Written by: James Tynion IV & Matthew Rosenberg
Art, Colour and Main Cover by: Otto Schmidt
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Main and Character Sheet Variant by: Yasmine Putri
Variant Covers by: Francesco Mattina, Jorge Malina & Ejikure
Edited by: Ben Abernathy
After Tom Taylor wrote the DCeased series, I was hoping there would be another awesomely dark event just like it. There has always been a keen interest in writers bringing Vampires into the superhero world with the likes of Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula series being published in the 70’s, and with their other properties such as Morbius and Blade. DC comics is no stranger to vampires either though, as vampires have rocked up in their stories for sometime, even Batman has become a vampire and even faced off against Dracula himself. DC also had a series in 2011 called I, Vampire which followed the story of a vampire named Andrew Bennett who becomes key to this first issue of DC vs Vampires.
Andrew Bennett is on his way to the Hall of Justice with an important message. Mary, Queen of Blood, ruler of the vampires and the only defining reason there is peace amongst humans and vampires, has been murdered. The peace she has kept between the races, allowing vampires to live unseen in the world, has been torn and something worse than a few vampires is on its way; the genocide of the human race.
Bennett attempts to uncover the truth about his ex lover’s murder, but when all signs point to the Legion of Doom, he discovers more than he bargained for, and finds and unlikely ally in none other than Lex Luthor, who aids Bennett with his escape from other Legion members that have been turned, as well as giving Bennett a vial of his own blood, telling Andrew to deliver it to a certain address.
Now, as more truth is uncovered, some enemies feel more like allies, and allies have become enemies. Hidden in plain sight, not all is as it seem within the DC Universe, and blood is in the air.
This was such an incredible start to a messed up story that I can’t wait to see unravel itself. In the way DCeases made you feel like no one was safe, Tynion IV and Rosenberg have ensured that you will no longer trust anyone with this story. You will no doubt go through this series hoping that you’re favourite heroes don’t get turned into bloodlusting killers, and if the writing continues in this way (which I’m sure it will), you won’t know who’s a vampire until it’s too late.
A lot of people always say that DC comics is darker and more brooding than Marvel, but they have no idea how awesomely dark it can become and it’s stories like these, along with stories like Injustice and DCeased, where you get to see a truly magnificent story that is not just dark, but inredibly impactful as it changes the way you see the characters we have read so much of before, and changes the vibe of the DC Universe in a way that gives us more of a horror genre than comic book fans are used to (if you read superheroes and not horror comics specifically that is).
Otto Schmidt quickly became one of my favourite artists after his run on Green Arrow’s Rebirth series. His art is sharp and brilliantly detailed which makes each panel stand out from one another. The colours he’s used in this comic really alter the tones of the story to fit the plot. His use of dark reds on the pages that tell of the vampires before switching back to the brightly multicoloured panels of the Hall of Justice really hits that perfect contrast that catches you off guard when the bright and cheery pages become just as dark story wise. Knowing the plot involves vampires means that seeing the bright sunny coloured panels gives the reader a sense of discomfort because vampires and the sunlight don’t mix, so there’s a sense of safety in the sun but knowing DC, nowhere is safe, especially if someone with superpowers is infected.
This is once again a cracking first issue to another undoubtedly brilliant series from DC Comics. There have been some brilliant stories coming from these mini-series runs that have given us a lot of ideas and plots that will no doubt go down in comic book history. Heroes turning to villains may become stale to some readers, but for me personally, if it’s written as well as these stories are, give me more. In fact, if anyone at DC happens to read this….Werewolves….that’s all I’ve got to say.
Check out the Gallery of all of the variant covers, with art by Jorge Molina, Felipe Massafera, Ejikure, Francesco Mattina, Marco Turini, Dave Wilkins and Kael Ngu.