The vampire Barnabas Collins fought the Viking wizard Morath in the past in Dark Shadows 31. At the end, when "the force of his once good nature" was released from his familiar, Morath was left "now and forever locked in combat with himself, and senseless to the world." In issue 34, November 1975, it's revealed that the contact with his materialized good side "flung his spirit into a dimension of unreality, a limbo between life and death." (Story, John David Warner; pencils: Joe Certa; inks: Frank Bolle?; publisher: Gold Key.)
We never see "Stephen." The scene shifts abruptly on the next page as Morath leaves to seek out Barnabas in the present; "The startled woman received no explanation!" the caption notes.
Reading this story when it came out a year after the Doctor Strange one, I recognized the flip-talking caterpillar, and Clea despite miscolored hair. It wasn't until I just now looked at the stories together that I realized the mustached man playing chess with the caterpillar would be Silver Dagger. Obviously Warner didn't explain the in-joke in the script, let alone send Doctor Strange pages as references, for fear of the editors' cutting it.
Dark Shadows Writers
|Aug/69||#2||The Fires of Darkness||D. J. Arneson|
|May/70||#5||The Curse of Collins Isle||Arneson|
|Aug/70||#6||Awake to Evil||Arneson|
|Nov/70||#7||Wings of Fear||Arneson|
|Aug/72||#15||The Night Children||Arneson|
|Apr/73||#19||Island of Eternal Life||Arneson|
|Jun/73||#20||Quentin the Vampire||John David Warner|
|Aug/73||#21||The Crimson Carnival||Gerry Boudreau|
|Oct/73||#22||Seed of Evil||Arnold Drake|
|Dec/73||#23||The Cult of the Dasni||Warner|
|Feb/74||#24||On Borrowed Blood||Drake|
|Jun/74||#26||The Witch Dolls||Drake|
|Aug/74||#27||My Blood or Yours||Drake|
|Feb/75||#30||The Weekend Witch Hunters||Drake|
|May/75||#31||The Doom of Helgi Kolnisson||Warner|
|Jun/75||#32||The Secret of the Lighthouse||Warner|
|Aug/75||#33||King of the Wolves||Drake|
|Feb/76||#35||The Missing Manuscript||Warner|
I started collecting the title with #19 and filled in only six earlier issues; I don't expect to get any more at TV collectible prices now. This sampling suggests that Arneson (who wrote the DS Story Digest) might have started as the sole writer on the title.
The Comic Reader 96 (Apr/73) said that "Gerry Boudreau has a few Dark Shadows coming up, including a Rutland story in #24," but there is no DS Rutland story. Gold Key didn't publish a story set at the Vermont super-heroes parade until Don Glut wrote one for Dr. Spektor.
To quickly point out a few clues to the writers: #22, 24, 26, and 30 contain the scream "Ayeee" in various spellings, something used only by Drake among the writers working for Gold Key at the time. #27 and 33 use his "Owwff." On the other hand, "Augh" in #23, 25, and 29 is used by John Warner. #23, speaking of in-jokes, presents the magic spells "Hama-Ka-lu-ta" and "In-a-gada-de-vida."
The entire series was pencilled by Joe Certa. The first seven issues' covers are photos of the TV series star, Jonathan Frid. The covers I have from then on are paintings by George Wilson, who does them through #28 and 30. #29 and 31-35 have line-art covers by Certa.
It looks to me as if Joe Certa does not generally ink himself here, as he did on Martian Manhunter at DC and so forth. I see Frank Bolle inks on some issues and George Roussos inks on others.