Dark Shadows: The Complete Series Volume 1 Hardcover – Aug 25 2010
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The genius of DARK SHADOWS was its willingness to delve into the world of the supernatural five times a week in an ongoing daytime drama. It brought to the fans a legion of unforgettable characters like Barnabas and Quentin Collins, Dr. Julia Hoffman, and the witch Angelique in a succession of story arches set in both the present and the past. Also genius was the writers' use of parallel time for this opened up an unlimited number of possible versions of Collinsport, Maine, where the series was set.
I prefer to think of much of the spin-off memorabilia, such as Marilyn Ross' series of paperback novels and this series of Gold Key comics, as parallel worlds of the DARK SHADOWS mythos. Just as on the show itself, the major characters listed above play an integral part in the plotlines of these comics, but the world itself is often very askew from the one on the show. For instance, don't expect to see many of the characters from the series such as Carolyn, David, or Maggie. Quentin doesn't transform into your typical werewolf; he's more of a hybrid from the Isle of Dr. Moreau. Barnabas "lives" at Collinwood instead of the Old House. Character inconsistencies abound throughout the series of 35 comics. Still, all the elements the fans enjoy remain, such as the people in peril needing Barnabas' help, the time traveling, and the take-offs on classic horror tales.
It's great that Hermes Press has chosen to reprint all the original comics. Obviously, this affords us fans the opportunity to gather these favored childhood treasures all in one place, in much better condition than the original comics are likely to be these days, and at an affordable price. Let's just hope that the release of the four remaining volumes goes more smoothly given the shaky debut of Volume 1.
Meanwhile, when you read the story (and you should), when you get to page 16 read page 30 and then when you get to page 30 read page 16. The story will then make sense.
However, taken on its own terms, this is a nice collection of horror stories from the 60s and 70s, with really nice art by John Certa. While the stories may not fit in neatly between episodes of the TV series, they certainly capture the weird, Gothic tone of the show. Fans of comics of the period will enjoy this, as will fans of more esoteric Dark Shadows merchandise.
Unfortunately, two pages in the first story are transposed, which makes for a frustrating reading experience. Accidents and misprints happen, and the rest of the book is enjoyable enough that I'm willing to forgive this error. But I hope that future volumes will be produced with a bit more care and attention, as I certainly look forward to reading them.