By: Scott Snyder (writer – Story A), Stephen King (writer – Story B), Rafael Albuquerque (art), Dave McCaig (colors) & Steve Wands (letters)

The Story: American Vampires have neat and unique abilities and don’t get along that well with their old-world counterparts.

What’s Good: This is another really strong issue of American Vampire.  I think that Vertigo has a winner on its hands!  You should definitely be picking this up in issues or making room on your bookshelf for the trades!

A great thing about this series is that it is turning vampires (as a theme) on their ears.  One of the boring things about traditional vampires (for me) is all the rules: you can kill them with wooden stakes, they cannot go out in the sun, they hate garlic, you can’t see their reflection in the mirror, etc.  Because of these persistent themes, vampire stories get a little predictable and you can usually see the “twists” coming a long way off.  I also loathe the gothic crap that comes with traditional vampires, the frilly clothes, the angst and introspection that comes with being centuries old, blah, blah.  Yuck!

That stuff is out-the-window with American Vampire.  The basic idea is that some old-fashioned vampires somehow have unintentionally created a kind of mutant vampire (i.e. the “American Vampire”) and these AVs have different abilities and weaknesses.  In this issue, we learn a little more about those abilities, but we also learn that the old-fashioned vampires (OFVs???) aren’t too happy with their mutant children and the feeling is mutual.  So, we’re shaping up to get a nice little vampire war.  Very cool and very fun.

On top of this, the story is set in the Old West.  The more modern of the stories is set in 1920’s Hollywood.  “That’s not the Old West”, you say?  Well, the older story is set in the later 1800’s and serves as a reminder of just what a recent creation “modern” California is.  Even though by the 1920’s Los Angeles and San Francisco were really bustling, it wasn’t that much earlier that they were a little rougher and this comic reminds us of that.  Plus…. who doesn’t love a good Western and that is kind of what the earlier story is right now.

I think I started my review of American Vampire #2 by gushing about Rafael Albuquerque’s art and it is still awesome in this issue.  What is really impressive is that the two stories have completely different styles and they both work well.  Keep an eye on this guy!

What’s Not So Good: I dunno… That the comic eventually ended?  I could read this stuff all day. No complaints!

Conclusion: This is a really strong offering from Vertigo.  Pick it up now!

Grade: A-

– Dean Stell



  • dfstell

    Me too. I like Snyder’s story better too. I’m only kinda a King fan. LOVE the Stand. Love the first few books in the Dark Tower saga (not so much on the ending). LOVE the short stories. Don’t really care for any of the rest of the books.

  • paladinking

    I think his role in the Pearl story also helps. The fact that we see him helping her out before reading his story makes him more likable.

    Anyway, as you can probably tell, I liked Snyder’s half more (despite being a HUGE King fan). Not that I disliked King’s half at all, but I’ve actually consistently preferred Pearl’s half through all three issues. Totally didn’t not expect that given my love for Stephen King.

    I can’t say I’ve read all of his novels….as that would be quite the feat….but I’ve read a good chunk of them. Hell, one third of my Master’s dissertation was about King’s work and its relationship with British Romanticism.


  • dfstell

    Alex….agreed, but I find I end up rooting for characters based on their coolness over their morality. Skinner is pretty cool. 🙂

  • paladinking

    One of the things that made this issue in particular is how beautifully the two halves paralleled one another.

    Pearl is a very sympathetic character seeking revenge against a bunch of rat bastards.

    Skinner is a rat bastard seeking revenge against good people.

    It’s just such a wonderfully executed dichotomy. Because of Pearl’s tale, you’re almost fooled into rooting for Skinner….until you realize that you’d be rooting for him for no definable reason.