DC Vs. Vampires – Hunted #1 review

You know who I’ve never liked? Damian Wayne. Go ahead, shoot me. He’s a punk kid who thinks he’s better than everyone else, and is often times drawn with an infuriating smirk. He also happens to be the main character in this one-shot. However, as much as I dislike Damian, this comic is surprisingly a decent read. It’s a one-shot spin-off of the DC Vs. Vampires series, but you don’t need to be familiar with the rest of the series in order to enjoy this comic, since the book does a pretty good job of explaining the context.

We meet Damian in this story as an undercover vampire trying to get to a corrupted Dick Grayson, who has become the boss of the Vampires in Gotham City. He is assisted by both Alfred and Martian Manhunter as they try to bypass Black Mask to get to Dick. It is rather fun to read Damian have to deal with Black mask’s condescension, calling him “Bat-baby,” and what not. It leads to a good pay off later on. But the meat of this story is all about Damian, Dick, and Alfred. Damian wants revenge on Dick for killing Bruce. Martian Manhunter disguises himself as Alfred so that they can both get to Dick. Dick has a soft spot for Alfred still, apparently, so the plan works. What follows is some pretty good action sequences with Damian fighting vampire-corrupted Wondergirl, Grodd, and Victor Zsasz. What I really like though, is when Damian breaks away from Dick when he finds out the real Alfred is captured. We get a couple great pages of art that show Damian tearing down through a hallway of vampire henchmen.



I was REALLY impressed with the page of Damian pummeling a vampire down the building, floor after floor passing by the numbers, while his enemy is disintegrated. It’s a really fantastic page with a great sense of motion: basically four vertically panels, each showing the floor number go down, each showing Damian lower and lower as he finishes his fight and breaks his fall. I never paid that much attention to artist Neil Googe before this comic. His art style isn’t the most recognized, but this is excellent work when it comes to action.



Apart from the action, we have an internal relationship conflict between Dick, Damian, and Alfred. Corrupted Dick claims he killed Bruce because he knew Batman would’ve killed him if given the chance now that he has become a vampire. Damian wants revenge while Dick seems to have lost all semblance of his former self

Spoiler
until the very end of the issue…
After seeing how Damian has, somehow, been able to keep his heart through his vampire corruption, Dick allows him to live, wanting him to be protected. I like seeing the “brotherly” interactions between Dick and Damian. However, I think it’s really unfair to Dick to say that he would be the one to lose his heart and kill Bruce under these circumstances. These stories can often times result from a writer’s bias: like how we’ve had countless Superman is evil stories, where Batman is the hero who must stop him. I feel like I’m reading this story through the lens of a writer who is primarily biased toward Damian as opposed to Dick. Nevertheless, I did like seeing the human moments between Alfred and Dick, showing that maybe there is some heart left in Dick Grayson after all.
Spoiler
The fact that Alfred restrains from calling Dick “Master Richard” throughout the entire issue to symbolize that he is dead to him, only to resume calling him “Master Richard,” by the end of the book is a really nice touch.



While this is not 10/10 comic book writing, it did give me the vibe of a single-issue released in the late 90s or early 2000s. A comic that is just trying to be fun and immerse you in the world of these characters. A simple read, if you want more from the world of the Robins.


Recommended if…

  • Damian Wayne is your favorite Robin (for whatever reason).
  • You’d like a quick, simple comic book read.
  • DC and Vampires sounds like an awesome idea!

Overall

The DC Vs. Vampires – Hunted one-shot is an imperfect yet fun read that primarily focuses on a conflict within the Batfamily. It’s an interesting continuation of the twist at the end of the DC Vs. Vampires miniseries, but does a decent job of standing on its own. It’s got some great action and is a good little read if you are also into vampires. However, it might not be the best read for Dick Grayson fans.

Score: 7.5/10


Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News a free copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.