Comic Vine Review


Dark Shadows #1


A comic based on the old gothic soap opera, what's a man to do when cursed to be a vampire. With art and an overall feel that is true to the show, this could be a vampire comic that new and old fans of the show can enjoy.

Life as a vampire can truly...suck. Barnabas is a man conflicted as he tries to cope with the curse of being a vampire.

The Good

It's strange at times when we see different properties get the comic book treatment. While I didn't watch the show (it was before my time), I am familiar with the premise. A new movie in the works makes this the perfect time to check out what it's all about.

The art by Aaron Campbell truly captures the vibe from what I'd imagine a show from the late 60s to be like. At the same time, it doesn't have that stale, outdated feel old shows sometimes have when you try to watch them today. In this story, the mood is everything. Complementing the art is Carlos Lopez's colors. There are some similarities to Francesco Francavilla's art so it's no surprise Dynamite got Francesco

Chances are, the majority of today's comic readers aren't completely familiar with the original show. There was an updated version in the early 90s, I believe but none of that matters. We are introduced to the main characters in the beginning and the family has its share of secrets. This isn't to say it's a convenient plot device. It's part of the nature of the story. Without knowing a single bit of the shows story, you can get pulled into this comic easily. The mystery and cliffhanger should be enough to get you coming back for the next issue.

The Bad

The fact that this is based on a show from the 60s might put off new readers. Despite not needing to know anything about the original show, it's easy to see some people being hesitant about picking up what is an unknown (to them) franchise.

There's also the fact that this involves vampires. There are a lot of vampire shows and movies going on lately. Despite the occasional well written stories, people are tired of vampires and might want to avoid anything dealing them.

The comic has a great vibe but as a first issue, it is a tad slower paced due to the time period and because it has to set up the story.

The Verdict

Dark Shadows has had a long life on television and in past attempts at comic adaptations. With a new series and new movie in the works, now is the perfect time to discover what this franchise is all about. The first issue is set up nicely so that it is not required to know anything about the show. The opening pages doe a fine job in describing who the main characters are and what we need to know about them at this point. The characters do have their share of secrets so that adds to the element of the story for readers that have never watched the show. Aaron Campbell's art along with colors by Carlos Lopez further brings home the fact that this is a story from an older period of time. You can really see the vibe Stuart Manning is setting up with his story. Because it's a first issue, there is some set up involved and the action might be a little on the light side. There is more than enough here, along with the cliffhanger ending, to give me a reason to want to come back for the next issue.