DC vs. Vampires #3 – James Tynion IV, Matthew Rosenberg, Writers; Otto Schmidt, Artist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Vampire stories work best when they’re treated as slow-burning horror, and the creative team understands that perfectly in this third issue. These are creatures who look human, act human, and can take over your best friend without you noticing—and their goal is the complete takeover of humanity. Last issue saw Hal Jordan continue his reign of terror, ambushing and killing his best friend Barry Allen. When the Justice League discovers his body, it sets the paranoia simmering in the background into high gear and suddenly no one trusts anyone else. Anyone could have been turned already—as a major Bat-villain finds out when he seeks help from a mob of vampires, and finds he’s just run into their leader. The heroes may have already lost the fight, which is why this issue works so well—this is where the horror of the concept really starts creeping into every page.
Of course, not everyone has given up the fight, least of all Batman. The Detective’s scenes with surviving Wonder Twin Jayna are probably the issue’s best, as he’s forced to make a grim discovery in her presence. Meanwhile, Hal’s vampire incarnation proves to be far smarter and far more ruthless than his usual version, luring another League member into the trap and then seamlessly using them to launch a new conspiracy to misdirect everyone. Amid the carnage, there’s a surprising amount of levity, such as comedy involving the paranoia that keeps Black Canary, Green Arrow, and Arsenal alive long enough to fight back. These three have a great family vibe here—which only makes me worried about how long it can last before one of them falls. It’s creepy, tense, and we’re only a quarter of the way through—which makes me pretty sure that some very dark times are ahead for the survivors of the vampire plague so far.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.