06 October 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Dracula

Over the years, Batman has had a few run-ins with another "bat man", Count Dracula himself. The idea of two man dudes fighting has just been too compelling to ignore. Their first encounter was in the live action Andy Warhol film Batman Dracula in 1964. Three years later, Batman Fights Dracula was made in the Philippines. It wasn't until 2005 that the Batman vs Dracula animated film brought an authorized meeting of the two Batmen to screen.

In the comics, Batman has faced off against Dracula in an Elseworlds trilogy starting with Batman and Dracula: Red Rain, continuing in Bloodstorm and Crimson Mist. In the trilogy, Batman discovers that murders of homeless are being committed by Dracula himself, still 'alive' and well. Batman himself becomes a vampire, and determined to destroy Dracula's minions, Batman lures them into the Batcave, he detonates multiple explosive charges, destroying Wayne Manor and exposing the cave to sunlight, destroying all the vampires within it. Using his new bat-like wings, Batman flies to confront Dracula, eventually impaling the vampire lord on a tree that has been destroyed by lightning, but at the cost of the last of his humanity. However, after his 'will' has been read to Alfred, Batman assures his old friend that he has nothing to fear; Bruce Wayne may be gone, but the Batman, thanks to his vampiric powers, will now go on forever.

In Bloodstorm, the remaining vampires of Dracula's horde are now led by the Joker, having convinced them to follow his orders after pointing out their current inability to think beyond their next victim with the death of Dracula. Although they manage to take control of most of Gotham's major crime families, the vampires are eventually destroyed by a team of Batman, Catwoman (as a real werecat, transformed by the bite of a vampire in the form of a wolf), Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, and their vampire hunters made up of many Gotham PD detectives; Gordon, Alfred and their team staked the former crime lords during the daylight, and Batman and Catwoman confront the last vampires in a warehouse. Catwoman is killed in the final battle after defeating the vampire that made her what she has become, and Batman, enraged at the loss of the only person able to control his bloodlust, subsequently drains the Joker of his blood. Horrified by what he has done, Batman has himself staked by Gordon and Alfred, determined to stop himself committing further murder.

Unfortunately, Gordon and Alfred never cut off his head, and, as a result, Batman is restored in Crimson Mist when Gotham is in the grip of a crime wave and Alfred removes the stake in an attempt to provide Gotham with a savior once again. Driven mad by the decay of his body and his new longing for blood, Batman drains and decapitates all of his old enemies (the Penguin, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Black Mask, the Scarecrow and Mad Hatter), until Two-Face and Killer Croc, the only two left, form an alliance with Commissioner Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth to kill Batman. The plan is simple; having tracked Batman to his new lair in the former Batcave, Alfred will lure him into the main part of the cavern, and they will subsequently trigger bombs to expose Batman to the sun. During the struggle, Two-Face and Croc attempt to kill Alfred and Gordon, but Alfred gives his life to give Batman the strength needed to save Gordon. Having killed Croc and Two-Face, Batman convinces Gordon to trigger the trap, and the roof of the Batcave is destroyed. Gordon is crushed by falling rubble, and Batman walks into the sunlight, hoping that, now, he shall finally find the peace that he has been unable to find since his transformation.

BUY IT NOW: Batman vs Dracula on DVD

Friend and Foe Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Azrael
Baby Doll
Bane
Bat-Hound (Ace)
Batgirl
Bat-Mite
Batwoman
Batzarro
Black Mask
Blockbuster
David Cain
Calendar Man & Calendar Girl
Catman
Catwoman
Clayface
Clock King
Cluemaster
Crazy Quilt
Dracula

The Dark Knight returns in 286 days!

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