Monday, September 14, 2015

"Lost" DARK SHADOWS comic promised a return of the Phoenix

There’s an auction currently on Ebay that provides some tantalizing clues as to the direction the DARK SHADOWS “revival” series might have gone — had it received a second season.

When DARK SHADOWS was cancelled in 1991 it left a number of plot threads dangling: Joe Haskell was dead, presumably making way for actor Michael T. Weiss to return the following season as “Peter Bradford;” Victoria Winters had returned to her own time aware that Barnabas Collins was a vampire; and the identity of David’s absent mother was still a mystery.

It's that last detail that has remained the most interesting to me. Based on nothing more than the plot details spilled early in the series, I've always assumed a second season would have delivered us some combination of Laura Collins and Cassandra Blair/Angelique Bouchard. After all, pyromania seemed too pat of an answer for David’s preoccupation with fire. And it seemed economical to bring back actress Lysette Anthony as Laura Collins, setting up a number of potentially interesting developments in the second season.

Alas, none of that came to pass. NBC prematurely pulled the plug on DARK SHADOWS, leaving fans with just the comic spin-off from Innovation. That, too, came to an end near the end of 1993, when Innovation shuttered its doors for good.

Innovation had published a pair of four-issue arcs, with the first issued of a third — titled “A Motion and a Spirit” — hitting stands in November, 1993, before the company went out of business. In all, they had produced nine issues of DARK SHADOWS.

But it appears Innovation had much more planned for the title. Now available for auction on Ebay is the cover art for a DARK SHADOWS storyline titled "Remember Martinique," which the seller says would have told “the long-awaited tale of Barnabas and Angelique's romance before he was forever cursed to walk the earth as a vampire, never made it to press.” The artwork appears to be the work of Hector Gomez, who provided the covers for the “Lost in Thought,” Innovation’s second DARK SHADOWS arc, as well as the lone issue of “A Motion and a Spirit.”

Here’s the thing: The abbreviated “A Motion and a Spirit” was set in modern day Collinsport and focused on Maggie Evans, David Collins and the ghost of Sarah Collins. Which begs the question: Had Innovation progressed so far that work had already begun on a fourth storyline in the series? If so, does that mean that the remaining issues of “A Motion and a Spirit” are sitting in a drawer somewhere — unpublished?

There are also no details about the creative team working on "Remember Martinique." (The identity of the cover artist is just an education guess on my part.) I've heard rumors that actress Lara Parker, who had loaned her likeness to one of the characters in the second DARK SHADOWS series from Innvation, had been asked to write a story arc for the comic. Is "Remember Martinique" the story that eventually became Parker's novel, "Angelique's Descent?"

None of this means that the art you see above, which shows a brunette Lysestte Anthony going all Jean Grey, has anything concrete to do with the unproduced second season of DARK SHADOWS. But Dan Curtis Productions and the series' license holders were actively involved in managing the editorial content of the comic, and it’s not unlikely that undeveloped plot elements from the show were fed to the writers at Innovation.

Via: Ebay

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