“AMERICAN VAMPIRE” VOL. 2 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on May 28, 2011

AMERICAN VAMPIRE VOL. 2 (Vertigo Comics) further explores the blood-fueled journey of Skinner Sweet, a new vicious breed of vampire. Skinner has survived through various decades of American history, especially in Las Vegas during the 1930s. In his ceaseless travels, Sweet involves himself with the best and worst of humanity. Fantastically original, the art never misses a detail and the story is always superbly told.

 Police Chief Cash McCogan grew up in Las Vegas, watching the city grow from a cow town to a booming and bright business. With a loving wife and a baby on the way, Cash must try to make his native city worth living in. When the bodies of prominent businessmen are found murdered, Cash finds himself searching for a serial killer. During his investigation, he finds himself puzzled with many questions, wondering why the victims have been drained of their blood.

Because this vampire can live during the daylight, Skinner has become infamously known as the mobster Jim Smoke. Sin City grew the way it is because of Sweet’s involvement. Skinner has the police department, McCogan’s own people, on his payroll. As the body count rises, the murders are affecting Skinner’s highly profitable prostitution ring. Because of unwanted attention from McCogan, Skinner has to hunt for the serial killer as well.

A giant flying bat lurks in the air, stalking its prey from high above. As the case intensifies, McCogan eventually confronts a secret society of vampire hunters, who are fueled by bloody grudges and bent on vengeance. Skinner’s enemies, the oldest and deadliest vampires, are gathering together and traveling from Europe to America. With an all-out war about to break out, who will be the last man standing? 

Author Scott Snyder finds creative ways to keep AMERICAN NIGHTMARE’s plot moving, building the story with numerous plot twists. Snyder always engages the readers with an unpredictable storyline. By the time you reach the last page, the author ends the tale with a clever shocker. The mythology of the eternal Skinner is just getting started, adding many subplots for the next following issues. 

Artists Rafael Albuquerque and Mateus Santolouco bring out the flashy style and provocative allure of 1930s Las Vegas. Skinner Sweet’s character design is just impressive to look at. With his long hair and laid-back demeanor, Sweet is depicted as a vamped-out Kurt Cobain. The facial expressions are just top-notch as Skinner reveals his fangs in extreme close-ups.

AMERICAN VAMPIRE VOL. 2 continues to excite readers with the mysterious Skinner Sweet. Snyder’s storytelling and Albuquerque’s artwork makes this volume a whole lot of fun! Without a doubt, a new and modern classic has emerged. New readers will have no difficulty jumping into this series at this point. Well-deserving of its attention, AMERICAN VAMPIRE has been nominated for Best New Series in the 2011 Will Eisner Awards. Sink your fangs into AMERICAN VAMPIRE!