Love the compendium. - sydisticpixi
First of all let me say that I love what Top Cow is doing with their compendiums. I have the hardcover version, which cost me $65 new on Amazon. It comes with a dustcover (the cover shown above) that has a black and white ink poster of Jackie and his minions on the inside (which I promptly pinned to my wall). With the cover removed the book is mostly black, matching my Witchblade compendiums or any of the softcover compendiums perfectly. The hardcover is heavy but sturdy; I have read through it twice and noticed no pages coming loose.
On to the content. I won't go into the story of The Darkness or the world of Top Cow, you can find that elsewhere. The table of contents splits the book up into four distinct story arcs (Coming of age, Heart of darkness, Original sin, and Flesh and blood) which comprises issue #1-#40, followed by Tales of the Darkness, Darkness one shots, and issue #1 of the Darkness vol.2 (2002), ending with the art gallery. Each issue starts with its original cover art then fills the entire page. The art gallery is about 40 pages and features full page alternate covers and concept sketches. The paper and print quality is great.
I have two complaints about this book. First is that it can be a tad heavy for comfortable reading. I found it was better for casual reading when you can get down and comfortable, but it was inconvenient when on the move such as reading while in the car (my wife would rather I talk to her anyway). Secondly when you get to a two page spread, you can’t lay the thing flat since it is so thick, which tends to ruin the otherwise cool two page effect.
In conclusion while I don't see the point in getting this if you already own the graphic novels, I think it’s the best way to collect The Darkness. It’s pricy, but you get 50 issues plus bonuses in hardcover, all of high quality.