|Real World Information|
- "But greatest of all is the almighty Darkness, a glorious entity of chaos and wild abandon."
- – Sonatine [src]
The Darkness is an ancient entity which passes from one Human male host to another each generation. He is one of the two primal forces of The Universe as well as the original void before the coming of light and Angelus which resulted in the creation of the universe. He is the embodiment of chaos, evil, disorder and darkness.
The Darkness resented God, and became an enemy of Heaven itself and later The Vatican, who have plotted against and sent The Magdalena to assassinate the Darkness on many occasions since the death of Jesus Christ. Despite this, the Darkness is the one who gave Humans their souls. The Darkness has made his way through history well over the span of 10,000 years using largely Human males as hosts. It is passed on via sexual intercourse with Human women, leaving his old host to die as he takes his newly conceived vessel and remains dormant within the new living vessel until awakening on the eve of their 21st birthday.
Jackie Estacado is the current host of the Darkness, and has used his powers in ways that no other vessel ever has, making him the greatest and most powerful vessel of the Darkness to date.
- "The Earth was formless and void, and Darkness was over the surface of the deep. Then God said, "Let there be light." And there was light, and God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the Darkness. And the Darkness? The Darkness resented it, and so bitterness and spite were born before time itself."
- – A narration of the Darkness's beginning. [src]
Ten thousands years ago, after Ancient Ones were imprisoned in their own universe, a residue of their energy was left behind. Out of this energy, Darkness and its rival Angelus were born.
Since then, 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 known host in the Estacado bloodline. 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.
- "Have you seen Star Wars? (...) The Darkness is the Force on crack."
- – Sonatine describes the Darkness to Jenny. [src]
The Darkness is a formless force, described more as a power than a being. It is at best an unfocused mind in need of a host to shape its personality. The Heart of Darkness claimed that the entity sees itself as benign, as humans feed it with their evil and drive it to seek chaos.
From what has been described of the Darkness's background in the Bible, the entity grew bitter after God exiled it into the bowels of the cosmos, but also that it became perfected from its seething hatred - emerging with nearly limitless power and the singular desire to spread chaos on Earth.
Despite its great wrath, the Darkness had the foresight to put aside its spite for the light and embrace the Angelus's companionship for a time in the interests of mutual survival. From what has been depicted of their union, the Darkness was ironically a playful and gentle lover.
Hosts of The Darkness
The Darkness has used host as vessels well over the span of 10,000 years, passing from one vessel to another each generation. When host of The Darkness die, their souls enter The Realm of The Darkness where they remain forever.
- Heart of Darkness - 10,000 BC
- Aram - 8000 BC
- Naram-Sin - unknown
- Lulkam-Sin - unknown
- Bolo - 359 (England)
- Estacado - around 400
- Black Captain - around 9th Century
- Idris - 14th Century
- Christian Estacado - unknown
- True Evil - unknown
- Michaelangelo Estacado - Many years after 1478
- Antonio Estacado - ~1500
- Miguel Estacado - 1671
- Ramon Estacado - 1878
- Teo Estacado - 1897
- Belasco Estacado - 1908
- Adelmo Estacado - 1912
- Roberto Estacado - 1942
- Danny Estacado - late 20th century
- Jackie Estacado and Capris Castiglione - Current
- Hope - Possible near future wielder
- Bud Starling - Alternate future wielder
- The Dark Prince - Possible future wielder
- Ares IX - Possible future wielder
Powers & Abilities
The Darkness is an elemental force of Chaos and Creation that bestows his hosts with nearly limitless Demonic power as well as allows them access to an otherworldly dimension and control over the veritable legion of Darklings who dwell there.
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.
- Invulnerability: The Darkness armor is impervious to even the most destructive of conventional weapons. Although, some very high explosives, such as a "tank-cracker" have been able to temporarily incapacitate the host even they could not actually kill him.
- 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 the strongest of 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, uproot trees, restrain Eva, overpower Batman and Demons, slaughter Werewolves and Vampires, lift 4,000 pound cars, tear apart a US marine tank, destroy Apache helicopters, and make Superman's invulnerable lip bleed with one strike.
- 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 Darkness also increases his host's agility; allowing them to jump high over long distances, scale sheer surfaces, and to perform amazing acrobatic and parkour feats.
- Superhuman Senses: The Darkness sharpens his host's senses of sight and hearing. Jackie was able to hear The Alkonost's song and see in detail while in captivity.
- Healing Factor: The Darkness bestows his host with amazing powers of self-healing. His advanced self-healing abilities also make his hosts immune to most Earthly illnesses and all supernatural afllictions (Vampirism, Lycantrophy, ect). 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.
- Shadow Manipulation: The Darkness is shadow and can create and mold it to his will. The Darkness describes shadows as "merely the imprint our presence leaves on this plane".
- Reactive Adaption: When Jackie was infected by The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse, The Darkness acted like an immune system, creating antibodies to absorb and destroy the supernatural poison in Jackie's being. The Darklings began feeding on themselves to protect and relieve Jackie from the effects.
- Tendrils: The Darkness can form tendrils that can be used to tear enemies apart or destroy obstacles. The tendrils can extend to considerable length and are most likely as strong as the armored host.
- Demon Heads: The darkness manifests itself in the form of eel-like demon heads that can devour enemies or rip them apart.
- Darkness Constructs: The darkness can create various constructs out of the darkness and bend them to his will.
The Darkness allows the host other, more arcane abilities that defy the laws of physics.
- Teleportation: The host can travel anywhere in the shadows.
- Immortality: Hosts of the Darkness have the potential to live eternally as time and death have no full dominion over them.
- 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.
- 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 exspell 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 his 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.
- Omnipresence: As the Embodiment of Darkness, he is everywhere.
Weaknesses & Limitations
The Darkness is shown to have only a few Weaknesses & 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 (while wearing the Darkness armor). To combat this weakness, hosts can destroy the light source (turning off lights in a room, smoke grenades, etc.) or stick to the shadows.
- 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 at the moment of his birth.
- 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.
- The TV show Supernatural, features a major antagonist called The Darkness, that shares some similarities to the Darkness (both are primordial creatures predating the beginning of time, both can have hosts and their real appearance is a smoke-like form).