Review: Dark Shadows (Comic) #12

Dark-Shadows-12Written by Mike Raight

Illustrated by Nacho Tenorio

Published by Dynamite Entertainment

In which Quentin and Emma square off in the halls of Collinwood, while an expedition to the Blue Whale goes much more differently than Barnabas, Julia, Willie and Elizabeth had ever anticipated…

One of the first things that’s immediately noticeable is the return of Nacho Tenorio’s incredibly disappointing artwork, especially since Guiu Vilanova’s efforts in the previous issue were so atmospheric and evocative in comparison.  It’s like reaching an episode of the televised Dark Shadows that only exists as a low-quality kinescope.

Tenorio’s work also includes a (perhaps unintentional?) “clothing reprise blooper” for which Dark Shadows was occasionally infamous; in the last panel of issue #11, Willie Loomis was shown stripped to the waist in preparation for being sacrificed on an altar. Now, however, he’s miraculously recovered his turtleneck and windbreaker whilst still being offered up to some diabolical being!

But before this sartorial blunder is revealed, Julia decides to take a more proactive approach in finding out why Barnabas and Willie haven’t returned to the Blue Whale’s main room. This results in some decent interaction between her and Elizabeth, especially when the doctor goes into pistol-packin’ mode, and Mrs Stoddard rather desperately attempts to rationalize the events she suddenly finds herself witnessing in the cavern beneath the tavern…

Back in its original transmission days, Dark Shadows courted the ire of America’s Mary Whitehouse equivalents through its depictions of the supernatural – especially the holding of Black Masses and spellcasters’ attempts to summon the Devil. The contents of this comic would no doubt have these moral guardians spinning in their graves as, for once, the cultists appear to have succeeded in their goal!

Verdict: Issue #11 succeeded in piquing my interest. As of its last panel, the twelfth installment of Dynamite’s Dark Shadows has captured my attention. 7/10

John S. Hall

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