AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Batman vs Dracula
This the is final day of AWESOME-tober-fest 2011 comic book week in which I look at comic books featuring the character of Dracula. Today I’m going to look at the epic battle between the Lord of the Vampires and the Dark Knight Detective.
Today’s comic is Batman & Dracula: Red Rain from 1991. Yes, Batman vs Dracula in an Elseworlds tale. How badass is that? The book was written by Doug Moench and illustrated by Kelley Jones. This was a very popular graphic novel and spawned a cartoon movie that was loosely based on the story.
This graphic novel has Batman investigating a series of murders affecting Gotham’s homeless population. Batman discovers that the murders are by a family of vampires led by Dracula himself. Batman recruits a female vampire named Tanya who recently left Dracula’s family to help lure the vampire legions to the Batcave. Batman is accidentally bit by a vampire but still manages to destroy the majority of the vampire family except Dracula. Dracula kidnaps Gordon and Batman goes after him. Dracula and vampire Batman battle and Dracula is impaled on a broken tree trunk. Batman laments that Bruce Wayne is dead but states that now, vampire Batman can continue forever.
The art is very cool and spooky looking and the action is very good. This is definitely a fun read. It was popular enough that it spawned two sequels; Bloodstorm in 1994 and Crimson Mist in 1998.
In Batman: Bloodstorm, the surviving vampire family members from Red Rain join up with the Joker and take over the major crime families in Gotham. Batman gathers a vampire hunting team consisting of Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, several Gotham PD detectives and Catwoman who was herself turned into a werecat after a vampire bite. Catwoman is killed taking an arrow for Batman. Batman becomes enraged because Catwoman was the only person that could control Batman’s blood thirst. Batman fights the Joker, drains his blood and then stakes him to ensure he doesn’t return as a vampire. Batman then forces Gordon to stake him to stop a Batman killing frenzy when his blood thirst returns.
In Batman: Crimson Mist, we find out that Gordon didn’t cut off Batman’s head after staking him. So while Gotham is in the midst of a crime wave after Batman’s “death”, Alfred removes the stake from Batman to restore him so he can save Gotham. Batman immediately goes on a killing spree of his former rogues gallery (Penguin, Riddler, Poison Ivy, etc). Two Face and Killer Croc form an uneasy alliance with Gordon and Alfred to kill Batman. They lure him to his old Batcave hoping to explode the roof of the cave and expose Batman to the sunlight. In the midst of the battle, while Batman is nearly fatally injured, Croc and Two Face try to double cross Gordon and Alfred. Alfred gives his life to Batman to give him the strength to beat Croc and Two Face. The Batcave roof is exploded and Gordon is killed by falling rock. Batman walks out into the sunlight hoping to gain the peace in death he has not been able to acheive while a vampire.
Overall, this series is very good. It gets pretty graphic and bloody by the end, but I’m really glad they went there. It’s absolutely worth a read. If you get a chance, at the very least, read the first one. But the other two are pretty good too.
This finishes up comic book week. Hope you enjoyed it. On Monday, I begin Dracula book week. I’ll be reviewing 5 books featuring either Dracula or vampires. Or both.
Come back next week, same vampire bat time, same vampire bat channel.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.