Note: This review covers an issue that has not yet been released, and as such may include minor spoilers. The Darkness #104 will hit shelves on June 20th.

The Darkness continues to be an impressive read and issue #104 is definitely no exception. I admit I was a bit skeptical when I found out that a new creative team was taking the helm of such an iconic character for Image Comics, but my mood quickly changed once I read through the first few pages of issue #100. So here we are now at Part four of The Crack in Everything and the situation for the Estacado household continues to deteriorate.

Make no mistake about it folks, issue #104 is dark. Yeah, I know, a comic that is appropriately titled The Darkness is going to have its fair share of dark occurrences, after 100 plus issues it’s what you should come to expect. But trust me, this issue will far exceed any of your expectations.

The issue opens with a little musing from the now former host of the Darkness, Jackie Estacado. After expelling the Darkness which subsequently found its new host in Jackie’s doppelganger, Jackie contemplates how different his life is after that one action. It is quiet moments like this that make me appreciate characters for who they are. This begs the question, if you strip away the one entity that has defined you for so many years then who do you become? Of course this has been explored before in Jackie’s history, but never like this. This time around Jackie has a family to think about, a family that he is not willing to lose again.

Things kind of devolve from that point. The focus shifts a bit from Jackie to his wife, Jenny. Although he is sidelined through much of the issue, it often times is beneficial for a story to explore different perspectives other than the main characters. And that is what’s done here. His wife and her struggle to hold on to her sanity remains the driving factor throughout the story.

the darknessWe’re only four issues into The Crack in Everything and Jackie’s world is unraveling at the seams. It’s rather surprising to see things fall apart so quickly. Writer David Hine does an excellent job at defining the personality of Jenny, how the distance between her and Jackie is growing and putting a damper on their marriage. One thing is for sure, this will continue to be an important issue for Jackie as the series continues in this new direction.

Moving on, the ending is a shocker, albeit one that many of us probably saw coming since the start of this new arc, but a shocker nonetheless. David Hine and Jeremy Haun deserve much of the credit for their smooth handling of every character, especially Jackie. Not to give anything away, but the collimation is definitely a game changer to say the least.

So all in all, The Darkness #104 is a pretty solid issue that pulls no punches in the “dark” department. If you’ve been following this series thus far then you’ll be pleased with the direction it has been going in, but if you’re a new reader, then I’d advise you to pick this issue and the previous issues starting from #100 up as the story will only get complicated from here on out.