Dark Shadows, Issue #3
Return for Revenge
Gold Key Comics | November 1969
The third issue of the Dark Shadows comic delivers the goods with several recurring themes from the television series—a haunting, a family curse, a multi-generational revenge drama, a séance at Collinwood, and Barnabas Collins traveling to the past to alter the future.
The spirit of Setauket rises from the grave and assumes mortal flesh to avenge the wrongs perpetrated against him by the Collins family. With a strangely persuasive demeanor, Setauket—now Charley Tauket—assumes the role of a gardener on the Collinwood estate. Immediately following his arrival, Roger Collins suffers several near-miss fatal accidents, from auto crashes to falling furniture to inexplicably levitating spears. The course of action is clear; Roger enlists the help of Professor Stokes to hold a séance, with the help of Barnabas and Elizabeth Collins.
Barnabas quickly realizes that the séance will not divulge the force behind the attempts on Roger’s life. Deducing that Charley Tauket’s arrival was not coincidental to the attacks, Barnabas calls upon his special nature to travel two hundred years back in time and fight the spirit at its source. Uncovering the fatal wrong inflicted upon Setauket by the Collins family, Barnabas races to find his ancestor Jebediah Collins in an attempt to alter history, thereby preventing Setauket’s curse from ever being uttered.
The stereotypical Native American curse subject matter does not diminish the fun of a séance at Collinwood, with a time-tripping Barnabas fighting off a vengeful spirit. Neither does the basic flaw of the generational curse—most villains would happily accept the retribution for their evil deeds being delayed for a few hundred years, inflicted instead on descendants they will never know. And how exactly does Barnabas travel through time? Does he just close his eyes, grit his fangs together, and concentrate on a date?
After Roger finds the gardener’s empty suit and facing questions from Elizabeth regarding the Indian she saw disappear through her window, the recently-returned-to-the-present Barnabas sweeps up all the loose ends by declaring, “There is Roger! There is an explanation…but it’s an explanation we must not seek!”