Unholy union, huh?
Well, knowing that the newest incarnation of the Witchblade bearer, Danielle Baptiste, and Jackie Esticado with his Darkness were going to be in a comic together was more than enough to pull me in for a read.
But having Marvel aboard, too?
It starts with Doctor Strange trying to figure out what the Angelus (the light opposition of The Darkness) is doing. Soon we are seeing a chance meeting in a bar between Jackie Esticado and Sara Pezzini (former Witchblade bearer) who is now pregnant. After a rudely undertoned exchange of words, a flaming anti-hero bursts through the window, skull ablaze and here to collect. Jackie, it seems, is in debt to Satan. Reaching foward and breaking the lightbulb in front of him with his hand, the Darkness spreads from Jackie, and it is ON.
Unfortunately, Bruce Banner is trying to have a quiet drink and just can’t seem to find peace. The sudden explosion of conflict between the Ghost Rider and Jackie sets him into a rage, and of he goes into Hulk mode. Wanting to even the odds, Dani summons the Witchblade and jumps in the fray. Madness ensues as Jackie is chain-banged by Johnny, Danielle has a car thrown at her by the Hulk, Darklings from Jackie (which look like Wolverine and The Thing and the like to Banner) harass him, and the Ghost rider is yanked from his ride by Esticado. The 2 on 2 madness only lasted for a short while; Dr. Strange broke up the fight by freezing the Hulk and Ghost Rider and transportered them elsewhere, and then informed Dani and Jackie of a greater fight about to go down.
Without trying to spoil the rest of the neat surprises in the comic, it basically ends here. The artwork was wonderful (again, not Silvestri quality, but very good) and the inking was of high quality. However short their appearances, Johnny Blaze and Bruce Banner looked great, as did all of the characters in this comic. This is a story that sets up Firstborn #1, which I just recently read, and other than too quick of a resolve between the four and too many adverstisements, this was a damn fine read.
I’d recommend it to fans of comics, not just Ghost Rider, the Hulk, The Darkness, Witchblade, and Dr. Strange. Nine out of ten in my books, and that’s saying a lot.