Review: Dark Shadows (Comic) #6

Written by Mike Raight

Illustrated by Guiu Vilanova

Published by Dynamite Entertainment

In which a blatant vampire attack on a young lady rocks Collinsport – someone is obviously trying to frame Barnabas, but who? And why…?

After the nosedive in quality throughout the last issue and the noticeable delay in the delivery of this latest one, readers might have been forgiven for thinking that the Dark Shadows comic was in a death spiral. Thankfully, this issue pulls up and delivers an improvement – although considering the contents of the fifth issue, that’s hardly difficult!

While the main storyline focuses on a new, partially-glimpsed vampire in town, seemingly intent on stirring up trouble for Barnabas through his predations, the more interesting B-story focuses on young David Collins. But rather than expanding on his “rampant pyromania” (as mentioned in issue #1), it instead focuses on David’s burnin’ love for the one girl in Collinsport who doesn’t think he’s a total weirdo and doesn’t shun him because of his family’s (admittedly deserved) reputation…

Also, we at last discover what Barnabas’s manservant Willie Loomis has been up to lately – he’s been sent on a search and recovery mission by his master, attempting to locate a possible alternative cure for vampirism instead of Julia’s serums. Oddly, while the illustrations of Willie look like actor John Karlen, the character’s clothes seem to be those of Karlen’s 1897 character Carl Collins – even down to the checked Inverness cloak – rather than the “fashions” of 1971. (Quentin also suffers from similar sartorial temporal displacement.) And while minor, these sorts of errors still makes one wonder about the level of devotion and degree of knowledge that the present creative team is bringing to a beloved franchise.

VERDICT: While a considerable improvement over issue #5, this series still has quite a way to go before recapturing the abundant promise of its first three issues… 6/10

John S. Hall

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