September 26, 2012

Dynamite Reviews: Dark Shadows #7

Dark Shadows #7
Publisher: Dynamite
Writer: Mike Raicht
Artist: Guiu Vilanova (cover by Francesco Francavilla)
Colors: Carlos Lopez

The small Maine fishing village of Collinsport is housing a secret. Well, after this issue, it appears that it has more than one secret to be honest. Barnabas Collins, the two hundred year old vampire, is trying to keep his vampiric side a secret, but there are those who seem to know about it, and are looking to not only exploit it, but also rally everyone else against him and his family. This one man claims to be a police officer from a neighboring county, but when Barnabas came into contact with him, he got a scent from this man that made him pause. He later admitted that he thinks this man had recently been around a vampire. Speaking of other vampires, there’s one or more currently terrorizing teenagers in the area. The latest victim is the girlfriend of the young David Collins. She was dropped off near her home, but never made it to her destination. Is this murder random or another attempt at rousing the population against the Collins name?

The appeal to readers for this book is quite interesting. Yeah, it’s mostly looked at as a horror book, but honestly, it’s more of a mystery/thriller with a touch of horror. That’s actually the best angle for this book, because if Raicht tried straight up horror with blood and guts, it just wouldn’t feel right even if you didn’t compare it to the old stuff. The book has this nostalgic feel to it that when coupled with mystery and a touch of horror, makes it a solid read.

The artist is not someone that has a flashy style or does big splash pages or anything like that, but he does manage to do something that quite a few artists have a problem with – facial expressions. He gets them exactly how they should be, and it’s a great attribute. There was one panel that did stand out, where Barnabas leaped into the air and changed into a bat. Where the cane he was holding went, who knows, but the scene was really cool. The colorist uses a lot of muted tones and has a good hold on what’s needed in that regard. The cover artist is someone that’s been tearing it up lately on several different titles. Francesco Francavilla is one of those guys that has a style all his own, but that doesn’t necessarily stop him from attracting a wide audience. Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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