SVOT is a heavily used business term. It is an acronym for the phrase, “Single Version Of The Truth.” It means that everyone in the organization has the same information, and should essentially be on the same page. In DC Vs. Vampires, I’m not seeing the synergy. When we last left off, Jayna had just rescued Supergirl and joined the revolution. In issue #8, the revolution against the vampire horde is caught in a mess of non-intersecting plans.
The writing team of James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg have been the primary forces behind this series and its spin-offs. Up until the sixth book, readers did not have to read any tie-ins to understand the story. Around the time skip in issue seven, things have started to rely on readers being aware of what happens in the other books. Robin and Harley Quinn build off their solo adventures, while characters like Batgirl have inconsistent characterization. What could have added to the story’s cohesion, only ends up adding to the confusion in direction.
Despite having only four issues left to go, DC Vs. Vampires is still piling on the mystery. The actual “House of Mysteries.” I like the chemistry between Damian and Constantine. The pair consistently meet each other in the middle, which allows them to toggle between quips and serious exposition. As the most recurring voice in the series, Constantine has to carry the weight of moving the story forward. We know that the big bad is planning something with the magical characters of the DCU for their endgame. After the events of this book, I can only assume they are much closer to their goal. In contrast, the heroes have far too many plans in play at once.
Otto Schmidt and Daniele Di Nicuolo illustrate a surprising amount of intimate pages. Firstly, Batgirl’s seduction is depicted with crisp lines and wavy forms. The colorful layout mimics the painted designs found in Jazz Expressionism. Secondly, we find Starfire engaged in a sensual scenario right out of a romance novel. However, the dream-like bride is only a power source for the head vampire. Finally, Green Arrow and Black Canary try to savor their last moments together in what amounts to an action scene. However, the actual action occurs in a clash dangerously similar to Aquaman (2018), and an explosive “jail break.”
On a personal note, there are a few fascinating elements I have enjoyed following. Though still relegated to the background, Jayna’s evolution has become one of the coolest parts of DC Vs. Vampires. For years the Wonder Twins have been the butt of the joke, one step below Snapper Carr on the totem pole. Now, Jayna could potentially be the heroic underdog the series needs. Moreover, I love the creative pairings in the series. Frankenstein joining the Birds of Prey is as strangely satisfying as watching Steel and Black Manta protect Supergirl from vampires. I also appreciate the sincerity in writing genuine character moments like Ryan Choi cheering up a drained Supergirl.
- DC Vs. Vampires is scratching your itch for adventure.
- You love reading anything featuring Otto Schmidt’s artwork.
A confusing follow up to Hunted, Killers, and All-Out War; DC Vs. Vampires #8 delivers on the little things, but fails at the bigger picture. Eight issues is past the threshold for reasonable doubt, and I am ready to demand more out of the writing. I can’t defend how off the rails the narrative is getting by clinging to the things I enjoy about the art and certain characters. The story requires a stronger focus and more relatable themes overall. Tynion IV and Rosenberg should map out the story direction in a cleaner way before they completely loose sight of where it is heading.