American Vampire 1976 #3 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Rafael Albuquerque, Artist; Dave McCaig, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The high-octane adventure continues, as we learn a little more about the various creatures that inhabit the American underworld. Some minor players make for a very dramatic prequel as one is snatched and another makes a deal with an unexpected creature from folklore. The main cast of Book, Pearl, and Skinner are up to the craziest adventure as always, on the run from a terrifying group of underwater vampires with a truly eldritch appearance. I love the little detail each breed of American vampire has a unique weakness, and the underground battle has some great moments as the trio tears their way through some of America’s most famous historical artifacts. Before it’s over, it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire as they find themselves facing something potentially more dangerous than the vampires. Rafael Albuquerque is perfect for drawing this action-packed slice of Americana, too.
It’s two other characters, Agent Poole and Travis Kidd, who have the most horror-filled segment this issue. They’ve been on the trail of Dracula for this entire series so far, and when the big bad finally makes himself known, it’s worth the buildup. Albuquerque has an art style that’s well-suited to both human characters and creatures from the deepest recesses of your nightmares, and the bloody fight this issue doesn’t disappoint. But the ending cliffhanger is what people will be talking about. The title of this series is loaded to begin with, thanks to the question of what makes an American. I don’t think this narrative would have been complete without the character who appeared in the final act. I’m not sure how long Snyder and Albuquerque plan for this last act to be, but there is a lot of story yet to be told. Black Label reviving some Vertigo classics under this new brand has delivered some excellent dividends so far.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.