Oh Dear God, Make It Stop!
For the last couple of months Iâ€™ve subjected myself to one of the most bizarre team up stories ever written.Â 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.Â Throw in passing cameos galore, and you have the makings of a mega crossover event.Â Right?
Youâ€™d be wrong.Â The cameos by everyone from Green Arrow to Wonder Woman, to this issueâ€™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 thereâ€™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.Â Writer Kevin Vanhook isnâ€™t even trying to hide the fact.Â 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?Â Seriously. W-T-F? (and I donâ€™t mean Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
Man-Batâ€™s appearance is almost as bad, as Superman takes a child vampire to Dr. Kirk Langstrom for help.Â 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.Â 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.Â Oddly enough, the big boy scout doesnâ€™t condemn or even scold Langstrom for killing.Â If his good boy nature seemed odd a couple of issues ago, his total disregard (except for a narratorâ€™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.Â 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 Dimeterâ€™s apartment to make sure he isnâ€™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.Â Weâ€™ve already seen this in every other tragic vampire story out there, and this â€œrevealâ€ is just as trite as when we saw it 20 years ago.
Donâ€™t think Iâ€™m not going to let Tom Mandrake off the hook this issue.Â 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 wasnâ€™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 wonâ€™t be able to sell.Â That, and I know some of you out there get a perverse pleasure in my agony.Â In case you havenâ€™t figured it out yet, Superman & Batman vs. Vampires & Werewolves is one of the worst series I have ever read (and I read Countdown!).Â Issue 5 is barely worth a 1/2 Star rating.