SUPERMAN & BATMAN VS. VAMPIRES & WEREWOLVES is the first in a 6 issue series involving…well, you probably guessed it. I think the original title was going to be SUPERMAN & BATMAN & WONDER WOMAN & NIGHTWING & PROBABLY SOME OTHER PEOPLE VS. AT LEAST 2 VAMPIRES AND PROBABLY 2 OR MORE WEREWOLVES & A MAD SCIENTIST & THE MONSTER THAT ATE GOTHAM CITY (not kidding) but they couldn’t fit it on the cover.
I liked this book a lot. It’s cool that they put out something creepy like this in time for Halloween. I’m told that the entire series will be out within the next couple of months, which is even better. The book reads like it came straight out of the ‘70s (think TOMB OF DRACULA or I, VAMPIRE). This is mostly do to the art of TOM MANDRAKE, who worked on THE QUESTION series “CRIME BIBLE: THE FIVE BOOKS OF BLOOD”. He only did the first issue of that series. I’m hoping he sticks around for all 6 issues here. His art is well suited for dark fiction.
I’m not sure if I’ve read anything by KEVIN VANHOOK, so it’s hard to say if he intentionally wrote the narration and the dialogue to reflect ‘70s horror fanfare or if this is his natural style. The narration is told in the third person and is especially heavy handed, as if someone else is telling us this story with a flashlight under his chin and really trying to be all spooky. It works very well here.
This first issue has its fair share of gore, but given MANDRAKE’s style, its nothing I wouldn’t show my seven-year-old niece. The gore isn’t there to gross us out anyway. It’s there to lend itself to the mood. Think FRIGHT NIGHT, not SEVEN. Another mood-lending device this book uses, which I particularly like, is when the panel pulls away from the central characters to focus in on bats and cockroaches and other creepy crawlies hiding nearby. There’s even one shot focusing on Batman through a spider’s web.
We have issue one down at the store now. And the rest of the series should be coming in soon. So head on down to Bent Wookie and check it out...if you dare!