Dark Shadows (Issue #8)

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Dark Shadows, Issue #8
The Vampire Trap
Gold Key Comics | February 1971

Barnabas Collins’ inexplicably on-again-off-again curse is back “ON” at the start of issue eight, The Vampire Trap. His blood thirst is thwarted when his intended victim drives him away with a concealed crucifix. Meanwhile, another member of the Collins family grapples with a supernatural affliction, as Quentin Collins locks himself away in a basement cell at Collinwood. In order to keep the residents of the village safe, his only recourse during the full moon—and his inevitable transformation into a wolf—is to imprison himself until the safety of the morning light.

Complicating the struggles of the afflicted Collins family members is the appearance of a mysterious guest at the great house. At the behest of Elizabeth Collins, self-processed student of the occult Ambrose Tybalt arrives at Collinwood to study the family history. Although Julia Hoffman fears that he intends to uncover Barnabas’ terrible secret, Tybalt may have a more sinister motivation at hand.

Although the victims of the failed vampire attack ultimately wrap up the story by resolving the danger presented by Tybalt, the strength of this issue derives not from the supporting characters, but from Barnabas and Quentin grappling with the burden of their respective curses.

Brooding questions of morality aside, the cover dispenses with the photo stills from the television series to deliver a cool image of Barnabas rising from his coffin, and the story panels feature a number of action-packed scenes, as indicated:

Transformations: 4
Physical Altercations: 3
Vampire attacks: 2
Stakings: 1
Seances: 0

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