AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE #1
With the likes of Blade, Tomb of Dracula, and Captain Britain & the MI:13 in distant memory, Vamps simply weren’t cool until this Vertigo series rolled around. Then, it was all that glittery EMO stuff that South Park so fantastically took care of in one episode. Scott Snyder (with the help of Stephen King, nonetheless) made vampires cool, if not admired — especially Skinner Sweet. Think Jax Teller with a set of fangs that bleed Red Dead Redemption. The Batman scribe then went on to introduce a more delightful, at times even more daringly noirish Pearl Jones. The two together.. just couldn’t be matched. The Second Cycle is all about taking the established AV world Snyder and artist Rafa Albuquerque conjured and mashing both the far older lore (Ancients, Dracula, etc.) and newer (our Vamperoes) together. And for what else…but hell on earth. Colorist Dave McCaig appears to be just the one to emphasize the hellacious dichotomy of optimistic activity (the saving of ‘fugee vamps) and the darkly pessimistic (a haunting past is coming, and at what cost?). Look, kids. This is a good place to start. The visual contrast is striking and severely symbolic, the laws of the land are entirely laid out for noobs, and Snyder even throws the entire Kitchen Sink at us… So, g’head, try placing this comic under one specific genre. I double dare ya. 4.5/5.