The after-effects of the 13 Artifacts story is being seen here in a big way. Jackie made the final decision in trying to save the universe and instead, he created a new one. Now it's time to see the consequences.
Usually when a new writer takes over after the previous has been on board for a long run, it's not always a smooth transition. As a big fan of Phil Hester, it was disheartening to hear his time was coming to an end. But we know creative teams can't last forever. So why is this in the "Good" section? David Hine picks up the reign with ease. Actually, he doesn't just pick them up, he grabs them and runs the hell out of them.
The fact that Top Cow has undergone a "Rebirth" makes it the perfect time to jump into the book and Hine has the fortune to be the one to be there to guide Jackie along. He's still the same character we all know but with the decision he made, there are also some big differences. Seeing this mesh of the two will be a fascinating ride.
The big question is, can Jackie have everything that he wants? Will there be any consequences to his actions? What do you think? And the great thing is he makes yet ANOTHER decision here that's going to have a huge effect.
Jeremy Haun also grabs the reigns on this book with a force that makes you feel like he must have white knuckles from holding his pencil so tightly (no, I have no idea if he actually holds his pencil tightly when he drew this book). Haun doesn't get to necessarily cut loose as much as we've seen in past books but you can easily see there are big things coming.
We're off to a great start but that doesn't mean I've fully accepted Hine's new direction. He still has to prove himself to be a worthy successor to Hester and while the ending here was really interesting, the follow up execution could be telling.
The second decision Jackie makes here is pretty big. But it's interesting that right away we're seeing that all his actions to create a perfect world/universe are so quickly showing. Obviously have a bunch of issues of pure happiness for Jackie would be boring. Maybe it's just a way to show that he most likely isn't thinking everything through completely.
Readers of THE DARKNESS were saddened by the end of Hester's run. Does David Hine have what it takes to take over? Based on this issue, it's a strong heart-felt yes. I was a tiny bit skeptical when I first heard about Rebirth as a way to softly reboot the Top Cow universe. This issue proves that it was an idea that could work. This is a good jumping on point. Everything is new yet still completely familiar to long time readers. Jackie's making some pretty bold and crazy decisions. THE DARKNESS is definitely a book to keep an eye on. I can't wait to see how Hine will follow up this issue.