Spider-Man vs. Vampires was a comic I was extremely hesitant on picking up this week. Despite the fact that it is a one-shot I almost decided to leave it on the shelf due to the inclusion of vampires as the adversary to Spider-Man. These fanged monsters have recently crept their way into my comics as seen in the newest X-Men title. Quite honestly I am a bit burned out on them at the moment. After debating for a bit I went ahead and just picked it up and was rather surprised by it, in a good way.
Taking place years ago in Marvel time – Spider-Man runs across a group of vamps in pursuit of a would be victim. Upon saving the life of the innocent civilian Spidey learns of a gathering of the undead and heads to see what is going on. What he comes to find out is that the main vampire, Negus, has created a temporary vampire potion that will transform humans into vampires for 72 hours. In doing this he has also set up a vampire fight club as means to gain funds. What Spidey also learns is that Negus has also captured the infamous vampire hunter, Blade! Spidey is subjected to the virus and a brief confrontation between him and Blade takes place before Blade is rescued by Spider-Man. The vampire ring is admonished, after a nice little fight scene, and the villain conveniently escaping to fight another day.
In many ways the events depicted in this book manage to tie in quite nicely in conjunction with the stories running in the Victor Gischler penned X-Men title. It serves to set a sort of continuity in all these combined occurrences and makes it all more reasonable in terms of the happenings that are taking place. Writer Kevin Grevioux took a concept that was ripe for failing and made it into a pretty decent story after all. The banter between Spidey & Blade was engaging enough and never felt forced. The plotting was broken into three chapters and each segued into the other seamlessly. Granted, there was nothing shocking to come out of this story but that can be expected when you consider the thematic of the book itself.
The art by Roberto Castro was a nice surprise. There was a familiarity to it that reminded me of the Spider-Man books of the past. The action was crisp and clean and it was simply fun. Much like the story itself there were no earth-shattering events to behold and there were actually times where the art made me wince but it was still a fun little romp. Even with a couple of inkers and colorists, the visuals still presented a subtle quality that I found rather appealing.
With Halloween a few days away and the vampire menace taking in the mutant menace in the Marvel Universe, this was perhaps the best time for this title to release. After all, it was a cool one and done story that allows for the reader to just kick back and not have to over think anything and just enjoy the ride.