[[quoteright:249:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dkg5.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:249:And this is when he's NOT pissed off.]]
What do you get when you cross a well-dressed mafia hitman with an ancient demonic power that gives him the ability to summon tiny foul-mouthed gremlin thingies to do his bidding?

A whole lot of {{Badass}}, that's what.

''The Darkness'' was one of Top Cow Productions' crown jewels of the [[TheNineties 1990]]s' DarkerAndEdgier trend, created by Marc Silvestri, along with some assistance from GarthEnnis (who wrote the first comic arc) and David Wohl. The hitman in question is known as Jackie Estacado, adopted son of don Frankie Franchetti, and from the first few panels of the first issue, was obviously not disturbed by the lifestyle into which he had been brought, and actually relished it. However, as soon as his [[DangerousSixteenthBirthday 21st birthday]] came to fruition, he inherited the evil known as the Darkness, which granted him abilities beyond his wildest blood-spattered dreams, the most infamous being the Darklings, the aforementioned little gremlin bastards that act somewhat as his multiple tiny alter-egos that are mostly interested in spouting off politically incorrect commentary and humor, but can disembowel an enemy at a moment's notice if Jackie commands it.

Jackie's enemies consisted of not only rival families, but other supernatural beings in the Top Cow Universe that had axes to grind with the Darkness itself, or just happened to cross paths with him at some point or another. Among them were [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]], Comicbook/{{Witchblade}} and the Magdalena. His main foe was the Angelus, basically the antithesis of the Darkness, being a female entity and born of light, it wants to eradicate Jackie at any turn, and innocent casualties are of no concern to it.

The series itself has a pair of [[VideoGame/TheDarkness Video Games]], as well as an upcoming LiveActionAdaptation that is on the fast track, which is being directed by The Pang Brothers, and rumored to be starring Channing Tatum as Jackie himself.

Not to be confused with ''Music/TheDarkness'', the [[{{Camp}} zany]] British hard rock band of the same name.
----
!!The comic series contains examples of:

* AffablyEvil:
** Butcher Joyce. He and Jackie have friendly chats while disposing of bodies.
** Mister Vespasian the TortureTechnician that takes breaks to offer his victims a SpotOfTea.
* AlasPoorYorick: [[spoiler:Kirchner]]
* AmbitionIsEvil: Subverted in the third series' first arc where the Darkness says that Jackie's ambitions with his enhanced power are incredibly banal, amounting to being a petty dictator when he could have saved or conquered the world. It doubles as a ReasonYouSuckSpeech.
* AndIMustScream: Jackie threatens to seal an immortal murderer/meth-head in a septic tank for all eternity.
* AndShowItToYou: Jackie once ripped out some dude's ''skeleton'' and showed it to him. Pop.
* AntiHero: Jackie goes back and forth between this and VillainProtagonist. He's a horrible murderer who gets people killed via collateral damage but in the first Witchblade Crossover is genuinely horrified at the prospect of having killed an innocent man.
* AppropriatedAppellation: [[spoiler:After knocking over a country, the citizens]] refer to Jackie as "Ocaso," Spanish for "sunset" or "decline."
* AxeCrazy: Jackie (and pretty much everyone else). Jackie's BlueAndOrangeMorality amounts to a stylized version of the mafia's own. Drugs and murder are okay but not killing people outside of the business.
* BadassInANiceSuit: Jackie
* BadassLongcoat: Jackie
* BigBad: Frankie, Paulie, Sonatine, The Sovereign, The Darkness, The Doppelgänger.
* BigNo: When Jackie learns about the whole [[CelibateHero celibacy clause]]. Called into question somewhat when it turns out he can make his own fun. Doubles as FridgeLogic when it never occurs to Jackie to get a vasectomy (self-healing may nullify this option) or date women who are incapable of giving birth. But he never envisaged that Jackie just can't forget vaginal intercourse and have other sexual practices.
* BlackAndGrayMorality or EvilVersusEvil
** Jackie bounces back and forth between being a comically psychopathic mass murderer versus a nuanced killer who is weary of all the killing.
* BlackComedy
* BloodyHilarious: The Darklings are [[ComedicSociopathy psychopathic]] {{CloudCuckooLander}}s.
* BodyHorror
* BottomlessMagazines
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Deconstructed. Jackie finds out that one of his random hits was the fiance of an FBI agent. When he discovers this, the murder suddenly deeply bothers him.
** When Dr. Kim Fang was in medical school, and deeply in debt, she agreed to have sex with Jackie in return for settling it. Jackie does not remember the encounter, but it badly scared her, later resulting in her becoming a sex addict and needing therapy. When Jackie finds out he is disturbed by his actions and tries to make amends.
* ButtMonkey – Wenders
* TheCanKickedHim
-->'''random security mook:''' [[TemptingFate You may dump in peace]].
* CantHaveSexEver: Played straight and subverted.
** At first it is stated that if Jackie has any form of sex, with a mortal, he will die. Later it changed so that he will only die if it results in conception, still he refused Wenders anyway. In others he will not die until the baby is born, evidenced in that his grandfather tried to kill his grandmother to prevent his own death. Meaning he was alive after having sex.
* CartwrightCurse
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Jackie in the first volume is almost unrecognizable from the second and neither resembles the third. Arguably, this is CharacterDevelopment since [[spoiler: Jackie went to hell between the second and third volumes.]]
* CombatTentacles
* ContractOnTheHitman
* CoolOldLady: Jackie's Aunt Sarah.
* CoolVersusAwesome: The Darkness vs Dracula! This version of the Count is so badass that it dismisses Jackie and The Darkness as something below him and gets the better of Jackie in their brawl.
* CreepyChild: "Miss Happy" from the crossover with ''Darkchydle'', and the Legion of Cherub Hostile for a more malevolent version.
* CrossOver: Many. Comicbook/{{Witchblade}}, Magdalena, and [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]] (same universe), {{Wolverine}} (same writer), Comicbook/GhostRider, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Franchise/{{Batman}}...
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Often
* CursedWithAwesome: Played with a lot in the first comic story. After using the Darkness to take revenge on a rival mob boss, Jackie is cheerful about his awesome new powers. Then he learns about the celibacy clause, and immediately lapses into suicidal depression.
* DangerousSixteenthBirthday: Or rather, 21st birthday...
* DarkAge
* DarkAgeOfSuperNames
* DarkAndTroubledPast
* DatingCatwoman
* DefectorFromDecadence
--> "We used to have honor in this Family. Codes!"
* DemonicPossession: Well duh!
* DistressedDamsel: Jenny
* DrinkOrder: Jackie is somewhat unique amongst his mafioso brethren in that he doesn't drink alcohol at all.
* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler:Jenny kicks Sonatine's ass.]]
* DracoInLeatherPants: Seen ''in universe''.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: [[spoiler: Don Franchetti to his daughter, Appolonia while she's comatose.]]
* DrugsAreBad: [[spoiler:Nightfall]]
* DysfunctionJunction – the Franchettis. [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial One Big Happy Family.]]
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Sonatine's lair [[RefugeInAudacity under the Statue of Liberty]].
* EldritchAbomination: The Darkness (evil cosmic power ), the Angelus (good cosmic force ), and the Witchblade (YinYangBomb BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil).
* [[OedipusComplex Elektra Complex]] / Female OedipusComplex – Appolonia Franchetti, she wants to kill and replace her father and... "[[ParentalIncest mother,]] [[{{Squick}} you're so]] [[LesYay beautiful...]]"
* EnemyMine: At times with Sarah Pezzini and the Magdelena.
* EnemyWithin
* EnfantTerrible: [[spoiler:Jackie and Elle's "son."]]
** The Legion of Cherub Hostile is an entire army of them. Granted of the Really700YearsOld variety. One of Jackie's contracts for [[JerkassGods The Sovereign]] was also a child warlord.
* EnforcedColdWar: [[spoiler:Paulie keeps Jackie under his control for a while with the threat that he would off the only family (Jenny) ever had.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards
* EvilOverlord: The Empire arc.
** Also, in a possible [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic far future]], [[spoiler:Jackie rules over a dying CrapsackWorld and [[SealedEvilInACan is holding back something far worse]]]].
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Kirchner
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: A dark comic with a dark AntiHero in dark situations is called ''The Darkness''. How subtle is that?
* EyeScream: With CHOPSTICKS!!!
* FaceHeelDoorSlam: [[spoiler: Jackie gets this one after a long redemption arc. He turns states evidence in on his Uncle Frankie only to need to run away from Witness Protection to save a stewardess' son from his mobster father. As a result, his Uncle gets out and promptly kills Jenny. Jackie KILLS HIMSELF in a suicide attack on Frankie only for the Darkness to raise him from the dead with the help of Lucifer. He also spent two days in hell, which felt like a million years.]]
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: Yeah, it's a comic book. [[CaptainObvious No, it is most definitely not for kids]].
* FreudianExcuse
* FromASingleCell
* GenreShift: The first issues of the Darkness are more of a comedy action book than a horror action one. The characters were far more violent; and the dialogue was laced with SeinfeldianConversation's and frequent references to pop culture. Furthermore the stories were more eccentric and quirky, standing in stark contract to the realism of later issues.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Jackie, and any of his enemies of a supernatural persuasion.
* {{Gorn}}
* GroinAttack
--> "Wenders, this is Darkus."
--> [[spoiler:"THERE'S A DEMON IN MY PANTS!"]]
** Jackie receives quite a few of these throughout the series. His usual response is to complain about his groin being a target when he CantHaveSexEver anyways.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy
* GunsAkimbo
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Apollonia. Sort of.]]
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: [[spoiler: Jackie gets this, after a fashion, when he's sucked back into the mob after escaping it.]]
* HearingVoices: The Darkness.
* HeroicHost: The Darkness.
* HitmanWithAHeart
* HypocriticalHumor: Jackie's Sexaholics Anonymous meeting proves counterproductive [[UnwantedHarem as he gets hit on by all the girls there.]]
** Amusingly, all of them are blindingly beautiful sexpots while the lone male member is a huge fat guy.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: A bit of a subversion in the Empire arc, where he tries to assure the girl with him that [[spoiler:he isn't like the last dictator their country had and that "the rape-closets are closed" and that for various reasons he couldn't even if he wanted to. Doesn't really help her, since she's killed when the rebels attack]].
* ImAHumanitarian: From the Empire arc:
---> '''Darkling:''' It's been so long since I've had decent ''Italian''.
* InTheBlood: The Darkness, that is...
* JamesBondage: In one crossover with ''Comicbook/{{Witchblade}}''.
* JerkassGods: Both the Darkness and the Angelus, as well as The Sovereign. The latter even gets called on the fact that he has basically [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder betrayed everyone he's ever visited]] for [[ForTheEvulz no real reason]].
* JumpedAtTheCall: '''"Darkness likes you."''' Awesome dark powers... Sweet.
* KickTheDog – {{Lampshaded}}
--> '''Jackie''' (to Appolonia): [[EvenEvilHasStandards You know, you didn't have to kill your cat just to prove you're a ruthless bitch.]]
** A note on the above quote, Jackie said this because he ''already knew'' she was one.
** Jackie gets a number of these with how callous he is to his dates getting killed as collateral damage.
** Jackie's biggest one to date is in the Empire arc where he enslaves an entire nation with super-heroin.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Applies to many of Jackie's hits.
* KillYouLast
--> '''Jackie:''' You know what? I'm starting to like you.
-->'''Kirchner:''' But you're still going to kill me.
-->'''Jackie:''' Oh, yeah.
* LetsYouAndHimFight: Often.
* LightIsNotGood: While the Darkness is just... the Darkness, its counterpart [[KnightTemplar The Angelus]] is far, far worse. [[spoiler: In one alternate future, it nukes the Earth with light to get rid of the Darkness.]]
* LivingShadow
* LonelyAtTheTop
* LovecraftianSuperpower
* LudicrousGibs
* MadScientist: Kirchner
* MadeOfPlasticine
* TheMafia
* MindRape: Sonatine on some [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished poor helpful bouncer]]. "I rewrote his memory. Tremendous fun."
** Sonatine also made Franchetti's bodyguards think they raped their mothers. They took it [[DrivenToSuicide badly.]]
** Jackie also encounters a MonsterOfTheWeek witch / EldritchAbomination who does this for a living, psychically feeding off people's desires and memories... [[spoiler:this, uh... backfires [[BrownNote when she tries to do this]] [[EvilerThanThou on Jackie]]]].
* MobWar
* MoralityChain: Jenny. Not that Jackie shows much restraint in the first place, but the series' flashbacks and flash-forwards go out of their way to demonstrate how excessively much worse a Darkness user could be. [[spoiler:And then she's killed. Predictable things happen next]].
* MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily: The Darkness.
* MrViceGuy: Jackie
* MuggingTheMonster: HilarityEnsues.
* MundaneUtility: [[LetsYouAndHimFight After a bout of fighting and a team-up]] with the second Magdalena, Jackie sends the Darklings to his apartment to pick him up a tuxedo to impress her.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: TheChosenOne kid in the post-apocalyptic future [[spoiler:that unleashes the Angelus and [[EarthShatteringKaboom dooms the world]]]].
* NighInvulnerability
* NightmareSequence: In the game and in the comics.
* NinetiesAntiHero: A mafia hitman with demonic powers, making him one of the most extreme examples.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown
* NobleDemon
* NotBloodSiblings: Jackie and Appolonia.
* OhCrap: Probably too many to list individually:
** A rival mob boss in TheCanKickedHim scene.
** [[spoiler:Paulie and his goons when Jackie comes for them.]]
** [[spoiler:The army guys when he smashes head-on into their helicopter.]]
** ...and just about anyone about to be splattered all over the walls - which happens quite frequently...
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Kirchner
* OrificeInvasion: Combined with StrippedToTheBone *pulls a guy's skeleton out* "POP!"
* OutOfTheInferno: In the "Empire" arc.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Jackie
* PetTheDog:
** Jenny, Jenny's sister, the Magdalena, Marisol...
** Jackie (seemingly out of nowhere) often does something noble.
* PluckyComicRelief: The Darklings are [[ComedicSociopathy foul-mouthed imps with a talent for evisceration]]. Until [[spoiler: his return from Hell.]] Then they stop being so funny.
* PowersDoTheFighting: The Darkness can frequently use his powers to produce shadowy masses of tentacles, in order to drag, mutilate, or capture his foes.
* PsychoLesbian: The Angelus. It seems to be something within the Angelus itself since the second Angelus hints at creating female sexual partners.
* PublicDomainCharacter: Compare the Darkness with [[Creator/HPLovecraft the Haunter of the Dark]] of the CthulhuMythos.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Sonatine's {{Mooks}} look like golden Klan members.
* RealityWarper: Jackie, to a [[KryptoniteFactor limited degree]].
* RevealingHug: [[PsychoticSmirk when Appolonia is introduced]] and is reunited with [[ArchnemesisDad dear old dad.]]
* RightHandCat: Appolonia is introduced with one, it’s {{Lampshaded}}, and [[DefiedTrope Defied]]
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Kirchner
* ScrewYourself: [[spoiler:Elle has elements of this. Jackie made her from the Darkness using ''himself'' as a template.]]
* SecretLegacy
* ShoutOut: "[[StarWars The Darkness is like the Force on crack]]."
** Volume 1, Chapter 15, page 15: ''Every girl's crazy 'bout a [[ZZTop sharp dressed man]]''.
* SiblingRivalry: Jackie and Appolonia
* SlidingScaleLongName: Go on. Guess which end this series is on.
* SmugSnake: Apollonia.
* SnarkyNonhumanSidekick: The Darklings.
* SociopathicHero: Jackie
* StayingAlive
* StrawFeminist: Appolonia's father ''thinks'' she's one of these.
* {{Stripperific}}: The Angelus
* StuffedInTheFridge: Jackie gets stuffed as a realistic consequence of her choices.
* SuperPowerLottery: Jackie
* TakeThat:
** In one scene, the Magdalena holds up an Elmo doll (from ''Series/SesameStreet'') and asks what kind of sick and twisted mind could create such a thing. Subverted with the fact she's biding for time by saying something insane in hopes of distracting Jackie long enough [[spoiler: to shoot him.]]
** Jackie finds a ''Franchise/StarWars'' toy (Darth Vader) that says, "You don't know the power of the Dark Side." Annoyed, Jackie says it knows nothing and smashes it.
* TakingYouWithMe: "I don't suppose you'd let me have OneLastSmoke... [[StuffBlowingUp Say, do you smell gasoline?]]"
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Jackie
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: As of the third volume, Jackie has eliminated no less than four entire crime families.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness:
** After coming BackFromTheDead, Jackie begins to hallucinate seeing his associates as rotting corpses.
** In the game, this happens often in flashes so brief they are nearly subliminal, putting the ''player'' in the position of feeling like ''they'' are hallucinating. The first couple times it happens can result in throwing-the-joystick-and-screaming moments depending on how immersed in the game you are at the time...
* TortureTechnician: Mister Vespasian.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehaviour: Even before a certain traumatic FreudianExcuse-worthy event Appolonia is displaying [[TheSociopath sociopathic behavior]] with her dolls... It becomes FridgeBrilliance and FridgeHorror when you realize that her father [[spoiler: was probably molesting her, kissing her on the lips when she's comatose.]]
* TheTunguskaEvent: ...was caused by a fight between the Darkness and the Angelus.
* TheUnderworld: According to Danny Estacado, a previous host of the Darkness Entity, and Nick (who is actually the true Devil that religious stories of Lucifer and The Devil are all based on) all souls - whether they were good or evil in life - eventually fall into Hell. A rather disheartening side note is that there actually is a Heaven in the series but no human soul has ever been seen to enter it due to the fact only "beings of light" are allowed entrance.
* VillainsOutShopping: Frequently...
* VillainsWantMercy: Cousin Paulie sure did in the comics when Jackie unraveled his plans and cornered him. To say he didn't get it is an understatement.
* VirginPower: Much to Jackie's dismay.
* WeaksauceWeakness: [[CaptainObvious The Darkness' weakness is light]].
** In the comic, only daylight and its supernatural equivalent works, whereas in the video game, even a night light makes your powers fade. Justified, since 99% of the game takes place at night, and you'd be near unstoppable otherwise.
*** More recent comics have gone with the game's version, forcing Jackie to create special darkness-formed lights for his complex in ''Empire''.
* WeirdnessCensor: "He's wearing some kind of (high tech) body armor" - the army guys when Jackie's manifesting the full demonic exoskeleton and CombatTentacles.
** FridgeBrilliance when you realize that this is the same universe as a bunch of cybernetic ninjas.
* WhatTheHellHero: Often
* WhosLaughingNow:
** Don Franchetti's wife. [[spoiler: [[ForcedToWatch Franchetti made her watch him take a blowtorch to her lover]] and she was so horribly traumatized that she was rendered catatonic. [[OhCrap Then she becomes]] [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds the Angelus]]]] [[IronicEcho "Let me show you how much I love you."]]
** Subverted by [[spoiler: Appollonia. After several encounters with the Angelus, she ditches her plans of revenge.]]
----