The DC vs. Vampires series has gone through an exciting stretch with a hiatus, tie-in one-shots, and tie-in miniseries. Out this week, DC vs. Vampires #9 continues the main story, and it takes things to the sea. You know what lives in the sea and drinks human blood? Oh, just Aquaman! Hope the heroes survive the experience long enough to get Supergirl some fresh sunlight. No pressure.
It’s been nearly two months since the last issue, but James Tynion IV, Matthew Rosenberg, and Otto Schmidt bring their a-game to the ninth issue in the 12-issue series. The latest issue bounces between three plots, starting with Green Arrow giving the vampires a really hard time. We’re talking holy water arrows and the murdering of some familiar vampires with ease. The second involves the group attempting to get Supergirl to Australia, where there’s some sun shining through the blood red clouds. Then there’s a crew outside Gotham trying to figure out how to get in and topple Nightwing, the king of the vampires. Each of these plots shows these characters have a long way to go to gain an edge against Nightwing and the vampires.
The depiction of Green Arrow may be his most badass yet. He easily kills these vampires and shows how well prepared he is, no matter the number he’s fighting against. We get some new intel around human camps where the vampires keep people for feeding, and Green Arrow will not be denied what he wants. This plot ends in a rather sticky spot for Green Arrow, but given his confidence, you won’t worry a bit for him.
Meanwhile, some of the last heroes alive, including Steel and a female version of Black Manta, are on a boat headed to Australia. These scenes add ample action to the Green Arrow portions thanks to the reveal of Aquaman. The creators are playing with what we know about these characters and their ties well and end up delivering some good surprise twists.
The subplot with Harley, Frankenstein, and a few others definitely progresses less. Essentially the scenes with these characters offer a little character development while they await a big help from a key Batman figure. Likely this subplot will become the main plot in the next issue.
Otto Schmidt draws and colors the entire issue, and his color stands out here. From the fires Green Arrow starts to the black and red murky water Aquaman drudges up, there are definitive horror elements thanks to the color choices. Green Arrow comes off as a cold-blooded Terminator type, and it’s great fun to see him be so powerful in a world where most heroes are vampires or dead. The atmosphere is the name of the game in most scenes, with a bit of smoke or dust always in the air. This world is decaying, and you get that from the visuals around the characters.
DC vs. Vampires #9 is a great chapter juggling the badassery of Green Arrow, the sea voyage of Supergirl, and the attempts of the heroes to enter a bordered-up Gotham.
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