Dracula shows up in Gotham to feed on its poor and homeless. Despite the mayor’s cover-up, Batman and Jim Gordon aren’t having it. But as Batman has dreams of being visited by a mysterious woman shrouded in mist, he begins to change and become something new.
That’s right: this is an Elseworlds tale about Batman becoming a vampire and fighting Dracula.
Moench’s plot follows in the tradition of familiar monster stories. It’s full of strange, foreboding omens; and its monster doubles as a symbol of some kind of societal ill. In this case, Dracula’s preying upon those who have nothing comments on the ways in which society bleeds its most defenseless. Moench also introduces a new, environmental idea that all of the pollution and other chemicals that people ingest are making them unhealthy meals for vampires and slowly driving Dracula mad.
Appropriately for a book about vampire Batman, Jones, Jones, and Dorscheid’s art is fun and over-the-top. It has the deep shadows and detailed, gothic designs you would expect, but it’s also surprisingly colorful. And as it gets more fantastical, Jones and Jones’s lines go bonkers, and style overtakes reality.
If the phrase, “vampire Batman,” makes you want to read this book, then you’re in its target audience! If roll your eyes at this kind of Elseworlds story, Red Rain isn’t going to change that. But it’s fun, and more skillfully executed than I expected it to be based on its premise alone.
Elseworlds: Batman, Vol. 2 (Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, Batman: Bloodstorm, Batman: Crimson Mist)
Writer: Doug Moench | Penciller: Kelley Jones | Inker: Malcolm Jones III | Colorist: Les Dorscheid | Letterer: Todd Klein