Review: Dark Shadows (Comic) #8

dark shadows 8Written by Mike Raight

Illustrated by Nacho Tenorio

Published by Dynamite Entertainment

In which Barnabas and Quentin follow the trail of a band of amateur vampire hunters (who have kidnapped David as leverage) to the cliffs of nearby Spafford, Maine – just as the mastermind behind these events has planned…

In my review of issue #7, I commented on how refreshing it was to see the concerns of ordinary townsfolk playing a key role in the proceedings. This issue continues that trend, but demonstrates quite graphically why ordinary citizens and the supernatural should be kept as far apart as possible in the Dark Shadows universe.

This set piece aside, the plot continues mainly in a “treading the water” fashion that recalls the middle episode stretch of many a classic Doctor Who story. Various allegiances are made apparent; Elizabeth chides Roger and Carolyn for spending too much time at the Blue Whale again; and David finally realizes that all is not well with Emma.

Once again, a new illustrator – Nacho Tenorio – makes his debut with this issue; this, along with minimal colouring/shading, results in the comic’s weakest artwork to date by far. The main characters bear scarcely any resemblance to their televised counterparts (not that this is absolutely mandatory, but readers shouldn’t mistake Quentin for Willie Loomis – nor should Julia Hoffman have the same hairstyle as David Collins!). It’s almost as if the entire cast had refused to cross a strike’s picket line and all been replaced by “day players” so that the show (or in this case, comic) could go on…

Seeing as I’m in quibble mode, I might as well point out that Quentin’s being able to transform into an articulate werewolf at will is completely at odds with everything presented onscreen about his lycanthropy in the televised Dark Shadows episodes. However, since this has been happening throughout the Dynamite comics run, it’s hardly worth moaning about now.

VERDICT: This plotline continues to show promise, but the artwork is terrible to the point of proving detrimental and overly distracting to the proceedings. 5/10

John S. Hall

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