The Darkness II's four new characters, each cursed with Darkness-imbued weapons, were all created by renowned comic book writer Paul Jenkins.
Jenkins had no direction, just to go and create four people cursed to carry weapons powered by the Darkness, I was told. Here's what he came up with.
Backstory Back in the days of Edward Longshanks — when the men of Scotland rallied behind Robert Bruce and William Wallace to find a national identity — members of the Wilson Clan were persecuted as witches by the marauding English.
The English invaders believed that the Wilson's reputation for drunken reveling was both ungodly and too difficult to control, so Wilsons were frequently put to death for the possession of alcohol. Obviously, this created a lot of bad feeling towards the English. It is one thing to persecute a Scotsman for his religious beliefs. It is another again to deny him booze.
As the years passed, the origins of this conflict were lost in the mists of time, and in a mist of drunken behaviour. But the Wilsons themselves never forgot that they hated the English.
Character Jimmy Wilson is a product of inner city Glasgow who loves football, boozing, belching and hating the English. He's a simple person with simple needs. As long as there are English to piss off, he is happy. And the fact is he is happy quite a lot.
Jimmy is perpetually drunk. He believes the Brotherhood — thanks to its former ties to the dreaded Edward Longshanks — is simply the Hated English in another form. Jimmy needs only to go where the Hated English are and make their lives miserable. Thus, he has come to New York to torment the Brotherhood.
Jimmy speaks in a barely intelligible hardcore Glasgow accent. His command of Glaswegian vernacular (otherwise known as "the Patter") means that he's always a little miffed when people don't understand him. He likes everyone and everything — he even likes the English because they provide him with someone to hit. He lives for football (Real football, not American football).
But the fact is, Jimmy is mostly oblivious — he really needs little in the way of complicated story or motivation. It is enough that he is ready to commit acts of aggravation towards the Brotherhood in whatever confused manner he deems fit. His weapon of choice is a hand axe fused with Dark essence. In true Wilson style, Jimmy can't remember exactly where he acquired it, but rumour has it that he may have found it somewhere in the woods behind his local pub. To Jimmy those details don't really matter because the axe has good balance and kills just fine.
Power Jimmy has the power of controlling Darklings. Jimmy thinks of them as alcohol-induced fairies of some kind, and he calls them "Little Jimmys."
Backstory Since its formation, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, Mossad, has been aware of the activities of the Brotherhood. The situation has been closely monitored for fear that the Darkness would move against Israel in an attempt to create a Third World War, the perfect breeding ground for the misery and suffering that the Darkness craves.
Recently, the Special Operations arm of Mossad noticed a spike in Brotherhood activity in and around the holy city of Jerusalem. It was soon learned that the Brotherhood — acting on behalf of the Darkness — sought to ally with terror organisations and bring a so-called "dirty bomb" into the city and detonate it. This would create chaos in the region, and that chaos would soon spread to other nations.
Character Shoshanna is an ultra-efficient agent for Mossad, a woman with the highest degree of training. She is highly unimaginative and utterly receptive to the orders of her superiors with the agency. She does not question her mission, nor does she question the existence of the magic she sees all around her. This makes her the perfect operative in New York.
Shoshanna wields the Arm of the Night, a powerful weapon fused with Dark essence. It's been in her family for over 75 years, though everyone who has carried it before hasn't lived to see their 30th birthday. However, for her, the legacy of hunting and destroying evil wherever it hides in the world is worth the price.
Power She possesses the power of Gun Channeling. Interestingly, the Darkness has become entranced with technology — it knows that the newest weapons are capable of more efficient death and destruction.
Doctor J. P. DuMond
Backstory J. P. DuMond was a respectable African-American doctor, a descendant of a Creole family who went to live in the New Orleans area after the Emancipation Proclamation. For many years, J. P. DuMond worked tirelessly to provide medicine to the needy in the poorest areas of the city. He was a good man who always wanted to do well for others.
But resources were limited, as were medical supplies, so J. P. turned to his roots and began to use a form of Louisiana Voodoo to heal his patients. This type of voodoo relies upon the use of "Gris-Gris," or voodoo talisman, and other hoodoo paraphernalia. J. P. began to extract the bad essence of a person's illness and would entrap the sickness inside minuscule dolls made of human hair and material cut from his patients' clothing. But this was dangerous magic, and as time passed the bad magic began to adversely affect him. He was forced to keep the dolls inside a black metal box, which he called his Box of Tricks.
When the dark magic became intolerable he buried the box under a full moon, and returned to his practice hoping the Box of Tricks would never see the light of day. But a bad storm came upon the city, and the box was unearthed. This box of Psychic Sickness naturally drew the attention of the Brotherhood, who had created many evil Relics over the years. The Box of Tricks carried powerful dark magic, and the Brotherhood wanted it.
Character DuMond feels guilt over his creation of the Box of Tricks — he knows he has brought something evil upon the world. His desire to heal the poor and needy has backfired. DuMond is a sophisticated man with a high degree of medical training. His protection comes in the form of a staff known as the Midnight Stick and it is his conduit to Dark essence. It opens a portal to the "Great Emptiness" and takes the wicked down where they belong.
Power He wields the power of Black Hole. This occurs when he tosses the Box of Tricks into an open area. The box will open, and dark magic spews forth, creating a vortex that attacks nearby enemies. It is a very nasty and bloody sight to behold.
Backstory According to legend, the first emperors of Japan possessed a sword called Kusanagi — a mystical weapon that was said to have destructive properties. Historical documents dating from the 7th Century tell of how the Emperor Temmu fell ill as a result of wielding the sword, and how Kusanagi was then removed and placed in a shrine. But even at that time, Kusanagi was already hundreds of years old. Its origins remain unknown.
The weapon's influence grew darker as time passed. When the child Emperor Antoku was defeated at sea in the 11th Century, his grandmother led the child and his entourage to commit suicide, using Kusanagi. As the sword slipped from the dying child's hands it fell into the sea and was thought to be lost forever. What most historians do not know is that a few years ago the sword was salvaged by a passing fishing vessel, and thus would begin a new chapter in its destiny.
The true origin of Kusanagi lies with members of the Brotherhood who hid from Chinese persecutors in neighbouring Japan during the first centuries after Christ. These dark practitioners performed countless sacrifices in order to appease the Darkness that inhabited their High Priests. It is said that 10 thousand innocents were put to death by this single sword. But legend also says the curse of Kusanagi may be one day lifted when it has dispatched an equal number of wicked souls.
Character Inugami is a very dark character, mentally unstable and driven only by his need for revenge. He names himself after a dog god of Japan that legends say was created from extreme suffering, trained to exact revenge upon the enemies of its master. As a child, Inugami was buried by Brotherhood priests up to his neck in sand, in hopes that he would reveal the location of Kusanagi, the terrible sword of Emperors. Inugami was forced to witness the slaughter of his entire family, including his little brother, at the hands of the Brotherhood who had come to retake the sword from his father.
Many years before, Inugami's family had retrieved the sword from the sea. Because of the Sword's curse, the family became benign assassins, seeking to fulfil the destiny of Kusanagi by taking the lives of 10,000 wicked souls. Inugami was able to escape the slaughter and he vowed revenge upon the Brotherhood and their allies. He has come to New York to face the Brotherhood — he will follow them wherever they appear and will stop at nothing to satisfy the sword with the deaths of 10,000 wicked men.
But there is a catch, as there always is with the Darkness: a man who chooses to wield Kusanagi will slowly lose his life essence unless he kills frequently. The power of the sword will reshape even the best of men. In effect, Inugami is destined to become a Yokai demon — a kind of walking dead — unless he can remove 10 thousand bloodstains of innocents from Japan's dark history.
Power Inugami has the power of Swarm. His Swarm power resembles an attack of miniature Yokai demons of all kinds.