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Note: This page is about his main Comic incarnation, for the Video Game incarnation, see Jackie Estacado (Video Game)
|“|| When the lights go out...?|
I believe in the dark.
|~ Jackie Estacado in The Darkness: Four Horsemen #1|
|“|| Grow up.|
That's how it works in fairy tales.
In real life the bad guys don't always wear black,
and the ones with wings aren't always the good guys.
|~ Jackie to Gleason|
Jackie Estacado is the current host of The Darkness present on Earth and is among the greatest and most powerful hosts ever known. He is a former hitman for The Franchetti Mafia after he was adopted and recruited by Frankie Franchetti under Sonatine's instructions at age 6. He is the twin brother of Capris Castiglione and the son of Danny Estacado and an unknown prostitute and was born somewhere in New York City, New York.
He retired from Frankie's service after his encounter with Batman, which encouraged him to turn Frankie over to the authorities and retire from the mob, but at the cost of his girlfriend Jenny Romano, whom Frankie murdered in retaliation. Torn with grief, Jackie led Frankie to an abandoned warehouse soaked in gasoline and burned both himself and Frankie to death.
He spent some time in Hell until The Darkness brought him back to life. He was blackmailed into working for Frankie's cousin Paulie Franchetti for some time, until he killed him as well and took control of The Franchetti Mafia. While possessed by The Darkness, he had sex with and impregnated a comatose Sara Pezzini, making him the father of Hope Pezzini. He was a drug lord in Sierra Munoz along with Professor Kirchner until he was betrayed and nearly killed by The Darkness himself, casting his soul into Hell. Jackie also helped to destroy The Sovereign, but at the cost of Leonard Kim's life.
Jackie was born October 29, 1981 somewhere in New York City, New York. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him and his sister Capris. He was enrolled at Saint Garards orphanage at the same time as Jenny Romano. Jackie developed a close relationship with Jenny and would look after her while they were on the streets together. Whenever anyone hurt or abused Jenny, even orphanage officials, Jackie would become violent towards her abusers and would not rest until he put them in the hospital.
He joined the Mafia at the very early age of 6, after being recruited by a mafia don named Frankie "Kill-the-children-too" Franchetti. He was picked up at the orphanage after Frankie was prompted by a mysterious stranger named Sonatine, who told Frankie that having Jackie around would bring him tremendous power.
Jackie was exposed to the life of very negative and violent forces as he grew up. However, he was also installed with good morals and was taught the value of loyalty by people such as Butcher Joyce.
Jackie came to the mafia life easily, losing his virginity to a female officer during interrogation at age 14 and making his first hit at 16. He grew up, or more accurately matured, very quickly, and soon enjoyed the life of sex and violence. His actions within the mob caused Franchetti to become the most powerful don in the city, fulfilling Sonatine's prophecy. All during this time, The Angelus kept watch of Jackie with a mystical mirror within the top of The Empire State Building.
The Darkness Awakens
On the eve of his 21st birthday, Jackie was in his apartment when the clock struck 12:00 A.M. Jackie heard The Darkness speaking to him with telepathy, telling him that he could have anything he wanted and that all he had to do was let The Darkness out. The Darkness awakened within him and he learned of his birthright as host of The Darkness. At first, this power was a blessing, allowing his job as a professional hitman to run more smoothly and work in more novel ways. However, with this power came many enemies.
Early on, Jackie spent much of his time escaping from or fighting The Angelus (who wants to kill him), and Sonatine and his Brotherhood of The Darkness (who wish to capture him and either control him or steal his powers for their own agendas).
Eventually, Jackie realized that he could use his powers for more noble ends and chose to quit the mob, but found it easier said than done. Jackie had turned on his adoptive uncle, Don Frankie Franchetti, to get a clean slate and exit from his life of crime after a meeting with Batman.
However, after Frankie kidnapped Jenny, a childhood friend of Jackie's, Frankie killed her and sent a videotape to Jackie in revenge. Jackie could not take this and called out Franchetti's mob, leading them to an abandoned warehouse covered in gasoline. When the crew arrived to kill Estacado, Jackie and the Darklings threw down their lighters and blew the place, and all its occupants, to bits, killing Frankie and burning Jackie alive.
Jackie spent two days (or 'what seemed to him like a million years') afterward wandering around Hell, searching for Jenny, until Tom Judge came and gave him hope, a gift that allows men to exit Hell. Jackie's body was then reconstructed by The Darkness from only his lower jaw.
Jackie returned to find the Franchetti mob taken over by Frankie's amateur cousin, Paulie. Paulie was able to discover Jackie's secret as well as a long-lost sister of Jenny's. Using this information, Paulie blackmailed Jackie into doing hits for him. Along the way, Jackie learned how to construct a gun out of The Darkness. Later, Jackie discovered the identity of the hitman following Jenny's sister, killed him, and took his revenge on Paulie as well. This led to Jackie taking control of the Franchetti family. With control of the Franchetti family, Jackie vastly expanded his mafia, taken on the Triads, and fought the Russian Mafia in Atlantic City.
Being the Don of the Italian Mafia in New York did not last long however. In search for revenge the new Angelus once again confronts Jackie and with the help of Patience The Magdalena and Witchblade wielder Danielle Baptiste, Estacado managed to crush her, losing everything he had gained. He flees to Sierra Muñoz in hope of establishing a new empire there.
Jackie Estacado is also the biological father of Hope Pezzini, Sara Pezzini's mystical child. He himself could not explain it properly apart from saying that it had to with 'Darkness wanting to tip the balance'. The Darkness himself confirms this to Patience by saying that he used Jackie as raw material to settle the matter with The Angelus once and for all.
Recently, Jackie has established a drug cartel in Sierra Muñoz with a narcotic made from his own bodily fluids thanks to the help of a demented, but brilliant scientist named Professor Kirchner. With the Darkness, Jackie is able to take control of the small tropical republic, build himself an impenetrable fortress, an army and eventually, even a lover he calls 'Elle'.
Most of this came at a price since the residents of Sierra Muñoz did not take very kindly to him. To express their distaste, they perform various acts of guerrilla warfare and suicide bombing in their struggle for liberation. They manage to find themselves a sponsor in their struggle- The United States military, who wish to capture Jackie for both trails and to learn about his armor. Jackie went to fight the army head on and using The Darkness he was able to take out their entire fleet. Returning his fortress he is betrayed by Kirchner and loses control of his power with his darklings turning on him. Jackie was left for dead after being shot in the neck and falling down a waterfall. Upon his capture he made a deal with the local rebels agreeing to rid the island of the drug. In doing so he crossed paths with Elle and she showed Jackie that she is pregnant with his baby.
The child however killed Elle upon birth, grew to full maturity and killed Professor Kirchner. A fight between father and son ended when Jackie left the creature in the upper atmosphere just as dawn was breaking. The creature was then destroyed by the suns rays as he was The Darkness himself.
After crashing to Earth following this battle, Jackie was 'broken'. He was only able to draw just enough strength to keep himself alive through a number of fights while trying to stay alive, including Mexican witches, wannabe gangsters, and even Aphrodite IV. During one such fight, he was knocked out and taken to a Demon known as The Sovereign, who was a being capable of inhabiting any statue bearing his likeness, who told Jackie he died for an instant after fighting his child. This separated The Darkness from his body and mind, leaving him in his broken state on Earth. In return for a number of assassinations, The Sovereign would reunite Jackie with The Darkness.
The assassinations Jackie was sent on were meant to return to Hell evil souls, who had previously made a deal with The Sovereign to either take over Human bodies or to achieve immortality. After one such mission in Africa, Jackie was enticed by a beautiful woman with a red scarf, who motioned for him to follow. As he was about to follow her into a house, he was stopped by a man who claimed to have once hosted The Darkness, but had completely discarded him without dying. He warned Jackie of the trap laid hundreds of years earlier, which Jackie ignored.
Inside the building the woman waited, along with a Djinn which was created to find and kill The Darkness. Eventually, Jackie understood that both the woman and the Djinn were cursed themselves, to live only to hunt The Darkness. By strangling the woman, both were released. Outside, Jackie was once more confronted by the old Darkness host, who explained that Jackie still held the power completely within him, only held back by his own wish to be without The Darkness. Through a series of insults and physical attacks, Jackie once more called The Darkness back into his body. Whole again, Jackie fought the old Darkness wielder, claiming to be sick of people who tried to mess with his head. The man disapeared in the confusion and together with the always talkative Darklings, he stated his desire to return home.
Attacking the building where The Sovereign held his base, Jackie found himself caught in a room flooded with artificial sunlight and a score of bodies controlled by The Sovereign. With the help of the Darklings biting the power lines outside, Jackie destroyed all the bodies, leaving only one man behind. Jackie, impressed with the ability of this man to stay calm where all the other mercenaries had panicked, offered him a job.
Jackie quickly brought together a group of people with distinct skills for a single purpose: to destroy each and every statue that might be used by The Sovereign, effectively removing his presence from Earth. During this time, Jackie was called by Sara who suspected him of robbing a number of New York banks. During a meeting in broad daylight Sara warned Jackie to stay away from the city, not wanting to tell her daughter Hope that 'mommy had killed daddy.' Jackie agreed and instructed his new employees that under no circumstance were they to enter the city of New York.
Jackie and his team then go on a world tour finding and destroying stone bodies that The Sovereign could use as hosts. One of these trips takes him to Fort Knox where a host statue is held. During the raid Jackie discovers that The Sovereign has already taken over the statue as it is radiating light. Jackie is forced to take the Sovereign-possessed statue with them he orders his team to detonate the explosives they had set earlier. Unfortunately for Jackie, he falls from the van and is left helpless as tanks and marines surround him on orders by Major White, who survived the explosion back in Sierra Munoz.
Jackie holds his own against the marines but is shot down and captured. Linked to an electronic shock disc, Major White Informs Jackie that members of Hunter Killer are coming to take him and study his powers. Meanwhile, The Sovereign tries to bargain with Jackie's team, however out of loyalty to Jackie, they refuse and The Sovereign attacks them. The team manage to destroy The Sovereign by hitting the breaks on the van, tossing The Sovereign through the windshield and detonating the C4 explosives on his back. White informs Jackie that Jackie's power must not be used by anybody but him (Jackie). White shuts down the power in the base and willingly lets Jackie break his jaw and escape. Jackie makes his way to a parking lot building where the squad of Hunter Killers are after him. After a visit from the old Darkness host, Jackie manages to evade the squad by making copies of himself and fooling the team into thinking they had caught him, while Jackie hides and escapes by using The Darkness to shapeshift into an old lady.
While on a plane headed for New Jersey to retrieve another Sovereign statue, Jackie begins having strange dreams of his teenage self wearing a costume-like Darkness armor and chasing Capris through the orphanage he grew up in. He then wakes up and dismisses the thought from his mind. He and Tyne begin discussing the basics of their new venture, a Sovereign statue that was bought by Vasily Martynov, a retired Russian mobster turned art collector who built an empire through Human trafficking with whom Dev Ravada has done business. While on a van to Martynov's mansion, Jackie sees a boy and a girl in an alley, thinking they are part of Martynov's trafficking he chases them into the alley until they disappear.
Jackie, despite his young age, has the appearance of a well groomed man with refined and perfected features which make him very attractive to women, and men; standing at a little over 6' 2" and is in peak physical condition. In addition to his blue eyes and tanned olive skin; his trademark black hair is long, flush and often covers his whole head.
Early in his career as a hitman, Jackie developed a liking to white Armani business suits. After manifesting The Darkness, Jackie began wearing black suits. Jackie's common varies depending on his situation, needs, and even moods. These attires have consisted of white long-sleeved (going a little over his wrists) and/or sleeveless shirts tight enough to display his muscles, blue jeans, work boots, tennis shoes, black trench coats, black jackets, and Australian coats. When he sleeps in a bed, he sleeps shirtless while wearing his boxers or his sweat pants.
Even from his early childhood, Jackie was very violent, ruthless, intelligent, and brave. Despite this, he has a strict set of noble (even heroic) morals and a fierce loyalty to those that earn it. He has matured somewhat over the span of his adult life and his experiences with The Darkness, though his core personality still remains the same.
He truly loved Jenny and was very caring and protective of her, often jumping onto and badlly hurting anyone who abused her at the orphanage, no matter how long it took him. After he was recruited into the mob, he was able to nourish his dark side; developing a taste for fast Italian cars, money, nice white business suits, Italian food and culture, as well as killing.
He was also very prideful, sociopathic, sadistic, and insecure; willing to kill people simply for insulting him or making comments that revealed his true nature to him. Overall, Jackie Estacado is thought to be a murderous bastard to the eyes of his enemies, but the most loyal, caring, and defending man to the ones that earn his full trust. If it is one thing Jackie does not tolerate, it is his loved ones being harmed.
Enemies & Allies
The Angelus is the eternal enemy of The Darkness. The Angelus retains the memories of all of her previous host's lives and has led many crusades against Jackie in seeking to rid the world of The Darkness.
The powers of the Angelus are similar, yet opposite, to the powers of The Darkness as both have the ability to create sentient beings, both commands a host of minions to do their bidding, she is immortal and has the power of flight, possesses superhuman strength, invulnerable to mortal weapons, can conjure weapons at will, breath fire, and fire bolts of light and teleport herself and other beings.
Like The Darkness The Angelus' power does have its limits too. While The Darkness cannot function at all in the light The Angelus can function in the dark but only for short periods of time as it completely drains her power while the power of The Darkness becomes superior.
The first modern host was the catatonic wife of Uncle Frankie, Lauren Franchetti. After she is killed the power initially possesses Velocity of Cyberforce but it is immediately driven from her body by Cyberforce. She then finds a new host in Celestine Wright until she herself is killed during the events of Broken Trinity. The current Angelus is the former Witchblade host Danielle Baptiste.
The daughter of Don Frankie, and the vengeful child of the catatonic Lauren Franchetti, who watched as her father murdered her mother's lover, which caused her mother to go into a coma. Responsible for The Angelus' return, and unsuccessfully trying to overthrow the Franchetti family, Appolonia was left in a coma. But she is brought out of this state with a fragment from The Spear of Destiny, The Magdalena's weapon. She mysteriously reappears on the anniversary of her parents' marriage. She is generally happy to see Jackie and is terrified of her mother (as she feels there is nothing remaining of her). Appolonia appears to be in league with The Angelus, setting up Jackie, but in reality betrays The Angelus when she is about to kill Magdalena and Jackie. Appolonia kills her mother with The Spear of Destiny, ending her mother's suffering. Lauren dies with tears of joy and is happy to see both Jackie and her daughter. Appolonia's current whereabouts are unknown.
Each generation one random woman is chosen to wield The Witchblade, a mystical gauntlet of great power. This generation's wielder is Sara Pezzini, a New York City detective. Sara teamed up with Jackie to fight Sonatine and Ian Nottingham and again later to fight The Necrobi. Jackie is the father of Sara's daughter Hope.
The Magdalena are descended from Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ, the first Magdalena that Jackie encountered was Sister Mariella, the daughter of Sister Rosalia. Mariella was prematurely sent to battle and kill Jackie on the church's orders, and since she was brought up in a crooked sect of the church, was a wild Christian fanatic who did not know right from wrong. She was left for dead when Jackie crucified her as a warning to her superiors. Mariella has not been seen since.
Afterwards, Patience, the current Magdalena, is sent out to attack The Darkness, and Jackie mistakes her for Mariella, as does The Angelus. After explaining the situation to him, they end up teaming up against The Angelus, and Patience is possessed by her. Jackie saves her, and The Angelus flees. Patience and Jackie remain mutual allies.
Jackie has a twin sister named Capris Castiglione. The two were separated when they were just babies. Worried about Darkness' power and influence on her other child, their mother entrust Capris to Father Brendan. He raised her in an orphanage as if she is his own daughter. Capris' destiny gets twisted when she finds her best friend Blair murdered. She discovered that Blair was used in illegal porno movies. When Father Brendan was dying, he revealed Capris's past and twin brother to her. She meets a Native American by the name of Robert Bearclaw (Ripclaw of Cyberforce) who teaches her how to use the limited Darkness powers that she inherited from her father.
Five years later, full of hatred, Capris sought out the men responsible for her friend's death. She pretended to be stripper named Tiffany and waited for a right moment to kill them. Ripclaw followed her on the revenge trip and offered to resume training her in the use of the Darkness. When she meets her brother, Jackie Estacado, for the first time, she tells him where the Angelus is holding Frankie, and then disappears. When Jackie needed to fight Cherubs, and Ripclaw took him to the spirit world, Capris looked after their earthly bodies and kept Jenny company.
After The Darkness began to arise within Jackie, Capris became possessed by The Darkness, sliced Elle in half, and began to attack Jackie with the intent to kill him and take The Darkness for herself. Jackie was forced to kill her, stabbing her with his crystallized glove.