- I didn't want to come to this vampire-infested dump. If you won't let me leave you... then I'm going to stay protected inside this magic circle while the vampires come and kill you. And then I'll be free of the whole lot of-- huh?
Synopsis for "Rise of the Vampires, Part I: Red Blood, Dark Magic"
Madame Xanadu senses that something evil has now awoken as a result of the vampire Andrew Bennett's demise. John Constantine has no interest in dealing with vampires, but Zatanna prevents him from leaving with her magic.
Shade uses his M-Vest to bring the group to Gotham City, where the Vampires are running wild. However, the vest's power is unpredictable, and Shade senses that something dark interfered with his ability to get them closer to the source of the evil. When they see the vampires, Shade is taken aback, because he had never truly believed in vampires.
From a rooftop, the team watches as a group of vampires is interrupted in its attack on a pair of citizens by Batgirl. As she is moments away from being bitten, Deadman possesses the vampire and prevents it. Deadman pulls himself out of the vampire, letting its body fall onto a spiked fence, impaling it. Something had resisted his possession attempt. Constantine is unmoved, and opts to kill the vampire for good by decapitating it with a hatchet.
Batgirl appreciates the help, but she agrees with Batman's assessment that their team is a mess. This is exemplified by the chaos coming from Shade's M-Vest, which he continues to fail to control. Meanwhile, Zatanna attempts to use magic to stop a pair of advancing vampires, but only manages to affect one of them. Something has thwarted her magic. Fortunately, a well-timed toss of Constantine's hatchet saves her life.
With the vampires defeated, Batgirl leaves, warning the group that they are on their own in Gotham. Grumpily, John Constantine tries making a protective circle for himself, hoping to avoid being killed, even if his team is not so lucky. Strangely, the circle dissolves. Not even Xanadu could do that, and she believes that a magician of far greater power is preventing all of them from being effective.
At the Gotham Courthouse, Cain rallies the vampires in the wake of Andrew Bennett's death. He promises that with his return, the magic of the earth is theirs to claim. He seems to be gaining strength with each attempt by Xanadu and her team to use some kind of magic. Finally, Xanadu manages to glimpse him, and she realizes that Cain is stealing the magic and using it to strengthen his army. She sits down and begins meditating in the hope that she can do something before it's too late.
She orders Constantine and Deadman to enter the afterlife and find Andrew Bennett. If they can bring him back, he can help them fight Cain. Constantine attempts to protest, but Xanadu's astral form has already left her body. Using whisky and the body of a dead rat, John performs a ritual that opens the door to the afterlife, inwardly regretting that he ever got involved. Meanwhile, Zatanna and Shade teleport to the rooftop where Batman, John Troughton and Tig are fighting off a horde of vampires.
Xanadu, meanwhile, has come to Astral Zone of The Crystal One, where she begs him to provide her with help. He warns that if he does help her, her team will hate her even more than they already do. Xanadu claims that she is ready for that.
Appearing in "Rise of the Vampires, Part I: Red Blood, Dark Magic"
- The Crystal One
- Story continues in I, Vampire #7.