|“||Who am I? I'm the thing barely seen in the shadows. The dark one just out of the corner of your eye. I'm the creature lurking under you child's bed and hiding in his closet. Even when they had me boxed up and tucked safely away, my shadow touched every world, every man's soul.||”|
— Mr. Darker in Fables #86.
Dark Man, also known as Mr. Dark is one of the Great Powers. He is the embodiment of all that is malign and corrupt in existence.
Mister Dark was one of the Great Powers that existed long before the rise of the Empire within the Homelands. Early during the Empire's rise, an elite unit of warlocks specializing in capturing and containing the most dangerous of magical threats, known as the Boxing League, was formed. The Boxing League continuously fought Mister Dark until they successfully contained him within a stone box which drained his power and transmitted it to be used by the Adversary. Mister Dark was imprisoned by the Boxing League, a division of Warlocks specialized in capturing and containing the most dangerous of magical threats, during the expansion of the empire, he was contained within a stone box which drained his power and transmitted it to be used by the Adversary.
Freedom and Conquest
Looters mistakenly released the creature who proceeded to drain them of life. Mister Dark reacquired his stolen power, including a portion that powered the Witching Cloak, destroyed the enchantments that held the Fabletown buildings together and set off to Fabletown to seek revenge. Upon arrival, he captured and then killed Kay, as well as a few hundred New York residents for the construction of his new palace.
His presence loomed over New York City and the ruins of old Fabletown, and as his palace neared construction, Mister Dark was confronted by the North Wind, having secretly made a deal with Frau Totenkinder to measure up the dark foe in exchange for knowledge about a zephyr who had escaped his centuries-long purge (incidentally one of his grandchildren). Mister Dark continued his pursuit of the refugee Fables before being confronted by Frau Totenkinder, who battled Mister Dark with the assistance of the 13th floor witches. Totenkinder managed to trap Mister Dark in a gold statue, but it was not enough to contain him; during the Fables' premature celebration in Mister Dark's palace, Mister Dark escaped his confinement again, killing Hobbes and temporarily killing Totenkinder as well. But with his power recharging, he warned the Fables to run far away before he was back at his full strength.
Mister Dark later encountered Nurse Spratt alone at the Farm, where the Fables had been seeking refuge until Totenkinder's gambit failed. Spratt offered her allegiance to Mister Dark in exchange for three wishes - to be beautiful, to take revenge on the "pretty" Fables, and to have a prince of her own. Mister Dark promised to grant her wishes as the two sealed their alliance. She told him they were fleeing to the kingdom of Haven, protected by Flycatcher's power. While Mister Dark continually weakened the barriers protecting Haven, he had Nurse Spratt, who rechristened herself as Leigh Douglas, receive combat training from another of his subordinates, Werian Holt. Douglas begged him for a faster, more permanent transformation so that she could have her revenge on the Fables before her dark master slaughtered them. After warning her that such a process would be extremely painful, Mister Dark accepts her pleas and transforms her into a slim and beautiful (but even more wicked) woman. He does not tell her that he himself was the "dark prince" he promised to her, intending to marry Douglas and have her rule by his side as her dark queen.
Intending to finish off the Fables once and for all, Mister Dark travels back to Haven only to be confronted by the North Wind. Having faced internal conflict over the idea of having to kill his own grandson simply for being a zephyr, the North Wind concluded his own death would cancel out his obligation to kill the last remaining zephyr. As such, the North Wind easily subdued Mister Dark and took them both off the mortal realm, as their collusion would inevitably cause its destruction, and allowed both of them to be trapped in another box containing them, effectively "killing" both Mister Dark and himself in a valiant self-sacrifice.
Mister Dark was an extremely malevolent entity, and was described as being the living embodiment of corruption and evil in the Homelands.
Mr. Dark is a mysterious and extremely powerful entity with chalk white skin and black hair.
Powers and Abilties
The Dark Man has displayed a variety of abilities of a magical nature. Aside from the typical abilities to spell cast, which presumably enabled him to rapidly speed up Nurse Spratt's weight loss, the Dark Man had powers that sprang from the fear of others. Since he was the embodiment of that force, he was able to use an enemy's fear to strengthen himself and bypass any defenses that he or she might have erected.
- Immortality: As a Great Power, Mr. Dark could potentially have lived forever and was so powerful that not much could ever harm him.
- Necromancy: Mr. Dark could turn living beings into "witherlings" — decayed minions that do his bidding until they've been exhausted. He does so by consuming the teeth of humans and, by spitting them up one at a time, summoning the spirit of the owner of said tooth to serve him. He can do this once per tooth, so he can generally do this a maximum of thirty two times (less if the person in question had poor oral hygiene). He could also induce rapid decay in those near him.
- Shapeshifting: Mr. Dark could change his shape.
- Phasing: Mr. Dark was able to walk through solid walls.
- Fear Empowerment: Ozma stated that one of Mr.Dark's major abilities was his power to easily slip past or undue the most powerful defensive charms, enchantments and spells of even the most powerful magic users by using his opponents fear to remove or slip past them and empower his own abilities. Thus if his opponent felt a large amount of fear towards him, the easier it was for him to remove their defenses, whereas if his opponent felt little fear against him it harder was for him to remove their defenses.
- Fear: Mister Dark's primary source of power is the fear of those who surround him. The more that fear him, the greater his power becomes; if he is surrounded by those who possess little fear, he becomes weaker.
- Gold: The Dark Man seemed to have some sort of allergy, or at least aversion, to gold. This is why the Boxing League surrounded his container with a room full of gold.
- Magic: The Dark Man seemed susceptible to the effects of magic, seeing as how he was imprisoned by the Boxing League's enchantments. Even when he was contained, however, his darkness seeped out — only his physical manifestation was imprisoned. He was also.somewhat wounded by Bellflower's magic to a remarkable degree.
- Personal Artifacts of the Other Great Powers: As he was killed by being entombed inside the North Wind's Cask of Ancient Winds, its likely that the other personal artifacts of his fellow Great Powers could also permanently kill him.
- Vault of Primal Darkness: Like the other Great Powers, Mister Dark also possessed a personal magic box artifact that he could use to commit a sort of suicide in case he got tired of this life.
- While Dark Man's name does not come from any specific story, it is clear that his presence carries out in various panels of literature, folklore and mythology, having collected names such as the Bogeyman, the Dullahan, the Khokhan, the Buse, Mörkö, The Dunganga, The Abo Ragl Ma Shokla, Burned Man, Lake Man, Buback, Torbalan and too many others to mention. However, he bares a striking resemblance to Sandman's Morpheus, and may have been based off of him.