Dark Shadows #9 Review

Does this story come to a satisfying conclusion or is it utterly disappointing?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dynamite:

The Children arc ends here! Who is the man known as Lockwood and what does he mean to Barnabas Collins? What about this mysterious man is forcing Barnabas to come face to face with the sins of his vampire nature? Will Barnabas be able to bury those sins for all eternity or will he, and his family, be consumed by his past once again?

Dark Shadows is a property that carries a lot of weight with its die hard fans, and like any continuation of a long since dead television series people will have their mixed opinions on any possible extension. Ultimately for me, I’ve found myself quite hooked by this interpretation even as this latest issue delivers a good but not great climax.

Mike Raicht tackles the script offering a very straight forward conclusion that has Barnabas Collins facing the sins he made long ago.  It’s a rather sturdy finish that moves the overall saga forward but by the end of it there are quite a few plot lines left dangling.  To an extent because of that fact the romp feels incomplete, as it lacks a fitting payoff.  Beyond that however, the author more than succeeds with nailing the dialogue as each character acts as fans would honestly expect them to given the situations that they’re dealing with.

Guiu Vilanova handles the art and does a solid job capturing enough of the distinctive look of the old show while slowly evolving it toward a rather unique interpretation.  The thick but skilled pencil strokes imbue each panel with a dreary sense that easily nails the cadence of the script in a way that elevates the quality of the story.  There a are a couple panels where faces are not as recognizable as they should be, as distortions cause these scenes to feel rather rushed.

Dark Shadows #9 is a solid addition to this series that brings the current story arc to a somber if not completely fulfilling finish.  Recommended.


I'm the Managing Editor for the site, and I've been a contributor for two years now. My main focus is reviews, comics especially, but I dabble in news and editorials with time permitting. I've been a collector for over half my life and this is my chance to stretch my fanboy legs. So relax and come with me to a place where INCREDIBLE and UNCANNY fall in line with AMAZING!