Review: Dark Shadows (Comic) #13

dark_shadows_13_cover_francavilla_lowWritten by Mike Raight

Illustrated by Nacho Tenorio

Published by Dynamite Entertainment

In which Barnabas struggles to come to terms with the strange and terrifying future of 1984 – as well as the different body – that he finds himself in…

Now, this is more like it – a Dark Shadows story taking place in two time zones! After the success of the 1795 flashback, time travel became a staple of the show, but only once did it venture forward (into the possible future of 1995) rather than back into the past. In the first half of this issue, events in 1971 continue to spiral out of control – especially when the former owner of Barnabas’s new anti-vampirism amulet shows up in town, and promptly sticks her nose into the ongoing conflict.

Meanwhile, the second half of the comic concerns Barnabas’ trip to the future. His spirit awakens in the body of a stranger, brought back from the afterlife by loved ones through the guidance of a familiar practitioner of the black arts. Through them, he sketchily learns what has transpired over the past 13 years since he was torn from his body by what the cultists successfully summoned. Let’s just say for the inhabitants of Collinsport, the 1984 of George Orwell’s imagination probably would’ve been preferable…

And while Nacho Tenorio continues illustrative duties, the results aren’t quite as godawful as they have been. Perhaps because most of this issue takes place underground or at night, the artwork is more atmospheric and three-dimensional than his usual efforts. (Or perhaps the apocalyptic subject matter has proved more inspirational than usual?) Whatever the reason, one can only hope it continues as long as Tenorio is associated with the Dark Shadows comic.

VERDICT: An absorbing instalment that continues the recent upswing in quality. 7/10

John S. Hall

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