DC vs. Vampires: All-Out War #2 – Alex Paknadel/Matthew Rosenberg, Emma Vieceli, Writers; Pasquale Qualano, Haining, Artists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: This chaotic tie-in to the main DC vs. Vampires series takes us away from the main action and sends us into the messy world of the lower-level resistance. Last issue saw Deathstroke discover what might be the biggest coup of the entire war—that the Lazarus Pit could reverse the effects of vampirism. The only problem is, the Lazarus Pits are one-use only, only a few are left, and Talia Al-Ghul isn’t exactly enthusiastic about helping. The presence of Azrael, a former vampire whose mental programming is interacting… badly with his memories of undead, is only complicating things, and it’s not long before an army of biters crashes the party at Talia’s lair and threatens one of the few remaining sanctuaries.
A lot of characters get some intriguing moments in this issue, such as Booster Gold’s force field being a surprisingly powerful tool in the escape, and John Constantine spending the entire issue scheming every which way he can. The art by Pasquale Qualano is overall good, although the black and white design can sometimes make it a little trickier to figure out who is who at any given moment—especially when it’s a chaotic battle scene where countless characters are entering the battlefield and dying in any panel.
I actually think that while the main story was strong, the backup was the best part of this issue. I’ve never heard of either Emma Vieceli or Haining, but they do a great job on a Dick Grayson backup set just as the vampire war was beginning. Featuring a cameo from Haley/Bitewing and a major role for Melinda Zucco, it features Dick being pulled into a conspiracy involving a vampire gang dealing with internal enemies and seeking friends—hoping to get Dick’s help in bumping off their false queen. How will this lead to Dick being turned and turning into the vampire king? We’ll see, as this is a multi-part story, but it’s nicely suspenseful and features some great manga-style art.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.