Two nice little anthologies came out this week. Let’s take a look at ’em.
American Vampire Anthology #1
Well, obviously, it’s a collection of short stories, all set in the “American Vampire” universe, focusing on characters like Skinner Sweet and Hattie Hargrove, along with plenty of new victims and monsters. The creators in this one include Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Jason Aaron, Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, Becky Cloonan, Francesco Francavilla, Greg Rucka, J.P. Leon, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Gail Simone, and plenty of others.
Verdict: Thumbs up. There’s not a single bad story in this entire anthology. That isn’t something you can say very often about anthologies. But everything in here works. Some of it is pretty gut-wrenching, even if the gore isn’t very heavy. But if you’re familiar with American Vampire, you knew that already. At any rate, this is definitely worth picking up.
Batman Inc. Special #1
Once again, a collection of stories, all focused on the members of Batman Inc. Batman Japan and Canary take on a metahuman organ harvester; the Squire slowly recovers from the death of the Knight and the end of Batman Inc.; Raven Red engages in a high-speed, high-rise pursuit and tries to talk down a man who may be contemplating suicide; Nightrunner, Dark Ranger, and el Gaucho battle a zombie master and a city full of his mind-controlled minions; and Bat-Cow stops some thrill-riding kidnappers.
Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s all pretty good. I really, really enjoyed the story with the Squire — Beryl is one of my favorite characters, and it’s a pity that she isn’t used more often. The story in Japan is pretty good, too. The only one that really falls down is the Bat-Cow story, which you’d think I’d love… but it was written by Dan DiDio, and there’s just no good reason to let that guy write comic books.