitute and was born somewhere in New York City, New York.

Capris Castiglione

Capris is only known female host of The Darkness and Jackie's twin sister whom separated when they were babies. She was raised in an orphanage by Father Brendan, who treated her as if she was his own daughter. When Father Brendan was dying, he revealed Capris's past and her twin brother to her. She met a Native American by the name of Robert Bearclaw who taught her how to use the limited Darkness powers that she inherited from her father. Five years later, Capris sought out and killed the men responsible for a friend's death. When she met her brother, Jackie, for the first time, she told him where the Angelus was holding Frankie, and then disappeared.

Capris ultimately become fully seduced by the euphoric power of the Darkness and had been training and perfecting her powers. The Darkness chose her to be his new host and used her to try to kill Jackie. She attacked and overpowered him with her superior powers and would have killed him if not for Aram using his last bit of magic to shut down the Darkness. Jackie killed Capris using a magical crystal glove given to him by Aram. She is last seen as a damned soul in a strange afterlife for Darkness-wielders.

Danny Estacado

Danny Estacado (named Carlo Estacado in game series) is the son of Adrienne Estacado and Roberto Estacado and the father of Jackie Estacado and Capris Castiglione. He was a sadistic criminal hitman who worked for various mafias. He impregnated an unknown prostitute with Jackie and Capris and died at the moment of their births.

Strangely, his game counterpart Carlo still alive after The Darkness left his body in favor of his son's. It was because in the game series, when the host of The Darkness conceived a child, he won't die once when The Darkness exits from their body in favor of their child's. But due to it, Carlo had the chance to tell his son Jackie about his destiny to bear The Darkness within him.

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