The Darkness: Four Horsemen Issue 1 is the first issue of four part story about the Four Horsemen.
The Darkest Tale of The Darkness Yet! Jackie Estacado has known little fear since he inherited the power of The Darkness on his 21st birthday. But when an old mafia boss blackmails him to hunt down four fiendish bikers in the California desert, he will find that even The Darkness can know fear.
- Jackie Estacado
- Lucio Franchetti
- Michael Wells
- Artie Fawcett
- Billy Sherman
- Tad Quentin
- Magus of Light
Plot Summary Edit
Lucio Franchetti, the oldest surviving member of the family, invites Jackie to meet him at his mansion. Expecting that Lucio might want a payback for the deaths of Frankie and Paulie Franchetti's, Jackie decides to arrive at his house after sundown. Before reaching Lucio's mansion, Jackie passes a couple of road workers. At Lucio's house, the man himself is already waiting for Jackie and points out that he's late. Jackie questions him as to why he invited him for a meeting, having heard that Lucio has retired. Lucio answers that you don't retire from family, especially where there's a question of honor. He reveals having heard about Jackie cheating death and surviving more hits than Castro.
Lucio then asks why did Jackie came alone. Jackie answers, that maybe he trusts him. Lucio isn't pleased with this answer, deciding that he's not worth his time and orders his henchmen to shoot him. At that point, Jackie tells Tony, one of the road workers, to shutdown the power in the mansion. With lights gone, Jackie unleashes his Darkness powers onto horrified Lucio and his men. After dispatching his guards, Jackie tells Lucio to say a prayer before he sends him to Frankie and Paulie.
Instead of praying like Jackie told him to do so, Lucio explains that this isn't about Frankie and Paulie as he could care less about those two. In reality this was test to see what kind of abilities Jackie has and if he will be useful to him. He also adds, that if Jackie wants to kill him, he can't do that as Lucio got tired of living a long time ago. Jackie refuses to do so, but asks Lucio to tell the truth behind all of this. Lucio explains, that back back when he was running the West Coast, he had a deal with the biker gang, known as the Demon Riders. They were bringing a shipment of narcotics up from Mexico, when they decided to keep both the money and drugs for themselves. Before disappearing into the desert, they left half-dozen of their men dead, two of which were Lucio's brothers. Lucio wants to put this right now as the bikers have returned.
A county sheriff who once was a simple cop and worked for Lucio back in the day, saw these bikers drive by him. Remembering that Lucio had a contract on these guys, sheriff Griffin stopped the bikers and took a picture of them. Curiously, the bikers don't know what a phone is. Sheriff's deputy points out to bikers that a state law says that they have to wear helmets as he puts his hands on one of the bikers ride. The biker immediately grabs deputy's hand and tells him to not touch his ride. Sheriff then tells deputy to let it go and return to the car. In the car, deputy notes how the bikers were staring at them and sheriff Griffin tells him to not worry about them as they 'll get what's coming to them.
Then as the deputy looks at his rear mirror for a brief moment, he sees himself with half of his face missing and his left eye hanging out of his eye hole. Horrified deputy lets out a scream and the sheriff asks him what happened. Believing to be just an hallucination caused by the heat, the deputy says it was nothing. Sheriff then sent Lucio the picture he took of those bikers along with a message questioning his own sanity. Lucio understood why he might feel this way as the bikers, besides losing some weight, they haven't changed much. Jackie then asks why is this important and Lucio reveals that the showdown where the bikers killed his brothers was thirty-five years ago. Jackie asks where the bikers are now and Lucio answers that when the sheriff pulled them over, they were heading to a town called Ginsberg and that's all he knows. Confused, Jackie asks why didn't the sheriff followed them. Lucio explains, that five minutes after Griffin sent the message, he drove in front of an eighteen-wheeler truck, killing both him and his deputy.
Lucio points that some weird things are happening, but having seen Jackie's powers, he believes he's more than capable to deal with them. He tells Jackie that if he kills the bikers for him, Lucio will forget what he done to both Frankie, Paulie and what happened tonight, including the loyalty of his people. Twenty-four hours later, Jackie reaches a roadblock on the road leading to Ginsberg. He also notices the towns residents quickly leaving the area in droves. The officer explains, that there's some kind of problem in the town and all access to it is strictly forbidden. A former preacher then approaches Jackie and offers him to show a back road leading to town. Jackie questions the man if he really wants to go back to the town as everyone else is leaving. The preacher answers that besides Ginsberg, he has no where to go.
As they drive through the back road, Jackie asks the preacher what got everyone so spooked. The preacher points to the smoke coming out of Ginsberg, saying that the town became hell on earth once four mysterious bikers arrived to it. It all started when the bikers entered into Artie Fawcett's gas station yesterday's morning. They didn't said a word and just started looking around, staring at all the things in the store, as if they never saw them before. The trouble kicked off when Billy Sherman, a local kid, came into the store to pay for gas. As he went to cashier, he bumped into one of the bikers and immediately went into rage, picking on everyone who even dared to look at him. As the gas station owner, Artie Fawcett, tried to calm him down, calling him by his name, Billy grabbed the scissors and repeatedly stabbed the owner. Billy then took out three more customers before Artie's nephew blew out his brains with a shotgun. Meanwhile, the CCTV picked up the bikers walking away like nothing happened.
The next place the bikers went to was the Dos Amigos all-you-can-eat-tex-mex fast food restaurant. One of the denizens, Tad Quentin was there with his family like every Wednesday. His wife said one of the bikers reached out and put his hand on Tad's shoulder. Although the biker was quite polite, the smile he gave afterwards, scared Tad's wife. Tad then loaded his plate and commenced eating. After he was finished, he went back and loaded his plate again. This continued four times as Tad kept on shoveling food down his throat.
By the time Tad started on his fifth refill, everyone in the restaurant were watching him. Tad's wife and kids were just mortified. His wife tried to stop him as his behaviour was scaring the kids, but Tad ignored them and went to refill his plate again. The restaurant manager then approached Tad, telling him that this will be his last refill. Tad answered, that "all you can eat" is written on the sign and he's still is hungry. The manager then offers to give him a refund as he's upsetting other folks in the restaurant. Tad then began to stare at the manager like a starving dog looking at a raw stake. Suddenly, he proceeded to jump on the manager and bite off his cheek. When the cops arrived, they had to taser Tad three times before they could take him to jail. They figured Tad was either drunk or on drugs and left him alone to sober up. Tad then proceeded to chew off his own arm up to the elbow and bleed to death before anyone noticed.
Although it was quite obvious that the bikers were behind all this trouble, they didn't break any law and such the police couldn't arrest them. The bikers then went to a motel and hired hookers to keep them entertained. Only one of them made out of alive, but quickly died in the emergency room a couple hours later. She was diagnosed with AIDS, herpes, gonorrhea and advanced syphilis.
By the end of their second day in Ginsberg, the town was totally ravaged with people either going crazy or falling sick. A gas main blew the high school, setting the town on fire. Everyone who could get out of the town, did so. The Demon Riders by then were holed up in the saloon with thirty or more hostages. The preacher notes, that he got impression that the bikers were waiting for someone.
Elsewhere in USA, four hours earlier, a meeting is taking place. The leader of the meeting asks his secretary, Jennifer if everything is set up for the 2008 financial crash. Jennifer answers, that they are looking to pull the trigger in eighteen months. After the financial crisis begins, they will be able to buy up control of their target stocks at a median of twenty-five percent of their current price. She's then interrupted by another man, who tells their boss that code 4-H has happened in California, a small town called Ginsberg. He also adds, that he already prepped the plane for immediate take-off. After hearing this, their boss apologises and leaves the meeting, explaining that something has come up that need his attention.
Ten hours earlier in Mother of Mercy Nursing Home, located in Los Angeles, a nurse comes to a girl whose been in coma for three years. She tells the girl, that she's gonna brush her hair for her mother's annual visit. The nurse adds, that her mother still believes that one day her daughter will wake up and such comes to visit her everyday. As the nurse turns on TV, the girl suddenly wakes up with blank eyes and emitting light from her body. The nurse is shocked to see this and calls this a miracle. The girl then adds that indeed it is a miracle.
Back on the to Ginsberg, the preacher figures out that each of the bikers correspondent to one of the four horsemen of apocalypse, mentioned in Bible. Jackie doesn't believe his claims, thinking that he just has a wild imagination. The man then reveals that he once was a preacher, but no longer recruits for God after seeing what happened in Ginsberg. He then asks what does Jackie believe in when the lights go out and Jackie answers that he believes in dark. Meanwhile outside, the Darklings ride on his car's roof, which now sports eyes and teeth. To be continued...