This comic is not for the weak stomached, that’s for sure. However, can a comic so brutal carry a message that can make it a piece of art? Let’s find out. But more importantly, we have to ask: is it good?
The Darkness: Close Your Eyes #1 (One-Shot) (Top Cow Productions)
Writer Ales Kot knows how to cut to the core of something. In three pages he’s introduced a character with a chilling backstory, a beautifully portrayed yet grimy landscape and a clear-cut antagonist. I truly feel like I know Adelmo Estacado just from these first three pages.
But it doesn’t stop there. Adelmo is subject of a blood curdling, terror-inducing revenge taking character study that paints a very unique and brutal psychological portrait of a pretty screwed up character. It’s easy to feel bad for this character, and I predict that most people will. He’s beaten by his father, tormented by his boss and kept from marrying the one thing he truly loves in the world, a girl named Emma. The harder task, however, is realizing that he should be pitied, but he is by no means a good or redeemable person. In just 32 pages he beats to death two different people; and however much these people deserved and or had this beating coming, no one deserves to get half of their face bitten off.
It sort of seems like Ales Kot doesn’t really want you to like or dislike Adelmo. This comic feels almost like an in-depth piece of reporting. There’s no bias, just the facts, and it’s up to the reader to decide how to use those facts to formulate an opinion on Adelmo’s morality.
Yo momma jokes sure were less creative back in the day.
This book is a total success story wise. It was gripping and accessible, making me anxious to see the fate of a character I had just been introduced to. This is a great tale of woe that ends pitch perfectly. All of the build-up and narration are beautifully crafted in a way that makes a conclusion such as this possible. There is no bang at the end, just some prose telling us the outcome of these characters in the most simple way. After so much action and drama, this ending proves to be the most powerful part of the comic book.
I don’t know how Ales Kot does it, but he manages to find the best artists in the industry and gets them to make comics with him issue after issue. Marek Oleksicki is on artistic duties this time around and he absolutely rocks it. He should be praised most for making the landscape of this comic dull and dusty with yellows and oranges so dry and dull, they almost make you want to take a shower after reading the comic. Another highlight of his artistry was the immense oil fire which he makes intense and real looking, making the comic all the more tragic and scary.
Is It Good?
Oh, it’s great. I highly recommend this comic and think it is a worthy addition to Kot’s shelf of masterpieces.