Darkling (Icons Writeup)

aka Darla Lang

Prowess 4
Coordination 4
Strength 3
Intellect 4
Awareness 5
Willpower 6

Stamina 9

* Shadow-Bending (Darkness Control) 7
Extras: (Expert +2 bonus) – Dimensional Travel, Energy Drain, Phasing
Limits: +2 Difficulty when operating in bright sunlight or extremely well-lit areas

Occult (+1 bonus), Stealth (Expert, + 2 bonus)

“Bright sun. No clouds. Makes shadow-bending impossible out in the open. In the dark? Different story.”

“You’re right. You are lousy at this. But thanks. Jerk.”

(part of this comes from The Mighty Crusaders Network)

The mysterious Darkling first appeared during the Crusaders epic battle against the combined forces of Eterno, the Brain Emperor and the Malevolent Legion of Juggernauts. She aided the team with her mystic cloak and was quickly accepted into their ranks. Darkling never revealed anything about herself, though she seemed to forge a quick friendship with Kim Brand, aka Flygirl.

Serious without being overbearing, Darkling was a sensual woman with an appreciation for the paranormal. During the alien invasion that united the Crusaders with Thunder Bunny, it was Darkling who sensed that the rabbit hero was not a threat to the Earth. She also proved her usefulness in dispatching the Druid when the mystic villain attempted to steal the Jaguar’s magical belt.

Unfortunately, Darkling’s promising career as a hero came to an abrupt end when the evil Brain Emperor returned with the Riot Squad at his side. Seeing that Darkling posed a threat to him, the Brain Emperor wiped her mind clean and left her floating adrift in Limbo.

When the New Crusaders were formed, Darkling was included amongst the members. While at first it was unclear if this was a new heroine or the same woman from the original Crusaders, it was eventually established that she is the same person. Her attitude and appearance are quite different now as she’s very somber – and her powers, which used to be a part of her cloak, now seem to be internally generated. We can assume that the shift in personality comes from her recovery from being mind-wiped but the alteration in powers has yet to be explained.

Darkling is my favorite of the Crusaders and you’ll see more writeups of the New Crusaders as time goes by. I love that group! The energy drain power works a little differently than described in the Icons rulebook – generally, she dispatches foes into a “shadow dimension” and while they are there, they are ‘attacked’ by the power. In issue four of the most recent Mighty Crusaders series, we see that she can also do this by touch.


  1. If you like the Crusaders, I recommend TwoMorrows’ MLJ Companion. It’s a good history of the heroes’ repeated incarnations from the Golden Age up to the early 21st century.

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