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Superman & Batman vs Vampires & Werewolves #2

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2008
By: Troy Stith

Kevin VanHook
Tom Mandrake, Nathan Eyring (c)
DC Comics
Plot: Batman continues his investigation into the vampire and werewolf invasion of Gotham, this time getting help from Nightwing. Superman finally makes his appearance in the title.

Comments: Even though issue #1 of this arc excluded Superman, I was sure that VanHook would make up for it in issue #2, but I was wrong. This time around Nightwing takes Wonder Woman’s spot in the cameo role, tracking and capturing a werewolf in the opening pages of the book. Unfortunately, this is where the annoyance of captions describing what you’re seeing starts again, a problem I had with the last issue and I was sorry to see it happening again in this issue. The story then takes a convenient turn when Batman captures a vampire who is attacking a child and takes him back to the Batcave where Nightwing swings by with his furry friend.

Disappointingly, Superman doesn't make his uneventful appearance until the final rooftop splash of the promised “Tentacled Creature From Beyond” on the cover. The absence of Superman until the last page left me wondering why his name is even on the cover, this should be titled “Batman and His Helpful Hero Friends,” since that has been the norm from the start.

Unfortunately, not even Batman is utilized to his full potential. His intelligence and past experiences don't seem to count in this issue because he acts as if he has never seen anything of the supernatural type, seeming shocked that he could have a “real life” vampire in his possession. I like when creative teams don’t bring up a lot of past history in stories like this, but it's executed throughout the story as if Batman is brand new to the non-human scene and astonished by everything around him. It made me wish for the hardened Dark Knight to which I'm accustom.

Mandrake’s art kept up the great detail and action as the last issue, keeping me flipping through the mediocre story. His art alone will probably be the reason why I give the third issue of this six-part arc a try. I’m really hoping for a big turn around for the title in the next issue.



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