The cool thing about DC vs. Vampires is that it can take big swings with the plot twists while still staying true to the characters. Masterminded by James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg, this week’s issue features a showdown for the ages as Batman and Green Arrow face off against…well, the entire Justice League!
If you love action, cleverly written dialogue, and heroes fighting heroes, you’re going to love this issue. Seeing Batman attempt to kill vampire versions of Green Arrow and Wonder Woman is a sight to see. It also features Simone Di Meo delivering gorgeous art in a separate scene involving the Suicide Squad.
What makes this issue work so well is how Batman hasn’t fully convinced Green Arrow they should kill their vampiric superhero friends. At this point though, can they even kill these heroes who are as powerful as gods and now drink blood? Ollie’s dialogue is spot-on as he questions everything Batman asks him to do, even though he knows full well what is going on. Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are their friends, and the rest of the Justice League that aren’t turned yet certainly won’t understand their actions. They’re in a tough spot, and you feel for him. Not to mention Green Arrow’s personality jives well with Batman’s assertiveness.
If you weren’t amped up enough by seeing Batman deliver an uppercut punch to Superman, let the Suicide Squad scene get you even more excited. Di Meo’s art here is gorgeous, with a clean computer-generated look that is so jarringly different from Schmidt’s rougher lines that it had to be on purpose. You get the sense that the Suicide Squad–typically a rough-and-tumble group–is a more put-together team than the Justice League is currently. That allows for a bit of shock when things turn sideways for the team.
Di Meo colors his portion of the book and the lighting is super realistic. On one page, the green mist layered in the city before Nightwing looks gorgeous and atmospheric. It’s top-notch. That very same page does have an awkward follow-up panel that makes Red Hood look great, but it takes a second to figure out who he’s slamming into the ground.
The colors in Otto Schmidt’s scenes are great too, especially when Batman has to kick off some yellow weaponry against Green Lantern. There’s good lighting throughout the main fight scene, which takes place in the Batcave. In general, the positioning of characters, the fight choreography, and the gritty nature to facial expressions shine through well with Schmidt’s work here.
This issue continues to do a good job of ramping up the small army of Bat-Family members Batman has working on the side. Batman is not alone, and we see the first hand he can hold his own to a point but does need help against so many super-powered characters. It’s also a nice nod to past stories when Green Arrow asks Batman how to beat Hawkgirl since “You’ve got files on all of us.”
There isn’t a superhero showdown fight comic on shelves as good as DC vs. Vampires. It takes everything we love about these characters and drops them into the impossible scenario of having to go against your friends because they drink blood and serve a new evil purpose. Sucks to be Batman, but it’s great fun to see him take on these godlike heroes.
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