Dark Shadows: Year One #3 Review

As the captivating birth of this saga continues to be explored to its fullest, is there truly enough here to justify an ardent fan’s purchase?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dynamite:

Will Barnabas’ bloodlust destroy everyone he has ever loved? Angelique, the immortal witch, wants revenge on Barnabas for spurning her love… and it looks like his soul mate Josette shall pay the price! As bodies pile up, the cold-blooded Reverend Trask continues his witch-hunt. Who will survive his righteous fury!

There are a lot of pieces at play in the latest issue of Dark Shadows: Year One, but to the creative team’s credit they never quite lose sight of the mechanics that make this outlandish tale work.  As they illustrate the pain of tormented lovers and the loss of children, it becomes apparent that the people behind this book are tailor-made for their work.

Marc Andreyko does a splendid job on the script. The author wastes little time with unnecessary tangents, as he forges ahead with the meaty portions found within this jaunt.  We see questions of love and its enduring power, as our hero is wrapped in a cloak of darkness that will all but consume him for eternity.  The strength found here comes from the dialogue and despite some rather cony sequences the scribe finds a way to convey the heart of this origin story without sacrificing its aged, but nonetheless compelling, roots.

The art by Guiu Vilanova is impressive to say the least. We’re given panels that are full of lush but intimate details that frame the intent and the emotion behind this melancholy narrative.  The illustrator acts more as a delicate architect than anything else, as his pencil strokes handily build a brooding world that’s full of terrors.  There were a couple sidesteps here and there, where the amount of attention to minute intricacies felt like an overabundance.  But needless to say these instances were few and far between.

Dark Shadows: Year One #3 is a good comic book that does more than enough to earn a spot on your pull-list.  Recommended.

4/5

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