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March 21, 2010

Vertigo Reviews: American Vampire #1

American Vampire #1
Publisher: Vertigo
Writers: Scott Snyder & Stephen King
Art/Cover: Rafael Albuquerque
Variant Cover: Jim Lee
Pages: 40
Price: US $3.99

1925.  Pearl Jones and her friend are cast as extras on a silent film.  Pearl gets to meet the star of the show!  The star invites her to the big party of the evening at the studio big wig’s house.  Pearl arrives at her friend’s “female only” apartment complex before the party.  She gets into an argument with a scruffy lookin’ nerf herder of a creepy cowboy.  Party time!  Mr. Big Movie Star tells Pearl the studio big wig wants to see her in his den.  What in the world would that old dude want with lil’ ol’, cast extra, her?  Hmmm…

1880.  Wild, wild west.  An outlaw by the name of Skinner Sweet has been caught by a Pinkerton detective and is on a train ride to his hanging.  Hey, doesn’t Skinner look like that…well…never mind.  There’s an old, foreign, fat, pale banker on board running around with an umbrella complaining about being “fair-skinned.”  Sissy boy.  He pours sunscreen out of a little silver pitcher.  Sissy boy.  Skinner’s boys intercept the train ride.  YEEE HAAAW!  The fair-skinned sissy boy gets pissed!  It seems he’s not one to make angry.  He goes after Skinner….

The story set in 1925, Big Break, is written by Scott Snyder and introduces us to Pearl Jones.  The 1880 story, Bad Blood, is written by horror master Stephen King and introduces us to Skinner Sweet.  I admire Stephen King very much and love his stories.  His comic book adaptations, however, are frakkin’ boring in my opinion.  They’re not original.  I’ve read them before.  American Vampire is all original.  I like it.  It doesn’t blow your face off right away, like most stories from King, but this train is headed in the right direction.

This is a typical first issue in an ongoing.  It sets the tone and gives us the characters.  Not at a break-neck pace, but a pace that is appropriate to make the reader come back for the next issue.  Vertigo always puts out great stuff.  Stuff that grips readers and creates cult followings.  Titles such as Sandman, Preacher, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Y: The Last Man, The Losers, and so many countless others that I’ve missed out on or could in no way ever get fully caught up on without breaking the bank.  I’m hoping that American Vampire is one of those timeless gems.

It’s #1, it’s intriguing, and I’m gonna stick around for awhile and see where the tales of Pearl Jones and Skinner Sweet lead us.  Scott Snyder is a good writer and Stephen King is…well…Stephen King.  Rafael Albuquerque does an excellent job on the art and has an interesting way of contrasting the two different time periods.  You should give this title a chance.  If  not for the new concept of an American vampire, at least for the fact that these vampires DO NOT sparkle.

Aron White
aron@comicattack.net

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  2. Billy

    It sounds interesting enough. I’m not a big SK fan myself but his story does sound better than the other. Nice review Aron.



  3. The cover with Skinner is my fav already and I’m down for a good vampire read where there is no sparkle! Definitely will pick this one up and give it a shot


  4. Aron White

    Thanks, Billy!

    It is off to a great start, y’all should definitely check it out!



  5. […] More: Vertigo Reviews: American Vampire #1 […]



  6. […] Scott Snyder has already successfully given us a new breed of vampire, and now he’s in the process of giving us a new breed of Tony Stark.  One part rich dude.  One part exploring adventurist.  All part awesome!  Throw in some Nazis for good measure, and hold on tight!  This series is going to be a fun ride!  It will be a short ride, only four issues, but a fun ride nonetheless.  Teamed up with Manuel Garcia, these two gentlemen instill a sense of wonder.  They give us a tale that is most deserving of the pages of Marvels: A Magazine of Men’s Adventure (but girls can read it, too!).  They give us, Iron Man Noir. […]



  7. […] Angeles, 1925.  After being attacked last issue, Pearl Jones is found alive…barely.  She’s staggering, weak, along the road.  Her […]



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