Oh Dear God, Make It Stop!


For the last couple of months I’ve subjected myself to one of the most bizarre team up stories ever written.  While this is supposed to be a Superman Batman team up, Superman failed to appear in the first two issues, and save for a moment of the two passing one another on the way to bring down a Lovecraftian horror, the two have been following separate storylines.  Throw in passing cameos galore, and you have the makings of a mega crossover event.  Right?

bsvw5cover.jpgYou’d be wrong.  The cameos by everyone from Green Arrow to Wonder Woman, to this issue’s passing appearances by Etrigan and Man-Bat make this series feel like one of those sit-com holiday specials where the door bell rings, and when the door opens there’s one of the special guests who receives tons of applause from the audience, says their lines, and then departs, until the time the doorbell rings once again with the next guest star.  Writer Kevin Vanhook isn’t even trying to hide the fact.  Last issue, Green Arrow showed up at the very end to assist an outnumbered Batman, and as this issue open he makes an off handed quip about needing to get back to Seattle, before exiting panel left.

WTF?  Seriously. W-T-F? (and I don’t mean Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)

Man-Bat’s appearance is almost as bad, as Superman takes a child vampire to Dr. Kirk Langstrom for help.  The writer leads us to believe a blood transfusion will remove the vampire disease and return the kid to normal. Unfortunately, werewolves show up, and Kirk is forced to use his serum to turn himself into Man-Bat where he proceeds to kill the attacking lycanthropes.  Superman, who is vulnerable to magic, can only watch as Man-Bat beheads the werewolves (on panel), and only after the attack is over does he grab Langstrom and return him to his normal form.  Oddly enough, the big boy scout doesn’t condemn or even scold Langstrom for killing.  If his good boy nature seemed odd a couple of issues ago, his total disregard (except for a narrator’s caption) to killing is just as bad.

Batman, the greatest detective in the world, and the guy who has brought down the Joker, Two-Face, Killer Croc and just about every other loony out there, lets the villain, Dr. Combs, escape his grasp – yet again.  And instead of continuing the chase, he allows his werewolf and vampire companions to go home for the day, and then proceeds to show up at Dimeter’s apartment to make sure he isn’t killing innocent victims to satiate his blood lust.

In a final attempt to show how noble this vampire is, Vanhook has Dimeter calling up a girl he knows, who will let him suck just enough blood to keep himself alive.  We’ve already seen this in every other tragic vampire story out there, and this “reveal” is just as trite as when we saw it 20 years ago.

Don’t think I’m not going to let Tom Mandrake off the hook this issue.  Once again, the scratchy lines, and odd angles, move this art to below Reign in Hell quality, and if you were unfortunate enough to see that piece of work, you have some idea of how bad this issue is.

I know I said I wasn’t going to finish this series, but I had already pre-ordered and paid for the entire run months before I received the first issue. And because I like to support my comic dealer, and not leave him stuck with something he won’t be able to sell.  That, and I know some of you out there get a perverse pleasure in my agony.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Superman & Batman vs. Vampires & Werewolves is one of the worst series I have ever read (and I read Countdown!).  Issue 5 is barely worth a 1/2 Star rating.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. It all sounds horrible but I’ve been following your coverage, and I’ve got one question. Dr Combs? When do the Re-Animated turn up?

  2. There was a lovecraft monster that sprang from his mouth at the end of issue 2, but that is about as far as it has gone. With werewolves, vampires, man-bats, demons, and Lovecraft monsters showing up, I half expect zombies by the final issue.

  3. I didn’t read #5 yet, but I actually enjoyed the first four issues. I know it was nothing to take very seriously, but I don’t take ANY comic books seriously, so that isn’t a big deal. The first four issues were pretty action packed. I don’t think I’d really want to read them all again, or even keep these comics (I’ll sell the whole lot on Ebay once I get the last issue), but it was fun to read most of them once.
    Comic books are only $2.99 a piece now. People make a big deal like they cost as much as a video game or a Blu Ray movie. If you don’t get mad when you buy a video game for $59.99 and it sucks big monkey balls, you shouldn’t be too upset about paying $2.99 for a damn comic book. A pack of smokes costs more, well in this state anyway.

  4. “With werewolves, vampires, man-bats, demons, and Lovecraft monsters showing up, I half expect zombies by the final issue.”

    If one thing can save this series, it’s zombies.

  5. “Once again, the scratchy lines, and odd angles, move this art to below Reign in Hell quality, and if you were unfortunate enough to see that piece of work, you have some idea of how bad this issue is.”

    REIGN IN HELL is a thing of utter beauty. Derenick and SienkeizQxc^#!cz’s work positively demands a second and then a third viewing.

    Which is quite fortunate because, even after the re-reads, I still don’t know who the blankety-blank all the fringe-type players are in Giffen’s script. I’m hoping for an annotation in the trade.

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