It looks as if the first five issues of this title have all just been set-up for the ‘Rise of the Vampires!’  (To read more about those issue, click #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.)

Spoilers ahead!

Andrew Bennett, lead vampire, has located the Gotham City lair of his former beloved Mary the Blood Queen, who has amassed an army of new vampires in an effort to conquer the world, a little bit at a time.  Andrew reveals to his companions, Professor John Troughton, slayer Tig Raffelson and Batman (yes, Batman) that these new vamps are not fully converted and can be cured, if the heroes kill their sire, who it turns out, isn’t Mary.  This isn’t much of a deterrent for Tig, initially, who simply wants to murder all vampires.  Batman is a problem, though, as despite his dark nature, he is a true hero who doesn’t abide killing ones enemies.  He is unable to stop Andrew, however, who is successful at curing the affected humans.  John and Tig are charged with shepherding them to safety.  Andrew states “The rest are full-bloods!  They can’t be saved!  Kill them all!”  But Batman opposes him.  “No more killing!… Or I put you down!”  In an interesting twist, Batman confronts Mary and in true Justice League style, matter-of-factly announces, “You’re criminals.  You deserve justice.”  He fully intends to imprison these blood-thirsty creatures somehow and make them pay for their crimes!  It almost comes across as naive, but he is so deadpan, you know he means it!

The book climaxes in one of the most shocking twists I recall seeing in a comic, so I will not comment further.  But the stage is set for a crossover with ‘Justice League Dark’ who must be called in when possibly the most powerful vampire ever, Cain, returns to Earth.

This issue’s cover is the first in this series to be rendered by interior artist Andrea Sorrentino and I’m glad.  The five prior covers were illustrated by Jenny Frison and they were very pretty, but this isn’t a pretty book.  (Honestly, I think DC was trying to attract ‘Twilight’ fans.  Andrew even looks like Taylor Lautner on the first issue’s cover!)  But Andrea Sorrentino’s gritty, dark style is just perfect for this book and I’m glad to see it on the cover to properly market this title.  It’s a dark, horror comic with a vague romantic angle, in that Andrew and Mary are former lovers.  But it’s certainly no ‘Twilight’!  Sorrentino’s art actually seems to have improved with this issue, as he throws in some new innovative page layouts and design elements.

The story is just excellent as well, with twists and turns all around!  The sire of the half-blood vampires was a shocking choice for sure.  And Tig shows she means business and she isn’t just a slayer for fun.  But the most interesting depiction here is Batman.  I was actually surprised when he opposed Andrew and insisted on taking the killer vamps into custody.  I mean, it makes perfect sense, but I’m wondering… is this the first time anyone has ever tried handling vampires this way?  I mean, it’s usually stake or get eaten.  The fact that Batman wants to hold them accountable is perfectly within character, but startling at the same time.  And then, his feeble efforts to actually follow up are amusing.  Guess Batman isn’t always right and doesn’t always win after all.

And like I said, huge twist ending.

Excellent book!  Every issue ends, leaving me wanting more.  What more could you ask for in a comic?

Verdict: Buy

Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art and Cover by Andrea Sorrentino