“DC Vs Vampires”
Writers: James Tynion IV, Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Color Artist: Simone Di Meo
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Davydh Tidey
DC Vs Vampires. No, it’s not Morbin’ time (with apologies to Power Rangers and the Marvelous competition).
From the very first issue, DC Vs Vampires makes its intentions clear. These are the characters you know and love, but they also are very much not. Heroes will die and become servants of the night, powers will be used in extremely… creative ways. Some villains will be on the side of the angels and all bets are off when it comes to these creatures of the night.
DC Vs Vampires has a very questionable premise and even feels like it’s almost justifying the people who screech from the rooftops “DC will print anything these days”. The truth is that this is far from that, dear reader. Just like DCeased before it, the book is so unique and humorous that you can’t help but buy into the story immediately. This isn’t just jumping on the horror comics trend like you would think, this isn’t just a throwaway Elseworlds title. This book is here to stay.
Writers James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg were an absolute genius pairing for this. Rosenberg’s incredible humor and off-the-wall ideas mixed with Tynion IV’s masterful storytelling elevates this book so far above its peers.
Otto Schmidt (along with occasional guest artists Simone Di Meo and Daniele Di Nicuolo) creates a moody, dark world, one that feels dangerous to the reader, while still playing into the silliness and humor of the whole situation. He’s never shy about taking a minute to show characters’ levity and banter, and it never feels disruptive to the flow of action, but so natural for the story. My favorite touch is Grifter smirking away in every single panel he’s in, staying completely true to the character even in that hostile situation.
Yes, Grifter is in this… because, Rosenberg.
I would be remiss to not mention DCVV’s sister series, All-Out War. This six-issue mini-series features some of DC’s best characters (Azrael, Midnighter, Deathstroke, Mary Marvel, John Constantine, I could honestly go on). All-Out War delivers this new, dark world from street level, these people are just trying to survive, and maybe, just maybe, contribute to the Vampires’ downfall.
From the writing team of Matthew Rosenberg and Alex Paknadel, and featuring gorgeous black, white and red art from Pasquale Qualano, this series has a life of its own. It fills in essential story beats for the main series while still standing on its own as a brilliant, emotional rollercoaster of a tale. Think The Last of Us but with superpowers and you’re about there.
Last, but by no means least, we have the two one-shots, Hunters and Killers, focusing on Damian Wayne and Harley Quinn respectively. Written by Rosenberg alone, with art by Neil Googe (Hunters) and Mike Bowden (Killers), these again fill in important story elements while giving us different perspectives on the ongoing conflict. Alone, they stand as brilliant stories, but in context, they take on a whole new life.
DC Vs Vampires as a whole is a clusterbomb of violence, blood, and betrayal. Your favorite heroes will break bad, your most reviled villains will turn into sympathetic protagonists… and I loved EVERY SECOND of it!
The DC Vs Vampires collected edition, Vol. 1 is available now: ISBN 9781779516794 with Vol. 2 being released on April 4, 2023: ISBN 9781779521248. DC Vs Vampires: All Out War comes out on July 4th, 2023: ISBN 9781779520340
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment