Illustrated by Guiu Vilanova
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
In which Barnabas is literally haunted by the spirits of those who have died as a result of him or his actions…
The first issue of this series not written by Stuart Manning, this represents a huge step backward in quality, both story- and artwork-wise. Not only does it cover old ground, it adds nothing new to Dark Shadows lore, making it seem like pure filler material.
While Guiu Vilanova’s artwork has an undeniable verve, most of the time it makes Barnabas look like a caricature of himself – pinched features, huge chin and beaky nose, presented in unflattering tints of mauve. And while Dr. Julia Hoffman fares better – her angular features seemingly fitting the illustration style better – Vilanova draws her wearing slacks, something the character never once did in all of her onscreen appearances.
Numerous other errors crop up as well: twice the town ofCollinsportis called “Collinwood”; during a conversation, both Barnabas and another character refer to “Julie” when they clearly are talking about Carolyn; and Josette’s maiden name is misspelled on her tombstone! Perhaps these are clever attempts at post-modern acknowledgment of the TV show’s frequent onscreen bloopers, but more likely they’re just the result of people being sloppy, which is a shame.
Hopefully this was just a confluence of unfortunate flukes and gaffes, but it makes me uneasy as to the potential quality of issues to come.
VERDICT: A dark disappointment. 4/10
John S. Hall