Dark Shadows | Issue #16
Gold Key Comics | October 1972
An ancient Egyptian mystic of the black arts recruits Barnabas Collins into his undead army in this issue of the ongoing comic series.
The unholy priest, Potiphar, possesses a strange power enabling him to control those spirits trapped between worlds, such as the cursed Barnabas. Potiphar’s army, assembled over the last four thousand years, seeks to reunite the lost treasure of the First Kingdom, a mythic cache of legendary objects that will grant its owner total dominion over the Earth.
Barnabas’ first directive under Potiphar’s control is stealing one such item, the improbably named Golden Girdle of Ibex. Aside from his ability to fly away with the stolen cloth in his bat talons, Barnabas’ specially chosen role as “First Minister” to Potiphar amounts to little more than smash-and-grab robber among confused museum guards.
Meanwhile at a Collinwood cocktail party, Professor Stokes deduces the entire plan—and Potiphar’s responsibility, in particular—from the gathered small talk surrounding the simple news of a museum robbery.
“Professor Stokes is rarely wrong…but, no! The whole thing is too preposterous!”
After discovering that Barnabas’ coffin is missing, Julia Hoffman convenes an emergency séance to send a message to him through the spirit plane, thus breaking Potiphar’s spell.
Ultimately, Barnabas faces off against the other creatures of darkness, and Potiphar learns the dangers of transmutation—particularly surrounding the inherent vulnerability in taking the form of a beetle.