Thursday, December 10, 2015
Darkman #1: “Darkman” by Randall Boyll. Based on the screenplay by Chuck Pfarrer & Sam Raimi. Raimi created Darkman when his plans for The Shadow fell through. However much the similarities might seem, there is a world of difference between Darkman and The Shadow. Dr. Peyton Westlake is experimenting on a new skin for burn victims, but so far his new product only lasts for 99 minutes, and then dissolves. He has just acquired a new assistant, plus has proposed to his girlfriend, Julie Hastings. Julie, a corporate lawyer has discovered a memo notating bribes between a building contractor and city officials, and is planning on going public with the information. However. The contractor sends his gang boss, Robert G. Durant to appropriate the memo that is now in the hands of Dr. Westlake. Westlake’s assistant is murdered, and he is tortured, then the building is burned and explodes, supposing killing Westlake also. But he is discovered and taken to a burn unit at the hospital as an unknown, where his nerves are blocked, giving him freedom from pain. But the side effects give him anger and renewed strength. Scarred beyond repair, he has become a freak. Escaping from the hospital he finds an old trench coat and hat to obscure his hideous face. Setting up a new lab in an abandoned building he continues his experiments on new skin, building a new face that only lasts for 99 minutes at a time. Knowing that Julie will be frightened of his burned body, he goes after Durant and his hoods to destroy them, eventually reaching the contractor and revealing himself to Julie. The book kept honest to the movie script, perhaps even giving us more insight into the mind of Westlake, and was well written.