July 12, 2012

Dynamite Reviews: Dark Shadows #6

Dark Shadows #6
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Mike Raicht
Artist: Gordon Purcell (cover by Francesco Francavilla)

Barnabas Collins has been enduring some treatments administered by his friend, Julia. It seems to be helping his lust for blood, and Barnabas seems to think maybe his age is helping that along, as well. He goes out for a jaunt, but then a shadowy figure savagely attacks a young girl, and then another person. Barnabas returns home with blood all over him, and the others wonder if he’s given in. He claims to have feasted on a deer, but everyone is skeptical. He then argues with Julia about the ineffectiveness of the treatments, but then when Julia gets angry, he relents, and apologizes to her. Did he kill the two people? We’ll find out!

Raicht is beginning to twist a tale that’s your typical Dark Shadows story, except for the fact that it’s more brutal than its old school counterparts. Seeing the vampire murder two victims will catch you off guard a bit, and that surprise is why I think Raicht can be on this book for a while and make a big statement. You do get the usual banter between Barnabas and his family and friends, and that can seem slightly dry, but it’s part of the Dark Shadows mythos, and it doesn’t detract from the overall cool vibe of the book. There’s definitely an old school Dark Shadows feel to this book, just with a newer take.

There was an artist change from last issue, but it didn’t seem to matter. Gordon Purcell, the new artist, handles the job nicely, and especially does a nice job on showing the vampire killing while not revealing the identity of the killer. He also draws a great Barnabas Collins. Dark, brooding, and dangerous, but also compassionate when he needs to be. The secondary characters are not yet too developed, with the exception of Julia. She’s a bit of an anomaly, but it feels as if she’ll be getting more time in the spotlight as the series progresses.

The covers have been great for this series, and with talents like Francesco Francavilla on board, things will surely be at a high level. He’s been doing some fantastic work for some time now, and really deserves more accolades than he currently receives. The series looks to be heading in a great direction, so everyone that’s a fan of the shows or original comic book series needs to give this a chance! Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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