DC Vs Vampires #3 is written by James Tynion IV & Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated and colored by Otto Schmidt, lettered by Tom Napolitano, and published by DC Comics. After the events of the second issue, the Flash has been murdered, and the Justice League launches an investigation into his death — unaware that a vampiric Hal Jordan was behind his murder. Meanwhile, Batman and Green Arrow, along with their respective allies, continue to fight against the vampires that have infested Gotham City and Star City — although the Emerald Archer and Dark Knight are unaware of each other’s activities.
Since the beginning of the series, it’s been evident that Batman and Green Arrow would play a significant role in the series, as they’re the only heroes who are fully aware of the vampire invasion. However, Tynion and Rosenberg add in a nice wrinkle by having the Bat-Family and the Arrow Family be suspicious of each other, to the point where Black Canary and Robin get into a fight. They also show how manipulative Jordan is as a vampire. He’s able to throw suspicion off of himself by turning the blame on another hero and even has an emotional confrontation with Wonder Woman that takes an unexpected turn. Jordan is a character known for his unbreakable will and skill with a Green Lantern ring, making him an extremely frightening opponent.
Schmidt turns up the horror elements in his art with this issue, as most of the story is set at night —save for an opening and ending sequence during the day. In perhaps one of the most inventive moments, Napolitano designs the opening credits to look like they’ve been sketched into the sand with a stick. This sight turns immediately macabre when the focus is placed on the Flash’s dead body. Vampires are usually shown in shadows, with their blood-red eyes and razor-sharp fangs being the only thing visible. This makes the heroes that fall under the vampires’ thrall especially scary; the Penguin, for example, learns just how far the vampire plague has spread when he encounters Zatanna. And heroes with brighter costumes, including Batgirl and Red Arrow, stand out like shining lights in a sea of darkness.
However, the hero who gets the most shine is Black Canary. Schmidt has shown his affection for the sonic-powered martial artist, even posting an image featuring her various costumes on Twitter; it makes sense that she’d get the coolest scene in the book. From managing to hold her own against Robin— who’s been trained by some of the world’s most skilled fighters — to gaining blood samples for Green Arrow to test, she’s become an invaluable ally in the fight against the living dead. Batman also gets a tender moment with the remaining Wonder Twin Jayna, as he comforts her following her brother Jan’s death. The Dark Knight is usually depicted as a grim figure of vengeance, but I like it when writers tap into his innate compassion.
DC Vs Vampires #3 ups the stakes of the limited series by sowing seeds of distrust among DC’s hero community, leading to one hero being cast as a social pariah and another falling under the thrall of the vampires. Things are only getting more intense, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
DC Vs. Vampires #3 ups the stakes of the limited series by sowing seeds of distrust among DC’s hero community, leading to one hero being cast as a social pariah and another falling under the thrall of the vampires. Things are only getting more intense, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.