Dark Shadows/Vampirella Comic Book Crossover

Posted: February 2, 2015 in Crossover Reviews, Crossovers
Tags: , , , , , ,

Vampirella is a female Vampire adventurer who was originally published in 1969 by Warren Publishing.Three years prior, the supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows aired on ABC. Eventually the vampire character Barnabas Collins became the main character of that TV show. In recent years Dynamite Entertainment has picked up the rights to both properties, this a crossover was inevitable.

The villain is introduced right away, Elizabeth Bathory, the real life woman who bated in young girls blood, is portrayed as an ancient vampire. We briefly stop in Victorian London where she encounters Jack the Ripper. Vampirella in the comics has only been on earth (she’s actually and alien by the way) during modern times. Barnabas Collins has existed for centuries, but given Vampirella’s back-story, the main part of this crossover takes place in the modern day. The original Dark Shadow’s show ran until 1971, with a few films that followed. So to my knowledge this is the first time that the classic Barnabas Collins has been brought to the modern day. (There was a reboot/revival short lived tv series in the early 1990s).

Cut to modern day, Bathory has come to New York City, and her crimes get the attention of our two vampire heroes. Barnabas has an interesting motivation in that he is able to control his urges and apparently has ways of feeding without hurting anyone. However when he was first a vampire he took many victims. In remorse he has sworn to protect the ancestors of his victims. This brings him to New York. Vampirella is already there and works with the police.

Barnabas brings an ally with him that is a werewolf, and Vampirella introduces us to Pantha, a woman that can turn into a Panther. While there’s seemingly no sexual tension between Barnabas and Vampirella, there’s plenty between the two supporting characters. Barnabas plays the old man out of touch with the times as Vampirella is more in tune with today. They are both good allies for each other though.

This is more of an action story than a horror story. There’s lots of graphic violence, tearing people limb from limb etc. Perhaps this is not what Dark Shadow fans are used to seeing, but it fits the story I guess. The plot itself is pretty simple, and we sort of get a cameo from the witch that cursed Barnabas, and Dracula makes a surprise appearance at the end. (He has a history and rivalry with Vampirella).

Barnabas and Vampirella both debuted within a few years of each other, and while tonally they are very different characters, their vampiric roots managed to bring them together. So if you ever wanted to see what would happen if these two met, check it out.

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