Monday, October 3, 2022

Review: DC Vs. Vampires #9

DC Vs. Vampires #9 came out last week marking the halfway point of the second arc of this book. As this second arc has Supergirl as a main character and ... gasp ... a hero I felt the need to grab it and review.

I have admitted in the past that books like this or zombie titles don't usually get my attention. I am probably not the target audience here. But I will also admit that I am a sucker for Elseworlds and that I have been enjoying this book so far.

Writers James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg are doing what they should do in books like this, introducing us to the broader DCU in the context of this vampiric wasteland. Now I didn't read the first 6 issues so I don't know how or why so many heroes got turned to the dark side. But I like the ragtag group of uninfected heroes who are still trying to save the world. Steel, Jayna, Green Arrow, Batgirl, and a depowered Supergirl sort lead different factions on different quests. There is a very nice surprise in the middle of the issue which I didn't foresee which also made me happy. 

Perhaps the one thing that I worry about is that there are three very different plot lines happening in this book meaning each issue is sort of sliced into thirds. I am far more interested in the Batgirl and Supergirl plots than I am the Green Arrow one and so I wonder if so many plot lines are too many for a book this length. 

I love the art as well. Guillem March's covers are horrific and dynamic. I loves seeing Supergirl front and center fighting fanged Atlantean warriors. Otto Schmidt is on interior art and brings his somehow both loose and polished look to the inside. I really like his work.

All three plots are nudged along in this issue so let's get to the details.

The one plot that I am having the hardest time with is the Green Arrow solo mission. He heads to the midwest to try and free humans living on a blood farm. 

I get it. He can't turn his back on human cattle. 

But wouldn't it be wiser to help get Supergirl to the son? Or kill of Dich Grayson, the vampire king? Wouldn't doing either of those help save the human cattle around the world instead of ones at this one site?

At least he is good at his job, offing people like Bwana Beast with arrows laced with gasoline and holy water.

Meanwhile, Batgirl and her team are hoping Harley can lead them into Gotham via underground tunnels. (After all, we see vampire versions of Power Girl and Wonder Girl patrolling the sky.)

I do like how Harley said she knew the way out of Gotham, not in. That sort of makes sense. I find Harley's voice her to be true.

And someone should give Schmidt a Birds of Prey title. These pages are just so pleasing. 

Back in Kansas, Green Arrow dresses up like a tumbleweed to get near the farm borders. On the inside, he gets some help from Cole Cash, aka Grifter. So the Wildstorm folks are in this book too. 

It does seem like a losing race for the vampires ecologically. They have blackened the skies to blot  out the sun so now plants can grow. The humans are feeding on moss. I doubt babies are being born. Won't there eventually be a food crisis for the blood suckers?

Or am I thinking too hard here?

And then a great surprise!

The boat trying to get Supergirl to Australia arrives down under. However it is quickly swarmed by vampire troops from Atlantis and Aquaman.

In a move I did not see coming, Black Manta unmasks. And it's Mera!

She looks fierce.

I love the surprised looks on the heroes faces when they see this as well! 

Meanwhile, Oliver decides he needs to spur things along to get to the 'boss' of the farm. That seems pretty foolish. But we see him call out the troops and off a whole bunch of D-list vamps until he gets his wish and Hawkman shows up.

Now seriously, wouldn't a vampire Hawkman who just saw his lackeys lit up in fire just up and kill Oliver? I don't understand why Ollie would be kept alive. 

But I guess I have to wait until next issue.

Mostly by sheer numbers, Aquaman's side turns the tide. 

He offers Supergirl a chance to join the vamps and live forever. At least Kara here shows some intestinal fortitude and doesn't jump at the chance.

Unfortunately she has no powers. When Mera shows back up for round 2, Kara is pulled under the waters. 

I know what I am on board for here. Kara is basically helpless here. She is the world's best hope but also going to be perpetually the damsel in distress. 

I like how Tynion and Rosenberg are characterizing her. But I hope we get to see her powered and the hero at the end.

And then a good cliffhanger. 

Stymied, Batgirl wonders how she'll ever get to Nightwing. But then an unlikely ally arrives - a vampire Damian ready to help out.

Comics are supposed to entertain and outside of the inanity of Green Arrow's plan, this book was a fun book to read. A lot of it is buoyed by the dynamic art of Schmidt. But I like Supergirl in this book. I really liked the Mera reveal. And the Gotham storyline sort of crackles.

Overall grade: B


Martin Gray said...

I’m enjoying this too, but I’ve no problem with Ollie’s actions; the arguments about him being more useful elsewhere were put to him, but this is Olive Queen, crusader for the little guy. People are suffering on various fronts, one unpowered hero like him can surely be spared to end some of the immediate suffering, while sticking one to the Vampire Man.

I’m worried Kara will be just about to regain her powers, then be horribly killed. It’s that kind of book.

Anonymous said...

Yeah agree with Martin Gray, they are gonna damsel Supergirl relentlessly for the remaining issues and if she regains her powers thats the signal to snuff her and the hope she represents, thats not just this book, but pretty much the whole DCU at this point.
Thats if they haven’t gotten bored with her already and simply drowned her.
These are not the sort of creatives who crave the release of “KaraTharsis” in other words. This is book has pretty much become my “Hate Read” du jour, the vamps always own the humans, whenever the struggle gets heated the vamps simply develop new overwhelming powers to augment their vampirism…and carry the day. I realize all melodrama is built around “David and Goliath”, but the Vamps are so ludicrously omnipotent as to Make you wonder how anyone is outside their clutches at all?
Right now my money is on Harley Quinn and Green Arrow being the only survivors at all or maybe The Batgod will rise from the dead or some damn thing….just remember this is DC’s Idea of “Fan Service”.

Anj said...

I'll keep hoping!