REVIEW: ‘DC VS. Vampires: Hunters,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

DC VS Vampires: Hunters #1

DC VS Vampires: Hunters #1 is written by Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated by Neil Goode, colored by Antonio Fabela, and lettered by Troy Peteri. It’s published by DC Comics. Dick Grayson, formerly known as Nightwing, has become the King of the Vampires and made Gotham City his base of operations. Damian Wayne — who is now part vampire thanks to Nightwing — has formed a resistance consisting of Alfred Pennyworth and the Martian Manhunter, intending to end the vampires’ reign of terror. But getting to Nightwing will take intricate planning and skill, as well as Damian learning to control his vampiric urges.

In the same vein as its predecessor, DCeasedDC VS. Vampires is branching out into other miniseries and one-shots in order to flesh out its horrific world. The Hunters comic explores how the bonds between Nightwing and Damian have changed, especially since one of Nightwing’s first acts as the King of Vampires was murdering Batman. It’s a new twist on the two’s dynamic, as they both had different connections to Bruce Wayne. Nightwing was the Dark Knight’s first partner and eventually grew out of his shadow, while Damian is his biological son. Rosenberg, who’s served as a co-writer on the main DC VS. Vampires, delves deep into those relationships and Alfred’s determination to protect Damian. If anything else, fans’ appreciation for Alfred will only grow after reading this comic.

Rosenberg’s joined by Goode, whose cartoonish art manages to be a perfect fit for the vampire/superhero hyperviolence sprinkled throughout this issue. Not only does Damian look like an actual child, but the Martian Manhunter’s alien capabilities are on full display, especially his shapeshifting, as his limbs unfurl into a wave of green flesh that pummels his opponents. Goode also gets the chance to make certain DC heroes and villains look more terrifying: if you thought Gorilla Grodd was scary before, that probably wouldn’t change now that he has red eyes and razor-sharp fangs. And Nightwing has ditched his trademark black and blue uniform for a long black coat that wouldn’t be out of place in the Underworld movies.

Topping it all off is Fabela on colors, who brings the appropriate horror-themed hues to Hunters. Gotham is even more foreboding now that it’s overrun by vampires, with every shadow oozing pure menace. Red is also a major color, whether it’s in the various superhero outfits or the blood being shed by vampires and vampire hunters alike. Fabela also remains among a handful of creators who remembers that Damian is of Arabic descent and gives him the proper skin tone. And finally, Peteri letters the entire issue, giving extra oomph to certain sentences —  particularly a moment when Damian tells Nightwing to “shut the f*** up,” which is depicted in all caps.

DC VS Vampires: Hunters #1 is a solid expansion upon the limited series, and places the spotlight on Nightwing and Damian Wayne’s fractured relationship. With another spinoff series titled DC VS. Vampires: All-Out War in the works, I hope that Rosenberg continues to keep up the character work as well as the vampire-slaying action.

DC VS Vampires: Hunters #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


DC Vs. Vampires: Hunters #1
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TL;DR

DC VS Vampires: Hunters #1 is a solid expansion upon the limited series, and places the spotlight on Nightwing and Damian Wayne’s fractured relationship. With another spinoff series titled DC VS. Vampires: All-Out War in the works, I hope that Rosenberg continues to keep up the character work as well as the vampire-slaying action.