"Darkness Visible #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Mike Carey & Arvind Ethan David
Illustrated by Brendan Cahill
Colored by Joana Lafuente
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 17th, 2017
After a brief historical interlude, Darkness Visible jumps back to the present day with Daniel Aston. He's just come back from the dead thanks to Rhak, a demon that's shacked up in his body. The two are battling for dominance. For now, Daniel has the upper hand and he's going to use that to his advantage to get some answers and bring in the demon responsible for putting him in this situation to begin with.
With every issue of Darkness Visible, we're given more and more information as to how demons and humans live together, sometimes in the same body. The opening pages, brilliantly illustrated by Brendan Cahill, feature the showdown within Daniel's mind in a unique style. It's mainly in black-and-white, relying heavily on shadow. It gives the appearance of a dream-like state where anything is possible. Whoever is in control can adjust the surroundings as they see fit which is why Daniel has set the stage as an interrogation room.
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Joana Lafuente's colors really stand out in those opening pages too. Her use of color is sparse, which makes it pop against the dark shadows. Since everything else is in black-and-white, when something appears with a different shade, it becomes very eye-catching.
Rhak is a constant presence with Daniel, showing up in mirrors and other reflective surfaces. It's rather unsettling when Daniel can't even see his own reflection, instead he's met with this unholy visage. This must be hell for him because he hates demons and can't understand why anyone would want to bound with one. Imagine a KKK member waking up one day to see a black man in the mirror. It could tear someone up inside. Daniel did this for his daughter so that can help get him through it, however, the fact that she's now in a coma and might not make it out alive has to hurt.
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This issue showcases a wide variety of demons we haven't seen yet. Cahill brings some interesting choices to the book and no two are alike. He shows just how varied the lineage of demons can be.
Darkness Visible delivers a robust and ever-expanding world of monsters and the humans who live with them. At its center is Daniel, a man torn between doing what's right for his city and what's right for his daughter. That means allying himself with a demon in more ways than one. It's a tortured life, but it's what he has to do to get things done.