Saturday, 21 May 2022

DC Vs. Vampires #5 - DC Comics

DC VS. VAMPIRES No. 5, April 2022
Deftly delving between a fantastic, action-packed punch-up deep within the Batcave and a similarly as sense-shattering fistfight featuring the Suicide Squad inside the Joker’s deserted hideout, the furious pace to Issue Five of “DC Vs. Vampires” arguably doesn’t stop until the comic’s nail-biting cliff-hanger. Yet whilst some writers may make the mistake of simply using non-stop violence to pad out a potentially weak script, James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg’s narrative for this twenty-two-page periodical requires no such nonsense, with the battles positively brimming with enthralling character development and thrilling plot devices; “Batman. We know what happened. It’s an infection in the blood. You’re sick. You have to know that. Deep down, somewhere. But we can cure it.”

Foremost of these ‘hooks’ must be the excellent teamwork displayed by Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego and Oliver Queen, who bravely manage to beat down the rest of the Justice League of America by the skin of their (non-fanged) teeth. However, despite the pair clearly being stretched to their uppermost limits in tackling the likes of Superman and a vampiric Wonder Woman, this book’s authors still manage to include plenty of one-line wisecracks, as well as plenty of examples of the super-heroes using their brains, not brawn, to overcome their formidable foes.

Likewise, the same can arguably be said for Amanda Waller’s criminally inclined black ops team, who initially, foolishly believe themselves capable of taking down the Clown Prince of Crime in his own headquarters. Intriguingly, Hayley Quinn’s “puddin’” doesn’t actually make an appearance though, with the writers instead having the Black Spider being killed by one of his fellow team-mates, following the revelation that the ‘super-team’ has also been infiltrated by ghoulish, blood-drinkers.

Helping to separate these two simultaneous storylines with an incredible amount of dynamism and energy are the distinctly different-looking layouts of mini-series regular artist Otto Schmidt, and title newcomer Simone Di Meo (who prodigiously pencils those sequences involving the Suicide Squad). Neither illustrator skimps on the sheer savagery of the fighting taking place, nor lets the script’s intense speed ever falter, even when there’s a momentary pause in the mayhem for Cyborg to rationalise Batman’s seemingly erratic behaviour, or Batgirl to make a dramatic entrance just as Savant is about to fatally bite Quinn.

The regular cover art of "DC VS. VAMPIRES" #5 by Otto Schmidt

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