AMERICAN VAMPIRE by Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquereque – Volumes 1 to 2

Some of you will immediately say, “why the hell didn’t you add Stephen King’s name in the review title??!!” Sorry about that. It was, however, quite intentional. Stephen King did write a portion of Volume 1 but the vast majority of credit goes to Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquereque for what was created in the two AMERICAN VAMPIRE volumes I’ve been able to read. I’m a huge Scott Snyder fan! What he’s done recently with Batman earns him some major cool points. Rafael Albuquereque is the perfect illustrator for it because of his ability to bring depth and style to every page. Stephen King gets enough props elsewhere; I say let the other guys take a bow! On with the reviews….

AMERICAN VAMPIRE – Volume 1

Volume one offers a fresh approach to the vampire genre. A new breed of blood sucker is born in the American Wild West. Skinner Sweet is an outlaw turned undead abomination who returns from a claustrophobic and watery grave to get revenge. Sweet’s revenge is made possibly by his accidental exposure to the vampire virus which manifested as a new species in the long vampire line.

He encounters a young actress by the name of Pearl Jones who is later brutalized by a band of vampires who originated in Europe. Sweet infects her with his strain of the vampire virus to save her from a permanent death. Now empowered by this unholy transformation, Pearl embarks on her own path of vengeance against the old world vampires that ruined her human life. She experiences betrayal, spills buckets of blood, and even finds love.

Even though the two characters become the same breed of vampire, they could not be more different. Skinner is like a wildfire that takes no prisoners when Pearl is like a burning candle that is contained yet easily volatile under the right conditions. I personally like Pearl’s character far more because she’s much more unique. She’s sweet, sexy, and lethal (reminds me of my wife).

I really liked this story! It takes someone as adventurous as Scott Snyder to try something new with a topic as oversaturated as vampires. The art is superb; it’s styled just right to give gruesome life to the bloody pages. Honestly the main thing I didn’t like was the Wild West setting – anything remotely in the western genre has never resonated well with me.

AMERICAN VAMPIRE VOLUME 1 is definitely worth your time! Any fan of horror with find it extra appealing.

My rating of AMERICAN VAMPIRE VOLUME 1 is a wickedly fun 7 out of 10.

7 out of 10

AMERICAN VAMPIRE – Volume 2

Volume two begins with a new decade, the 1930’s, in Las Vegas during the construction of the Hoover Dam. I love this time period (far more than the Wild West) so I was immediately drawn into the story. The center of the story is a murder mystery of sorts that introduces the great character of Chief Cash McCogan. Soon the true horrors of this mystery surface showing a darker side of the bustling city.

It was fun seeing Pearl and her husband on the run while trying to live their anything-but-normal lives. Skinner Sweet’s inclusion was less overbearing this time around so it made for a more varied story. I also love learning about the different species of vampires and how their rise/fall is similar to that of homo sapiens.

In the end I enjoyed volume two more than volume one. I’m eager to get my hands on the WWII-set third volume!

My rating of AMERICAN VAMPIRE Volume 2 is a bloody good 8 out of 10.

8 out of 10

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