War of the Vampires isn’t your normal Avengers storyline. It’s much darker, intense, and in many ways truly could be called a horror comic.
The trade paperback collects issues 13-17 of the 2018 Avengers title and opens with the Shadow Colonel and his Legion of the Unliving attacking castle Dracula which falls far more easily than expected because Dracula isn’t home. In fact, the dark lord of Vampires has given up his throne and fled into the world of man. This sets off a civil war as all the various vampiric clans and factions struggle to stay alive and claim Dracula’s throne.
The Avengers are swept up into the war while protecting humanity, and the team is powerful, consisting of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Black Panther, Blade the vampire slayer, Ghostrider, and She-Hulk.
However the team feels off, and lacks the chemistry other Avenger teams have had.
Ghostrider and She-Hulk are updated versions of themselves, with She-Hulk as mindless as the Hulk used to be, and Ghostrider just some kid with a car instead of Johnny Blaze.
That said, the War of the Vampires does bring to the forefront the vampires of the Marvel Universe along with Russia’s superhero team, the Winter Guard. And though there are some horrid moments of ‘modernized’ takes on characters like Captain America, there are also awesome moments with Dracula shining brightly as both a lord of evil and someone that the reader’s heart breaks for.
If you’re looking for a horror read without tons of gore but a healthy side of superhero action, then War of the Vampires is the perfect collected trade paperback for you this Halloween. The shocking end of the storyline alone is well worth the price of the book.