Thursday, 23 July 2015

Batman & Dracula: Red Rain Review (Doug Moench, Kelley Jones)

I’m stunned once again by how much Batman work Doug Moench got in the ‘90s considering what a shockingly bad writer he is. Was there really no-one else capable enough - was he the best of a bad bunch?

Red Rain is the first of the Batman: Vampire trilogy Moench did with Kelley Jones. It’s an Elseworlds book (meaning it happened somewhere in the Multiverse outside of DC canon). Dracula comes to Gotham, turns some people into vampires, Batman fights the vampires and Dracula. 

Jaysis the commissioning editors were lazy back then! Batman fights Dracula? Yeah why not, let’s green light everything Batman-related! Batman takes a dump? Can we make it a two-parter? He has to break out the Bat-plunger!

Red Rain should be more fun than it is but it isn’t. It’s soul-crushingly shit aka the Doug Moench Special! The story and characters are so flat and unexciting. Dracula is like the traditional Count except he’s slightly younger. You know Batman will beat Dracula and he does. The usual stake stuff. There’s no imagination or wit here. Predictable plotting, boring dialogue. It’s less than 100 pages long but it’s such a depressingly bad comic it took me several attempts to get through it.

I’m not much of a Kelley Jones fan either. His Batmobile is pitiful – it looks like a carnival bumper car. Was he going for comedy? – while his Bruce looks weirdly proportioned like we're seeing his reflection in a warped mirror. And his Alfred is awful. The poor guy looks like he’s got two golf balls stuffed in his cheeks at all times (mouth cheeks that is)!

I actually have the rest of the Vampire trilogy but after Red Rain, I don’t think I’ll put myself through the torture that will inevitably be the rest of the series. This baby’s being donated to the charity bookshop! You want to read a good Batman comic? Stay away from the ones with Doug Moench’s name on the cover!

Batman & Dracula: Red Rain

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