REVIEW: Dark Shadows #10

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Barnabas Collins can once again walk in the sunlight, but a grave threat remains for the quiet fishing town of Collinsport. Will Barnabas be able to save himself and everyone else from Lockwood’s threat? Read on in this Major Spoilers review.

DARK SHADOWS #10
WRITER: MIKE RAIGHT
ARTIST: NACHO TENORIO
COLORS: CARLOS LOPEZ
LETTERS: TROY PETERI
EDITOR: JOE RYBANDT
PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
COVER PRICE: $3.99

Previously in Dark Shadows: Victorious over Lockwood, Barnabas prepares for what he hopes will be the next phase of his life: A return to long-forgotten normalcy.

 BLADE COLLINS

Barnabas is the Daywalker! Thanks to his stolen amulet, Barnabas finds himself freed of his vampiric curse, though he discovers he’s also been relieved of the benefits inherent to his preternatural state such as being able to influence others with hypnotism.

 

As the story begins, Barnabas is basking in his rediscovered humanity, but he finds David upset that Emma—his friend who’s a girl but not a girlfriend who was abducted a few issues ago—still hasn’t been found. David is frustrated at his inability to find her and chafes at Barnabas’ lack of progress in locating her and his prohibitions against David staying out after dark to find her. Barnabas knows Emma’s been turned, so he prepares to go full Van Helsing in his search for her. David stumbles upon her first, however and takes it upon himself to keep her safe.

 

The B Plot involves Willie trying to forget his most recent ordeal through the liberal use of libations. While at the Blue Whale he follows Roger and Carolyn to the basement and witnesses them committing a ritual murder. I have no doubt this will become the next story arc as the Lockwood story will likely be forgotten in the next couple of issues. Much like the show, the seeds of future stories are sowed early enough to make the transitions feel smooth.

 

The dialogue was good. Not amazing, not terrible, but good. I’ve never been much of a fan of “Barnabas is cured” stories because the first rule of Dark Shadows is “Barnabas’ vampiric cures never last.” I know it’s only temporary, so I can’t get invested in that part of the story. Maybe Mike Raight will fake us out, though, and keep it going for more than a few story arcs.

 

BARNABAS LOOKS LIKE DON KNOTTS

Square peg, meet round hole. When I picked up this issue, I had no idea the artist had changed, so I was flabbergasted when I flipped through and saw how all the characters looked “wrong.” Normally, I’d say that it’s a issue of different strokes and this art style has its own strengths and I’ll get used to it because I’m a laid-back guy. But I won’t say that this time. While still very laid back, I cannot be effusive enough in saying how mismatched to the subject matter is Nacho Tenorio’s character designs. “Dark Shadows” under Guiu Villanova looked the part of a dark, gothic horror tale. Under Tenorio, I’m afraid it’s starting to look like Scooby Doo. I don’t think the art is inherently bad—just poorly matched for the type of story.

 

BOTTOM LINE:  IT’S BETTER THAN BAD, IT’S GOOD

This was a good issue that moved things along and, thankfully, didn’t spend too much time with Barnabas and Julia rhapsodizing over the cure. It did, however, get a little too overt with their unstated and unrequited romance, but I’m more than game for that kind of character growth after 40 years. It’s a very solid issue despite my qualms with the art, it’s kind of an in-betweener—The Children arc is officially over, but the new story has yet to get moving. Maybe wait another issue if you’re not already reading the story. 3 stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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