is a comic book
by Top Cow Productions
, published through Image Comics
. The first issue was published in 1996. The comic is about the current bearer
of the Darkness power, Jackie Estacado
, a mafia hitman
The Darkness is an ancient power which allows the bearer to create anything he wants, as long as it doesn't get directly touched by natural light. The power is passed on from father to son at the moment of conception. However, the power doesn't manifest itself in the new bearer until he (or she) reaches the age of 21.
The Darkness has a few enemies. First, there is the Witchblade, which is exactly the opposite of the Darkness. There also is the Angelus, which is a fraction of the Darkness power, only altered in a way that it uses light instead of darkness. The Darkness also has a group of followers, who call themselves The Brotherhood Of Darkness, and are led by Sonatine. Although they appear to be his friends, their true motives are to take control over the bearer of the Darkness, and therefor control the Darkness itself.
The regular comic book tells the story of Jackie Estacado, a mafia hitman who works for Don Frankie Franchetti. In the first issue, he reaches the age of 21, and the Darkness manifests itself. After he's gotten used to it, he uses the power to kill his enemies, and since he's a mafia hitman, he has quite a few of them.
But there is one thing in his life that he has to give up: having sex. Since there are no contraceptives that are 100% safe, he cannot have sex, because if he does conceive a child, he will be killed instantly. The only way he can have sex is if he creates a girl with his powers, but that is not easy, as he discovers when he tries.
The first issue was published in 1996. It was written by Garth Ennis (of Preacher fame) and pencilled by Top Cow chief Marc Silvestri. By issue 10, both of them had left, but fortunately the book was left in capable hands. The artwork has always been quite good, although the stories were occasionally below average. Fortunately Scott Lobdell took over, and is heading in the right direction with the storytelling.
The book has spawned a few crossovers and spin-offs. There have been a few crossovers with the Witchblade, a few with Aliens and the Predator, one with Event Comics' Painkiller Jane, and one with DC Comics' Batman. The spin-off title Tales Of The Darkness tells the stories of other Darkness bearers.