Over the years, the Avengers have assembled with dozens of different lineups to battle a wide variety of foes in hundreds of different stories. The newly released Avengers #17 fits that description while still providing a fresh take on the iconic superhero team.

The Avengers have saved the world from alien invasions, taken on sentient robots, and stopped a madman within their own government, but now they’re dealing with vampires. The new foe requires a very different kind of team, and that’s exactly what we get in this new comic.

Vampires are nothing new when it comes to Marvel Comics. Dracula has been appearing in the Marvel universe since the 50s and of course Blade is one of the company’s more popular characters. Still, this story feels different. There is a war being waged between two different legions of vampires and somehow the Avengers have found themselves caught in the middle.

Naturally, that calls for a very different Avengers lineup. Captain America, Iron Man and Thor are all still there, and Captain Marvel, Black Panther and She-Hulk have been on-again, off-again members of the team for years. However, this team features a couple of new players: Ghost Rider and Blade.

Actually, this comic mainly focuses on two different characters: Blade and Dracula. The Blade storyline is fairly straightforward. The Avengers are going up against vampires so they enlisted his help because he obviously has experience in that field.

Most of the comic is spent in a fight between the Avengers and some vampires, including the Shadow Colonel who has some history with this Avengers team that is briefly mentioned (and explained further in the title page at the beginning). So if you like your comics to focus mainly on the Avengers beating up some bad guys, you’ll enjoy this one.

The Dracula storyline however is much more complex. Dracula has been taken prisoner by the Winter Guard, a team of Russian heroes who have banished him to Chernobyl. The story is a bit difficult to follow without knowing what happened prior to this issue. Dracula provides a bit of context but not nearly enough to clear things up.

The Count starts off as a sympathetic victim in the beginning of the story, begging to be sent somewhere quiet. Then we see his captors defeated by a team of mysterious vampires before the Avengers show up. By the end, it looks like Dracula is going to be the big bad moving forward. It’s an arc that needed a lot more attention and developed too quickly in my opinion.

As per usual, I have to applaud the art in this issue. David Marquez beautifully depicts some of the most beloved characters as they do battle with some relatively unknown ones. The fight sequences are fantastic, perfectly bringing the action to life.

If you’ve been reading this ongoing Avengers series from writer Jason Aaron, I would definitely recommend you keep going as Avengers #17 introduces and interesting team dynamic and a compelling villain moving forward. However, if you’re a casual reader just looking for a comic to pick up, Avengers #17 will leave you in the dark. And that’s never a good place to be when you’re dealing with vampires.