WW Chicago: Oeming talks "The Darkness"

At the Top Cow panel at Wizard World Chicago '08, it was announced that Michael Avon Oeming will be penciling an upcoming issues of the Phil Hester penned "The Darkness." CBR News caught up with Oeming to get the details on the Viking era "Darkness" tale.

The Darkness is an age-old power that has been passed on from one generation to the next for centuries. Its current wielder is a mobster named Jackie Estacado, but the issue of "The Darkness" that Oeming is drawing features a different wielder, and is set in what the artist called a "Frazetta-like" Viking age. "I'm having lots of fun with the Viking/Norse design, letting it have a really fun edge," Oeming said. "Phil has given me a great plot that has lots of iconography with a great twist to it. The two main characters are siblings, it's a refreshing story to tell; it's sort of a 'loving' story instead of a love story. It's full of doomed characters and fun 'Darkness' stuff."

Oeming particularly enjoyed designing the look for the Viking era Darkness wielder. "The Darkness wielder is probably the baddest mother fucker I've ever drawn," Oeming said. "I'm really excited about the design. He's part Darkness, part Hellboy, part Frazetta psycho warrior. And the Darklings are really, really fun!"

Oeming told CBR News that he and writer Phil Hester go way back. "I knew Phil from the early Caliber Comics days when creators like Brian Bendis, Michael Gaydos, Guy Davis, David Mack, Marc Andreyko, myself and others had our early starts in indie comics," Oeming said. "We've tread on similar paths working with a lot of the same writers and going on the journey of artist to writer to artist/writer. We're good pals and now I know we are great creative partners."

Oeming had been in talks with Top Cow editor Rob Levin for the past several years about doing some work at Top Cow. "When I was looking for some work at NYCC, I mentioned I was looking for something, and Rob pretty much just turned to Phil Hester who was signing at the con and said, 'Write a Viking issue of 'Darkness' for Oeming,'" the artist said. Known for his work on "Thor" and "Hammer of the Gods," Oeming admitted that the Viking genre is "a bit of a label" for him, but it's a burden the artist is honored to bear.

Oeming said that working with Hester has been one of the best collaborations the artist has ever been a part of. "It's great that I've known Phil for so long, so there's already a built in trust there, so he wrote a very thin script for me -- meaning very little actual direction or description," Oeming said. "Wow, suddenly I just realized Bendis doesn't trust me at all! His scripts are huge! But I love them too."

Now discuss this story in CBR's Image Comics forum.

DC's Biggest A-Hole Is a White Lantern - and It's a Fate Worse Than Death

More in Comics