|Relatives|| The Witchblade (Son)|
Hope Pezzini (Daughter)
|First Appearance||Witchblade #10|
The Darkness is one of the two primal forces of the universe and is part of the trinity around which the Thirteen Artifacts revolve. He is the equal and opposite of the Angelus, whom he has waged an eternal war with since the creation of the universe. At some point he and the Angelus agreed to a truce, and in so doing so conceived the Witchblade.
The Darkness has always taken a male human vessel every generation, usually passing from father to son, killing his previous vessel as his new one is conceived. His current and most powerful host to date is Jackie Estacado.
At the beginning of the universe, there was ageless chaos. The 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.
Since the creation of the universe, the Darkness and the Angelus waged an eternal war as stars and planets took form around them. These two primordial beings, being equal in power and status, were unable to destroy each other without causing significant change to the universe or even destroying it altogether. To avert mutual destruction, a truce was struck. The Angelus and the Darkness consummated and in so doing conceived the Witchblade, creating peace and balance between them.
Despite the birth of the Witchblade, the gnawing anger of the Darkness found no expression for age upon age, festering, putrefying, distilling to seething perfection, until a vessel for his boundless hate was found: mankind, God's most favored creation. The Darkness seeped into the genes of a particularly fertile bloodline and used them as his medium to manifest his fury on Earth. Each generation was set loose with nearly limitless powers and only one calling: to spill Chaos over the world of light. The Darkness chose hosts from the ranks of murderers, thieves, rapists and warlords, steering them to ruin in the process.
Christian Estacado was the earliest named host of the Darkness. He was a dark prince of the House of Estacado who reigned cruelly over a darkened world. He was tricked into mating with an an Angelus host and his child inherited the Darkness power.
Centuries later in 15th century Spain, Michelangelo Estacado was raised by gypsies after his mother was burned as a witch by the Inquisition. On his 21st birthday, while witnessing the execution of innocents by Inquisitors, his powers manifested and he slaughtered the Inquisitors.
The Darkness manifested in Jackie as his apartment was rampaged by Brotherhood soldiers, who were subsequently slain by Angelus Warriors sent to kill Estacado as he manifested the Darkness. Jackie manifested his armor and slew the warriors before slaying the head of the Marchianni family. He subsequently used the power to destroy the Angelus host and free himself from the Brotherhood.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
The power of the Darkness is an immense elemental force that allows those who wield it access to an otherworldly dimension and control over the countless legions of Darklings who dwell there. They are given the power to create constructs and summon otherworldly beings to serve them, limited only by strong light and their imagination.
Darklings are the impish, deviant, base and foul-mouthed servants of the Darkness. 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
- Superhuman Physicality - Darklings are 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, depending on the will of the wielder.
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.
Armor Abilities Edit
- Invulnerability - The Darkness armor is impervious to almost all conventional weapons. Only the most potent and destructive, (such as an advanced tank-cracker round) would be able to harm the host, and even then he would not be killed.
- 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. 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 - 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.
The Darkness is, by definition, the literal chaos that brings about creation. This primordial power is held by each host, allowing him to create solid constructs from pure darkness-borne 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, fanged mouths, and serpentine heads. 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.
- 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-borne material to the appropriate sequence.
- Weaponry - With the right knowledge and mechanical engineering, the host can fashion weapons such as swords and guns from the Darkness.
The Darkness allows the host other, more arcane abilities that defy the laws of physics.
- Teleportation - The host can travel anywhere in the shadows almost instantaneously.
- Immortality - Hosts of the Darkness have the potential to live eternally. In an alternate future, a centuries-old Jackie was seen in a mummified state with his bodily integrity fully preserved but with his skin and hair visibly aged and graying.
- Heightened Senses - Certain senses are heightened; such as the ability to literally feel a person's footsteps from several yards away, even while underground.
- Extrasensory Perception - The hosts can occasionally perceive a person as they really are, beyond the glamour of humanity.
- 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.
- Soul Reading - In a crossover storyline, Jackie was able to see the presence of the Hulk inside of Bruce Banner's soul.
- 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 its host's 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.
Despite his vast power, the host of The Darkness does possess weaknesses and limitations.
- Strong Light - This is a purely Earthly weakness. The powers of the Darkness depend on Darkness, as they are banished away by strong light. The host is rendered mortal in the light of day. Anything created by The Darkness is burned away by strong light. The Darkness host can become more tolerant of light with time, experience, and training. Weapons of light are harmful to wielders of the Darkness. Some enemies carry light cannons or flash bangs, and certain areas have lighting that severely limits the wielder's mobility and distorts their senses of sights and hearing. To combat this weakness, hosts can destroy the light source (turning off lights in a room, smoke grenades, etc.) and sticking to the shadows.
- The Sun Dagger - The Sun Dagger can kill the host of the Darkness.
- Copulation - If a host impregnates a woman, the spirit of the Darkness is passed to the newly conceived child and the host dies.
Other Wielders of the DarknessEdit
The Darkness has existed since the Creation, and thus has been used by many great men. The Darkness has been at some points siphoned from Jackie by Ian Nottingham, Orlok, and Eva. The other known wielders other than Jackie are Aram, the pirate Captain Miguel Estacado, the western outlaw Ramon Estacado, the New England hermit Teo, Jackie's grandfather Roberto Estacado, and Jackie's father Danny Estacado. Capris Castiglione, twin sister to Jackie, is the first woman to ever wield even a fraction of the Darkness power.
List of WieldersEdit
- Aram - 8000 BC
- Heart of Darkness
- Green Pennant
- Unnamed Past Wielder
- Roman Time Darkness - ~200
- Bolo - 359 (England)
- Black Captain - 9th century
- Cardinale - 1175
- Idris - 14th Century
- Christian Estacado - ?
- Michaelangelo Estacado - Many years after 1478
- Antonio Estacado - ~1500
- Miguel Estacado - 1671
- Ramon Estacado - 1878
- Teo Estacado - 1897
- Belasco Estacado - 1908
- Adelmo Estacado - 1912
- Anthony Estacado - 1918 Alternate Universe
- Roberto Estacado - 1942
- Danny Estacado - late 20th century
- Jackie and Capris - Current
- Bud Starling - Possible near future wielder.
- Unnamed Future Wielder
- There are loose references to the Darkness in the 2006 action supernatural-thriller film The Covenant. Among them is a creature in the film called a "Darkling".
- In the 2006 horror film, Silent Hill as well as its sequal and many of the games the Otherworld is referred to as "the Darkness" and has some literal similarities with its comic book namesake. In addition, the hellish world of the Darkness in the video game is referred to as "the Otherworld."
- In the third-person shooter psychological thriller action game, Alan Wake, the Dark Presence that stalks Alan is often referred to as "the Darkness" and is vulnerable to light.