Wednesday, 18 May 2022

DC Vs. Vampires #4 - DC Comics

DC VS. VAMPIRES No. 4, March 2022
Arguably focusing predominantly upon Batman’s tussle with Green Arrow in the Batcave, and the duo’s subsequent realisation that neither is actually a blood-sucking predator, James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg’s storyline for Issue Four of “DC Vs. Vampires” still manages to incorporate plenty of insights into just how the rest of the Justice League are coping in their separate battles against the Undead. Indeed, the sheer scope of this twenty-two page periodical’s plot is breath-taking, as the pair’s penmanship takes the reader from the dark depths of Gotham City’s terrified criminal underworld to the distinctly deadly domain of London’s seedy nightclubs.

Happily however, all these somewhat short-lived spotlights really do pack a formidable punch, with John Constantine’s surprisingly cosy tête-à-tête alongside a fully-fanged Zatanna Zatara and Doctor Fate probably proving the most enthralling of the bunch. The member of the Trenchcoat Brigade really is depicted at the very height of his magical powers, nonchalantly overpowering the female Homo magi with a mere gesture of his fingers before the seductress can get her teeth into him, and then later getting angry with his cosmically-created team-mate when the incapacitated vampire is disintegrated before his shocked eyes.

These fascinating insights into the sense of comradery between the different super-heroes is similarly as well-written when Red Hood and Batgirl suddenly encounter the vampiric Gorilla Grodd. This sense-shattering action sequence makes for an especially impressive read as Cassandra Cain doesn’t actually utter a single syllable until after the fight’s end, when she dramatically holds up a defaced playing card featuring the deck’s Joker; “But you and I might be the only two people to ever see a gorilla jump out a skyscraper window, or turn into a bat.”

Of course, this comic’s biggest highlight is Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen’s understandable unease at taking on the rest of this title’s “all-star ensemble cast” now they’ve discovered that Green Lantern is the Justice League’s traitor. Artist Otto Schmidt does a first-rate job of pencilling the dramatic pulse-pounding panels leading up to this moment, and then tops it all by depicting the big powerhouses Superman and Wonder Woman also entering the fray against the Dark Knight by brazenly invading his secret headquarters.

The regular cover art of "DC VS. VAMPIRES" #4 by Otto Schmidt

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