Batman: Bloodstorm

Rating: 
3
Batman: Bloodstorm
Review by Scott Steubing, submitted on 9-Oct-2001

BATMAN: BLOODSTORM is a hardcover graphic novel published under DC Comics' Elseworlds imprint. It is a sequal to BATMAN & DRACULA: RED RAIN.

Elseworlds are stories that take DC's characters out of their usual settings and put them in stories that take place outside of the continuity of their regular monthly titles. In other words, Elseworlds were called Imaginary Stories back in the '50s and '60s.

In RED RAIN, the Prince of Darkness himself, Count Dracula, comes to Gotham City and starts to raise an army of undead followers. Batman is the only one who can stop them, with the help of Tanya, who was sired by Dracula but turned away from evil and developed a human blood substitute. Tanya gives Batman her blood, thus granting him vampiric powers without having died (similar to White Wolf's ghouls). In the climatic battle, Batman kills Dracula, but not before the Count puts the bite on Batman, transforming him into a full vampire.

BLOODSTORM opens with the vampiric Batman hunting the few vampires he missed in RED RAIN. The remaining vampires run into the Joker, who becomes their leader, telling them that as a mortal he can do things that the vampires can't. The Joker leads the vampires on a rein of terror, leaving Batman hard pressed to stop them, even with the help of Selina Kyle (also known as Catwoman in the monthly comics), who is the recipient of a different kind of lycanthropy... As the story progresses, the blood substitute grows less and less useful, and Batman fights a losing struggle against his rising bloodlust.

The vampires in BATMAN: BLOODSTORM are traditional gothic vampires, able to turn into bats, wolves and mist, turned by holy symbols, etc. But Batman, thanks to having never tasted the blood of a human and the selfless love of an innocent woman (Selina), has all the strengths of a vampire with none of the weaknesses.

BATMAN: BLOODSTORM is written by Doug Moench, penciled by Kelley Jones, inked by John Beatty and colored by Les Dorscheid. Moench and Jones did BATMAN & DRACULA: RED RAIN and are the regular creative team on the monthly BATMAN title. While most of Moench's writting the monthly title is mediocre, when he applies himself he turns out fantastic work like BLOODSTORM and RED RAIN. Jones is best known for his work on DC's SANDMAN title; his artistic sytle is uniquely suited for horror, and BLOODSTORM is some of his best work. Beatty is Jone's best inker, turning great art into fantastic art. Dorsheid's colors are vibrant. He picked his palette with care, avoiding the somber tones stereotypical of horror comics.

BATMAN: BLOODSTORM has a cover price of $24.95. I think it is worth the price. If the reaction to BLOODSTORM is similar to the reaction to RED RAIN, I expect a softcover edition for around $12.95 within six months. BATMAN & DRACULA has a cover price of $12.95; if you find a hardcover edition, expect to pay around $50.

Both RED RAIN and BLOODSTORM offer unique twist to the Batman and vampire mythos. If you avoid comic books, or avoid superhero comics, give RED RAIN and BLOODSTORM a look. I think you'll be surprised.

Fanged Films

Japan / USA, 1993
Animaniacs: Draculee, Draculaa / Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs
1973

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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