By: Scott Snyder & Stephen King (writers), Rafael Albuquerque (art), Dave McCaig (colors) & Steve Wands (letters)

The Story: Fresh vampires are being “born” in America and they’re “new and improved” compared to the classic models.

What’s Good: Rafael Albuquerque!  Goodness, goodness what nice art!  After I read this, I actually started poking around online to see if the original art pages were for sale.  It’s that good!  (Didn’t find them, btw…).  What’s all the more impressive is that this two-story issue has slightly different artistic styles for each tale, and Albuquerque nails them both.  And what until you get a load of his lady vampire!  Bravo!

So, once you finish looking at the pretty pictures, you can enjoy the really fun story.  Like issue #1, the issue is split into two stories.  The first story again focuses on a struggling actress named Pearl in 1925 Los Angeles, whereas the second focuses (again) on a cowboy/criminal named Skinner Sweet in the wild west of the 1880’s.  I really enjoyed both stories and it helped indicate the direction for this series (it wasn’t clear after issue #1).

The cool thing about these stories is that Skinner spans both and seems to be a pretty neat character.  In his own tale, he’s the new vampire, but in Pearl’s story, he’s the father/mentor.  I especially like that he and Pearl seem to have new fangled (pun intended) abilities compared to old-fashioned vampires.  You’ll love the words of wisdom that Skinner gives to Pearl!

Snyder and King have created a story that seems to have a lot of room for growth.  How will these “new” American Vampires adapt to a world with humans?  Are they going to come into conflict with the old-fashioned vampires? I can’t wait to find out.

Vertigo has also done a very smart thing with King’s involvement.  See the cover.  His name isn’t any bigger than the other creators.  King actually does a very nice job on his story (way better than most non-comic writers do).  But you have to assume that he’ll have other demands on his time eventually, as Snyder is due to pick up this whole title.  That’ll be fine with me because I actually like Snyder’s story better AND the title won’t seem to suffer because they’ll have to completely redesign the cover to remove King’s name.

What’s not good: Nothing….  Seriously.

Conclusion: If you’re sick of how the douchebag Twilight fans have hijacked our vampires and made them all pasty-faced, angst-ridden teenagers, this is the comic for you.

Grade: A-

– Dean Stell