Wednesday, June 6, 2012

American Vampire HC v2

It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a good protagonist.

Scott Snyder introduced us to Pearl Jones back in the first collection, but she spent almost all of that trade as a victim. I find her a lot more likable now that she’s out kicking butt with her vampire powers. Skinner Sweet is a great villain, but he was the star of the first trade, and I found him so distasteful I just wanted to see him suffer. Unfortunately, there were no heroes in that trade that seemed up to the task. Now Pearl seems to have some potential. Plus, we get some great new protagonists in Sherriff Cashel and Felicia Book. They may be a lot more “generic” in a vampire story (good-hearted cop and vamp-hunter) but they give me someone to cheer for.

I like where Snyder leaves Cashel at the end of the story, but I hope this isn’t the last we see of him. He’s a neat character and with his new burden, there is a lot of potential in following his journey. I know Felicia Book will stick around, and this is Pearl’s comic as much as Skinner’s.

It’s taking me some time to get used to liking a book about different vampires fighting each other, but I think I’m coming around. The clever use of the different breeds (including the titular “American Vampire”) is helping me bridge my distaste for the vampire genre. It’s amazing what actually caring about your characters can accomplish.

It’s also neat seeing how pervasive the vampire culture is into the world of this comic. Back-room drainings, business dealings, and hiding in plain sight are pretty much the only way this stuff would work. I’m glad there are some vamp hunters trying to keep things in check.

Rafael Albuquerque continues doing solid work. He doesn’t have the most realistic style, but there’s no doubting the mood on his pages. The heavy blacks and reds establish the tone from the cover to the last page.

I didn’t plan on continuing with this series, but I already had a pull request in at my library. I’m glad I decided to give the book another shot, it’s a lot more gripping than volume 1.


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