Review: Dark Shadows: Year One #2
A blood-thirsty monster terrorizes the people of Collinsport! As the bodies pile up, the Collins’ family faces an unspeakable truth: the killer is one of their own! The vengeance of Angelique hits Barnabas and his family hard— and threatens to tear them, and the innocent townspeople, apart! Plus: Victoria Winters appears at the estate, but will anyone believe her warnings? Or will her tales of time-travel and vampires get her burned at the stake? The retelling of the classic “Dark Shadows” history continues here!
The second issue in the new story retelling the origins of Dark Shadow’s most famous character, Barnabas Collins, continues this week in Dark Shadows: Year One. The story is written by Marc Andreyko with art by Guiu Vilanova. Josan Gonzalez provides colors with Troy Peteri handling lettering. So does the second chapter give us something to sink our teeth into or is this more of a light snack?
Our story opens with two women, Mary and Lizzie, walking home at night. Lizzie gives Mary some advice to stay on the roads and to be on the lookout for the strangler. Mary doesn’t believe in that superstitious nonsense and staying to the roads would take an extra half hour to get home. In the mist she is visited by a striking figure. Barnabas Collins, now a full vampire, makes quick work of young Mary. We then flash back two months prior to the Collins Estate. Bad things are still happening to the Collins family and they don’t know why. They are unaware that Angelique has orchestrated all of their ills. Barnabas is still heartbroken that he can’t be with Josette, his true love. While Victoria Winter appears to try and warn the Collins family of what she has seen in her visions, Barnabas rushes off in the night to try and win Josette back. He gets his chance to set things right, but on the way home he is attacked by a pack of bats. Angelique won’t let Barnabas go that easily. Barnabas falls ill and dies. When he is laid to rest in the family tomb, Angelique unleashes Barnabas’ true punishment.
Andreyko writes a good script. It stays true enough to the original while still presenting an interesting story. The technique of opening with a scene then flashing back to see why it happened does give the book the feel of a television show, but it hurts the cliffhanger. We see Barnabas as a vampire in the opening pages. Seeing Barnabas rise from his coffin as a vampire isn’t a big shock. You’re reading it and you’re not surprised. We just played catch-up to see how it happened. The story in between is good, so you can forgive that slightly. Vilanova’s art and Gonzalez’s colors are a perfect fit for the book. Everything is very dark, Gothic, and brooding. There are some changes to the characters, but they stick close enough to the TV characters that you don’t feel taken out of the book. That’s a hard line to walk in these type of comic series. This issue in particular has a very Francesco Francavilla vibe.
Bottom Line: Dark Shadows will please longtime fans and give new fans a chance to get in on the ground floor. Dark Shadows is a great candidate for the Year One treatment, and Barnabas Collins is great character to explore. The story feels like we’re still doing some set-up, but the finale makes it feel like we’re getting into the real meat of the thing now. 3/5