"I'm sick of being lied to and I'm sick of being used. You look me in the eye and tell me what you see. A monster? A meal ticket?"
Damien Kane
"The Dark Family"
American Freak 5.jpg
American Freak: A Tale of the Un-Men
Title: "The Dark Family"
Volume: 1
number: 5
Cover date: June, 1994
Cover price: $1.95
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Executive editor: Karen Berger
Writers: Dave Louapre
Pencilers: Vince Locke
Inkers: Vince Locke
Cover artists: Gaz; Richard Bruning
Cover inker: Richard Bruning
Cover colorist: Richard Bruning
Colorists: Chris Chuckry; Digital Chameleon
Letterers: Clem Robins
Assistant editors: Shelly Roeberg
Editors: Karen Berger; Alisa Kwitney
Previous: American Freak #4

"The Dark Family" is the story title to the fifth and final issue of the comic book limited series American Freak: A Tale of the Un-Men, which was published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint. The story was written by Dave Louapre with interior artwork by Vince Locke, who also inked the series. The cover illustration was composed by photographer Gaz with design elements created by Richard Bruning. The issue was colored by Chris Chuckry of Digital Chameleon and lettered by Clem Robins. It was edited by Karen Berger and Alisa Kwitney with Shelly Roeberg as assistant editor. This issue shipped with a June, 1994 cover date and carried a cover price of $1.95 per copy (US).

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Scylla wakes up in the shelter after having a dream about making love to Damien. She wakes up screaming, and there is more disturbing her than she is willing to let on. While Damien consoles her, he wonders where Crassus may have disappeared to. He trusts the Un-Man less and less with each passing second.

At Lafayette Air Base, Colonel Gray has a meeting with Doctor Hutcheson. He orders all of the experimental subjects killed, their bodies dissolved in acid, and any remains left over are to be sent to Washington. Hutcheson tells Gray that such a resolution is horrifyingly inhumane. Gray tells him that he is under house arrest until further notice. Sergeant Hilland escorts Hutcheson back to his chambers. When they enter the room, Crassus leaps out and kills the soldier.

Doctor Manguy meanwhile goes to see Damien. He tells him of his plan to bring as much media exposure as possible to Damien and his friends. He hopes that with the knowledge of the experiments out in the public, the government won't risk secretly eliminating the Un-Men. Scylla tells Damien that she received psychic impression from Crassus. He has gone to the army base to free the first generation Un-Men. She also tells him that the army is going to destroy them. Faced with little other option, Damien agrees to return to the base with the others and free the Un-Men. Manguy doesn't like the idea, but he agrees to act as Damien's "hostage" so that they can gain safe entry onto the base.

The Un-Men break past the barricade and onto the base. Major Lawrence and his MPs come outside to intercept him. Damien has Manguy as his hostage and holds a gun, demanding Lawrence to bring them to the laboratories. Inside, Crassus (with Hutcheson at gunpoint) has already begun freeing the original Un-Men from their containment pods. Damien and the others enter the lab, but the newly freed Un-Men do not unite with them as Crassus had hoped. All they want is an end to their miserable existence. One by one, they begin filing up a set of platform steps into a prepared acid tank. Crassus is horrified and tempers all around begin to ignite. One of the Romanian hostages tries to run and Crassus fires a shot into the air. The sound of the gun draws the attention of more soldiers who immediately burst into the room. Crassus begins firing wildly and accidentally kills Doctor Hutcheson and Scylla. Damien snaps. He picks up Crassus and hurls him across the room. The soldiers meanwhile, gun down the other 1st generation Un-Men who have been shambling about the lab. Within minutes, the bullets clear and the surviving Un-Men surrender.

Doctor Manguy's tactic proves successful. By perpetuating as much public interest in the Lafayette incident as possible, he turns Damien and the others into instant celebrities. Photographs of them appear on the cover of LIFE magazine. To satisfy public opinion, the government creates a private reserve for Damien's brood on the grounds of an old nuclear testing site. The community is fenced in with barb wire which protects not only the public, but the Un-Men as well. Damien has Scylla buried on the reservation. By this time, Damien has fully regressed in form and no longer appears human. He accepts the path his life has taken him down and decides that all he needs is to feel safe and wanted.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Supporting characters[edit | edit source]

Antagonists[edit | edit source]

  • Crassus
  • Colonel Gray
  • Major Lawrence

Minor characters[edit | edit source]

Organizations[edit | edit source]

Races[edit | edit source]

Locations[edit | edit source]

Items[edit | edit source]

  • Military grade weaponry

Vehicles[edit | edit source]

  • None

Powers[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The cover model for this issue is Melissa Kreschmer.
  • Final issue; final appearance of all characters.
  • Damien Kane dies some time following this issue as revealed in the "Get Your Freak On" story-arc in Un-Men.
  • Colonel Gray was first identified by name in issue #2, but has not made an actual appearances until this issue.

Recommended Reading[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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