Comic Book Spotlight: Vampire Batman
Just in time for the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie Dawn of Justice I thought I do a comic book character profile on a time when Batman fought Count Dracula and only won at the cost of his own soul. On THE Batman cartoon series they made a direct to dvd movie under the same name which was very cool and on the episode of Batman The Animated Series in the episode Tales of the Dark Night one of the kids even suggests Batman is a Vampire, I heard rumors we might have gotten an Animated Vampire Batman micro short but the network put a kibosh on it very quickly.
This was one of those comics that eluded me for many years as a child and I always wanted to read it. My father grew up in an era where he was taught COMIC BOOKS=BAD. SO it was hard to be a collector til I became an Adult.
Three volumes by Writer Doug Moench, Artist Kelley Jones, Inkers (vol1)Malcolm Jones III and (vol2&3) John Beatty were made about a darker horror story than anything the mainstream DC comics could show us at the time. Taking place in the Elseworlds Multiverse.
BATMAN & DRACULA: RED RAIN
Batman is visited by a woman int he middle of the night named Tanya who bites him and over the course of the issue teams up with her to take down the Dark Prince. Tanya and a group of other good Vampires fight Dracula’s legions and at the cost of Wayne Manor which Batman destroys to cause a cave in on the Batcave he is able to wipe out Dracula’s forces. He defeats Dracula and Tanya dies but leaves him with a gift. Batman suffers a fatal loss of blood and has a funeral as Bruce Wayne and only Alfred and Commissioner Gordon know the truth that he has been transformed into a Vampire. He rises a full fledged Vampire. It seems as though even though Tanya forced the curse of Vampirism on Bruce she knew it was a tool he would need to fight a greater evil in Gotham city.
Batman with his new Vampire powers continues to search the streets of Gotham for remaining Vampires and the normal criminal scum that plague his city. Batman has to fight a blood lust he can barley control. Werewolves have come to Gotham city and the Joker returns. A wolf attacks Selina Kyle turning her into a creature of the night her self a Werecat. Not sure how that works. DO you become a Were creature based on your spirit animal. HEr and Batman meet and she becomes a quick ally and lover to him. Giving him comfort and aid that no one else could. Showing even in this elseworlds Universe Bruce and Selina are meant for each other. Batman looks for a way to perfect Tanya’s serum which allowed her to push off the blood thirst she has. The Joker tries taking advantage of a Gotham who is more afraid of Batman than its own criminals and kills Catwoman as she protects Batman and Batman kills the Joker. In doing so breaking his two rules killing another and using his Vampire powers to do it. Killing Vampires is one thing they are already dead. He has Alfred and Gordon drive a stake through his heart.
BATMAN: CRIMSON MIST
The next story takes place several years later Gotham is a mess with Scarecrow Twoface Penguin and Killer Croc running all over the police. Alfred takes it upon himself to do the only sensible thing he can think of and bring back Batman. He pulls the stake out and Batman is furious that Alfred didn’t take off his head which would have prevented his resurrection. He goes on a rampage thru Gotham killing one criminal after another with no remorse cutting their heads off so that return from the dead. Alfred and Gordon help Two Face team up with Killer Croc to put an end to Batman. Batman is given blood by Alfred to live after taking a arrow tot he chest by Two Face and is killed Gordon is saved from Killer Croc and Two Face who betray him. Then he sets off a bomb killing him self and Bruce steps into the light disintegrating himself.
Now we get two more stories with the Crimson Mist Batman as he is come to be known as. During the Convergence event with Swamp Thing they have a two issue story arc in which they must fight for one of their worlds to continue existing. and during the Countdown to Final Crisis we learn about Dick Grayson Robin is never rescued from the circus by Bruce and is raised by Tony Zucco to be an assassin. He fights and is killed by Batman.
The art is amazing and has had me hooked on Jones style ever since. He currently works on the new Swamp Thing comic. His style fits Horror comics perfectly. We got a Crimson Mist Batman action figure a few years ago which I did snatch as soon as I saw it on the toy shelves.