Official Press Release
April heralds the beginning of a special 10 issue run of Top Cow's ongoing title the Darkness as Ron Marz, Frank Tieri and Steve Niles all pen arcs of the hitman cum bearer of the Darkness Jackie Estacado. Ron (Sojourn, Green Lantern) Marz leads the group with a 4 issue arc starting in April. Frank (Wolverine) Tieri writes Darkness 14 through 16 with Steve (30 Days of Nights) Niles rounding it up with issues 17 through 19. Magdalena/Vampirella artist Martin Montiel will be the regular artist for all ten issues with Dale Keown providing covers for each.
"I'm looking forward to jumping on to The Darkness for an arc because it's a chance for me to tell a completely different kind of story," says Marz. "What I'm going to do has a dollop of The Sopranos, a big dose of John Woo-Hong Kong action flick, and a heaping helping of the supernatural. Getting to work with an up-and-coming artist like Martin Montiel is just the icing on the cake."
"We were thrilled at the chance to provide different perspectives regarding our characters, especially the Darkness," says Jim Mclauchlin, Top Cow Editor-in-Chief. "We hope this will lead to other partnerships involving our library of characters." Marz concurs: "Top Cow was one of the first places to get in touch when I was no longer under exclusive contract. This is the first work to come out of those discussions, so hopefully this is the beginning of a real fruitful relationship for both of us."
Frank Tieri adds, "We had a lot of fun doing the Darkness: Wanted Dead one shot, so when Top Cow approached me to do a follow up in the regular book, it wasn't a hard decision to make at all -- especially when you consider that, while yes, Wanted Dead can be enjoyed as a self contained tale, it was really intended to be a prelude to a much bigger storyline. And that's where "The Streets Run Red" comes in.
Tieri reveals some of his ideas for his story arc: "Streets is a three-issue story arc that finds Jackie having to deal with some unforeseen consequences due to his actions from Wanted Dead. So although he may have thought shooting 'The Quiet Don' in the head would make his problems go away, he'll soon discover he's only made them far worse than he could ever have imagined. In fact, this new threat is nothing like Jackie's ever had to face before-- and it may very well prove to be something that's more than even he can handle."
Top Cow was founded in December of 1992 and currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and 2 licensed) in the industry's Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise Witchblade was TNT's #1 original film of 2000. Virtually all of Top Cow's other properties are in development as feature films, live action television or animation. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and role playing games.
[Editor's Note: Steve Niles has pointed out that contrary to what the above press release states, he will not be writing 'The Darkness.' In a note on his forum, Niles mentioned that he had spoken to Top Cow's Editor-In-Chief Jim McLaughlin about doing something, but nothing firm had been planned. He went on to state he wants to stay focused on what he has on his plate for IDW Publishing and Dark Horse.]