Dark Shadows: Year One #4 Review

The origins of this emotional jaunt are getting a thorough inspection, but is this really something fans should bother paying attention to?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dynamite:

Barnabas continues to struggle with his bloodlust, while the crazed Reverend Trask’s witch hunt leads Collinsport on a descent into hell! To make matters worse, cousin Millicent arrives, bringing with her a new evil in the form of Nathan Forbes!

There are many aspects of this tale that seem to be ripe for pitfalls.  That danger comes from the fact that our lead acts as a newly formed vampire that’s trying desperately to find a balance between his new and old life.  But thanks to the creative team there’s enough left alive in this deathly affair to make a release that’s engaging all on its own merits.

Marc Andreyko pens the script and I have to say the writer’s ability to emphasize the key points of the characters while balancing progression with plot development yields something that can be described as a striking narrative.  There are some missteps along the way as our beleaguered hero experiences his own cowardice and morbid sense of justice.  As one bad act leads to an awful conclusion, the scribe finds the necessary soul of the piece to make it all work.  In short: what we have is an engaging read that suffers a bit from corny dialogue but nonetheless finds a balance between what it is and what it might be.

The art by Guiu Vilanova is more than fitting, as thick lines build a world shrouded in shadow.  The talent creates a believable interpretation of the staple locations while offering a unique spin on our protagonist.  In a lot of ways the work done here expands on the monthly title and series that proceeded it by embracing an even moodier disposition that’s sure to leave fans eagerly awaiting the next outing in this all too brief mini-series.

Dark Shadows: Year One #4 is a very good comic that should be on your pull-list, especially if you’re a fan of the franchise.  Recommended.

4/5

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