For every evil vampire, there is a vengeful soul out there looking for them. With the forces of good in the DC Universe mostly obliterated, there aren’t many heroes not looking for vengeance. However, Supergirl’s journey in DC Vs. Vampires #9 seeks out something beyond the horror.
The story picks up as vampires Tobias Whale and B’wana Beast encounter a pissed Green Arrow. You see, Oliver Queen has given into his emotions and spends the book stalking vampires in a tumbleweed ghillie suit. Otto Schmidt’s bearded Green Arrow has become a self-destructive recluse looking for a meaningless death. It is hard interpreting his behavior as giving up or just bravely determined, but when last we saw him, Black Canary was telling him not to go at all. Even worse, he abandons opportunities to save human lives to settle his score with vampire Hawkman. Despite the circumstances, he clearly intends to end their long-standing rivalry once and for all.
Supergirl’s impromptu Odyssey comes to an end as her group nears landfall at their destination. Alas, Supergirl faces an attack from more soldiers from Atlantis, now led by a corrupted version of Aquaman himself. In addition, Steel, Black Manta, and Jayna form sort of a Fellowship of The Ring sort of party around Supergirl. Kara is obviously Frodo in that analogy. The scenes on the ocean likely contain the book’s best panels. Black Manta’s design is slick and slender, while complimented by Steel’s bright environmentally reflective armor. The range of water effects are an easily highlight for me, showing off their deep dark inks or beautiful formless splashes bursting across the page.
The least developed plotline involves Batgirl’s team trying to find a secure way into Gotham to kill the King of Vampires. Sadly stranded for relying on Harley Quinn to guide them, the group spends most of the book doing absolutely nothing. They accomplish so little that the resolution is only a tease for another issue. By the way, having the characters call out how useless it is doesn’t make it better. Tynion IV and Rosenberg let two of the series most personal crusades overshadow the hunt for the actual big bad three issues from the finale. What’s more is, I no longer have a good handle on the DC Vs. Vampires timeline. The chicken and the egg are all blending together into one huge Baba Yaga’s house shaped mess.
On some positive notes, Otto Schmidt is doing his thing with the layout of the artwork. The stylized characters, the ominous cloudy skies, and the cinematic framing of each panel make the read exciting. I found myself particularly impressed in some of the more quiet moments like when the dark foreboding ocean swallows Supergirl. The dramatically lit action scenes are memorable and immersive enough to draw in readers not worried about the story. I also like the big Black Manta reveal and the introduction of Cole Cash a.k.a Grifter into Vampires. Hopefully he continues to make further appearances instead of a one-off foil for Green Arrow.
- You love high octane superhero fights and good old-fashioned Vampire murder!
- DC Vs. Vampires series still has you in its glamour.
Although the Batgirl plot is going nowhere fast, DC Vs. Vampires #9 is a good comic book story. It has really good artwork and really interesting characters. In spite of my enjoyment of the issue, I remain critical of the overall story direction of the series. None of the numerous spin-offs or the main series seem to be going in a comprehensive direction with clear goals. Matthew Rosenberg and James Tynion IV have lost control of the world, and have created a mess with inconsistent returns. It is my desire to see them be able to turn it around and tie it all together, but I will not be holding my breath.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.