Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Darkness #10-12

I don't read that many books in pamphlet form anymore. I just don't have a lot of free time for reading and when I do I'd rather read a complete volume, or at least a more substantial amount of material that GNs/trades provide.

Yet I received a number of them in the mail recently, and will be spending the next few days covering them. First up are three issues of Top Cow's The Darkness series.

I have never really followed Top Cow books, because for the most part they seem to only concentrate on the "boobs and blood" genre of comics. Which I'd always thought of as being fairly immature and uninteresting.

So imagine my surprise when I receive these 3 issues in the mail, and see they are written by Ron Marz, whose prior work I've liked a fair amount of.

Marz does a nice job of summarizing the basics of the series for readers like myself who don't know anything about it. It apparently follows the leader of a Mafia gang, who is able to tap into some alternate dimension filled with demons he can control. When attempts at peace with a rival gang falls through, he decides to kill every member of it.

This is a bit of a departure for Ron, known mainly for his work on Green Lantern and at CrossGen, where the definitions of hero and villains were clearly defined. Here things aren't black or white, just lesser shades of evil, as bad people do bad things to other bad people.

This little run could have really hooked me, given that the dialogue is crisp and it is quite different from what I usually read. Yet as with all TC books, it follows the "house style" that all of their series do, with big chests on women and just a slickness to the inks that looks messy.

It does TC no good to try to be diverse in terms of the writers it hires, if they don't also make some attempt to make the looks of their books different as well.


Mark Hale said...

Ah, I've tried reading The Darkness a few times, most recently when Paul Jenkins rook over, with occasional help from Rick Veitch, and it's still enver really caught me. Part of it was the reason you pointed out: No matter who's writing, it still all looks the same.

Last thing I really liked from Marz was Silver Surfer. Haven't tried rereading so I don't know if it's held up since I was a teenager, but there were a fair number of ambiguous characters in his run there, if I recall.

James Meeley said...

Hey James! Good to see you around. I saw your other post, about almost getting out of comics. Glad you decided to stay. Comics need more "good eggs" like you around.

I also want to thank you for getting my back somewhat over at "grotesque anatomy". Folk who never had themselves involed in the "great GL debate" really have little understanding in a lot of the things that have gone down.

Heidi says to say "hi", also. I'll definately be checking out your blog semi-regularly. Unlike some of the others, you see to be using your's as a "force for good". That's something I certainly think is deserving of more (and my own) support.


James (no, the OTHER one) Meeley :)

James Schee said...

Mark, I haven't tried Ron's Silver Surfer work might be something to look for I guess.

The weird thing about The Darkness is that I can see it having real potential. Look at things like The Sopranos, Godfather movies and the like which are so great in what they do. Yet here it just doesn't quite reach that level of depth.

James, glad to hear from you man! Yeah I think people just looking in on the GL debate for the first time can see it as weird.

I do try to be positive here for the most part,not to say I can't or won't be negative. It really depends on what strikes me as something I really need to talk about.

These days most of the things I read are the thing sI really like though, so it can be fairly easy. Give Heidi a hug and a hey from me. And tell her I do pop over and read her reviews every now and again. (she should start her own comic blog!;))