The two monster makers Jackie Estacado, bearer of The Darkness, and Ariel Chylde meet in this Top Cow one-shot from Randy Queen. It was originally scheduled to come out back in December of 2009, but the highly anticipated one-shot had been delayed until now. Question is: is it worth the wait?
The one-shot sees the return of Darkchylde after an eight year hiatus and the first artist, Queen, outside of Marc Silvestri drawing The Darkness since the character was first designed ten years ago. That alone will please fans of both characters, but some great dialogue and artwork really make this one-shot an enjoyable read.
Jackie Estacado, wielder of The Darkness, intercepts a psychic plea for help from Ariel. He uses his Darkness power to free Ariel from a self-imposed seven year exile. In doing so he agrees to help her in defeating a force potentially stronger and more dangerous than the two of them, as it can create anything it desires, unlike Ariel who can only create the monsters from her nightmares and Jackie who can create monsters out of Darkness. The battle takes place in the Kingdom of Pain where it rains blood.
It was certainly an interesting story, and I appreciate that they took some time, about half the issue, to develop it even though it's a one-shot. Fans of both characters will probably understand and appreciate the story more as certain characters and events are eluded to but not fully explained. Newbies may find themselves a little confused at times, like I was. I did appreciate the fact that the narration was split fairly evenly between the two main characters, although Ariel Chylde is the driving force of this comic. Also, the story seemed to end all of a sudden; you found yourself really getting into it, and then, BAM, it's all done. I know it's a one-shot, but it had me wanting more, especially with that thoughtful ending.