Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Preview: DARK SHADOWS #17

It's been a while since I've read any of Dynamite Entertainment's DARK SHADOWS books. Last year's Vampirella crossover was soul-crushingly terrible, and the fast decline of the regular title only seemed better by comparison. But, time heals all wounds, and I have to admit a certain morbid curiosity about what's been happening in the series since I abandoned it like so much Eli Wallach.

Dynamite has released a preview of the latest issue of the series, which you can see below. Looks like Nicholas Blair is back, which is cool. I guess. It's difficult to work up much enthusiasm for the book after being burned so many times in the past. What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy these comics. At first I wasn’t interested until a friend gave me #4 and #5. Since then I’ve collected the lot and I’m eagerly awaiting the next release. I know you gave these issues bad reviews, but to address some of your points . . . . . To me, if Angelique can turn Joshua Collins into a cat, she can levitate Carolyn. As for Barnabas destroying Angelique with his cane, I interpret the cane as a distraction that prevented Angelique from feeding on Julia and as a result, the witch returned to stone. For me, issue 5 was a classic “Barnabas is confronted by his victims” story. Being a Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy geek, I liked how the spirits demanded that Barnabas remember them. The importance of being remembered is a common thread throughout Dante’s Comedy. Not that I’m saying that they modeled the story on the Comedy, but I found it quite moving. As for Quentin being able to assume his werewolf persona at will and speaking English during those periods (!!!!), well, I’m willing to overlook it. However, an explanation for these abilities in some future issue would be greatly appreciated.

Beyond the beautiful illustrations, I think the comics do more things right than wrong, for example, their depiction of the dysfunctional family that is Barnabas, Julia, and Willie. They also seem to catch many small details as well, such as describing Nicholas Bair’s house as being the “house by the sea” and including Jason McGuire as one of Barnabas’ victims in issue #4. The series does a nice job of “humanizing” the characters, Barnabas’ being delighted at having a glass orange juice shortly after becoming human again for example. And I find the stories suspenseful and the new characters are quite good.

Perhaps, you might give this series a second chance.

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