Wild West Batman

Batman Inc. #7

We pay a visit to the American Southwest, where Native American superhero Man-of-Bats and his sidekick Little Raven fight crime and try to bring hope to their reservation. But times are changing — the new hospital administrator gives Man-of-Bats trouble in his civilian identity as Dr. Sam Black Elk, gangs backed by Leviathan move onto the reservation, and Little Raven considers quitting the crimefighting life. Can an appearance by Bruce Wayne help turn things around? Or is it already too late for the people on the reservation?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I love Man-of-Bats — he’s a great character, and he has one of my favorite superhero theme costumes. He does what Batman does, just without all the money and equipment. I also like the story’s emphasis on the real-life poverty, despair, and general rotten conditions on many reservations.

American Vampire #16

Henry Preston and the squad of military vampire-hunters from the Vassals of the Morning Star are in deep trouble. They’re stuck on Taipan during World War II, and they’ve been captured by Japanese soldiers — and the Japanese plan to turn all of them into the savage, mindless, eyeless vampires who have overrun the island. But Henry knows they’ve got an ace in the hole — Skinner Sweet is a vampire, and though he’s injured, if Henry gives him some of his blood, Skinner will get them free and give them a fighting chance. But can Sweet be trusted? And even if he can, do they stand a chance against Taipan’s vampire hordes?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice creepy stuff. Rafael Albuquerque is developing into one of the best artists in horror comics, and writer Scott Snyder is continuing his reign as DC/Vertigo’s best-kept secret.

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