Earlier this week, we brought you the new trailer for 2K Games’ sequel to The Darkness titled appropriately enough The Darkness II. The game won’t be out until October, but you can get a little taste of what’s in store for lead character Jackie Estacado in Top Cow’s Free Comic Book Day entry, The Darkness II: Confession. The issue was written by Filip Sablik and Matt Hawkins, with art by Michael Broussard and Romano Molenaar, and is being used by Top Cow and 2K to provide a bridge between the first and second games given the two year gap between the stories.
Sablik, a writer and artist who has worked on Top Cow’s Pilot Season: Asset and Last Mortal was happy to provide MTV Geek with a little insight into the issue—which, if you haven’t heard by now, is free—while trying to avoid any sort of spoilers for the upcoming game.
MTV Geek: Could you tell us a little about the story you’ve chosen to tell for The Darkness II: Confession? What does “the confession” refer to?
Filip Sablik: We wanted this comic to act as both a prologue to The Darkness II, but also act as a bridge from the first game to the second. If you are a fan of the comic, but haven’t played the game, the comic is intended to be an entry point. If you’re a gamer, but not familiar with The Darkness, this comic is meant to serve as an introduction to Jackie and his world. So that was the challenge we gave ourselves, but we also wanted to make the story interesting as a stand-alone comic. Otherwise you end up with something that’s just purely expositional and we’ve got Wikipedia for that!
The story opens with Jackie Estacado, bearer of the Darkness, visiting the grave of his one true love, Jenny Romano and basically pouring his heart out to her. Jackie and Jenny were raised in a Catholic orphanage, and while Jackie has grown up to be a hitman working for the mob, like many people brought up in that tradition he has the idea of confession and penance engrained in him on a deeper level. He’s been struggling lately with his conscience and since Jenny was the one pure soul in his life, he goes to give a confession of sorts to her in hopes of finding some absolution and peace.
Geek: It’s been two years between the first and second game. How has that interval—and becoming a Don—affected Jackie?
FS: Jackie has been through a number of changes, many of which will be revealed in the game, but the two biggest changes, which I can talk about, are that he’s become the Don of the Estacado family and that he’s kept the Darkness chained within himself for two years. In the first game, Jackie took out his Uncle Paulie, the head of the Franchetti crime family, who was responsible for Jenny’s death. Changing the name of the family to the Estacado family is kind of Jackie’s final middle finger to Paulie. And since the Darkness held Jackie back and prevented him from saving Jenny from Paulie, Jackie sees keeping it locked in himself as the only way he can punish the Darkness. As you can imagine, after two years, the Darkness is NOT happy about this.
Geek: Are there any characters from Confession who might make their way into the game?
FS: Not that I can comment on.
Geek: Why is this book a good introduction to The Darkness game and comic?
FS: It’s a great introduction for the game. Most importantly, it really gives you a sense of Jackie as a character and what his mindset is before the beginning of The Darkness II. It also gives you a sense of what came before in the first game – how Jackie inherited the power of the Darkness, his relationship with Jenny and Paulie, and how he came to control the Darkness. The developers at Digital Extremes and producers at 2K Games did a phenomenal job of making The Darkness II very accessible for new players, but any time you do a sequel there are some folks who want to know what came before. The comic provides a great way to jump in without necessarily having to replay the hours it would take to get through the first game.
For us, it also gives a great opportunity for Top Cow to spotlight what makes the Darkness and Jackie Estacado such a compelling comic franchise. One of the goals of Free Comic Book Day is to bring in NEW comic customers and we think that by partnering with 2K we have the opportunity to do just that with the gaming community. Read More...