Dark Shadows #9
Writer: Mike Raicht
Artist: Guiu Vilanova (cover by Francesco Francavilla)
Colors: Carlos Lopez
This is it! The battle that has been brewing for the last few issues is here. But first, we see why Lockwood has such a deep hatred for Barnabas. You see, many years ago, Lockwood was just your ordinary serial killer type, until one foggy night when he tried to kill a young woman that Barnabas intended to be his next meal. The two fought, and Barnabas ended up slashing one of Lockwood’s eyes out, then biting him. Lockwood stumbled over a cliff, and spent the next few weeks figuring out his new vampiric powers. Over the decades he honed these new powers and tracked Barnabas, so that he could build an army of vampires and hurt the people he cared about most. Fast forward to the present. Barnabas and his werewolf buddy, Quentin, are deep within a coastal cave and facing off against Lockwood and his vampire slaves! Hopefully everyone is paid up on their death & dismemberment insurance!
If you like action involving the supernatural, but have not picked up this book, you need to rectify that immediately! You get an honest to goodness real story, backed up by vampires fighting other vampires, and a werewolf in the mix, as well. What’s not to love? Since assuming writing duties on this book, Mike Raicht has been building up to this explosive fight and it doesn’t disappoint. There is another cliff hanger, but hey, he wants you back next issue! It’s interesting to see Barnabas as more of a hero than villain, but he does seem contrite for his past atrocities. The ending was quite good, too, because you actually get two cliffhangers to deal with, and they should have everyone pumped up about the future!
The artwork is pretty much spot on, and the only complaint might be a couple of facial expressions that seemed slightly off. That might be nit picking, though. The monster action, the blood, and the settings are certainly a strong point for Vilanova. On to the cover. What can be said about the work of Francavilla other than it’s tremendous! He has such a unique style, but at the same time is appealing to all types of readers. He’s been all over the place lately (Captain America, The Spider, etc.) but none of his work looks hurried or like less of a priority than the others. He is the textbook definition of the word professionalism. Rating 5/5