Comic Book Review – American Vampire Vol. 5

Robb Ghag reviews American Vampire Vol. 5…

In this new AMERICAN VAMPIRE collection, Skinner Sweet, Pearl and company return to Hollywood in the ‘50s during the Red Scare. In a time when America was on the lookout for the next Communist threat, was the real danger far more insidious? Plus: Retired vampire hunter Felicia Book gets called back into action to kill the most powerful vampire of all time.

This is the book that closes the chapter on some of the characters that Scott Snyder has made come to life (or afterlife).  If you’re a fan of American Vampire then you will find yourself in familiar surroundings as Agent Hobbes and a makeshift group of “heroes” take on the father of all vampires: Dracula.

Starting in England in 1954 we quickly learn the history of the Vassals of the Morning Star.  We’re reconnected with Felicia and Gus, who Hobbes convincingly gets to join their cause.  Throughout the first arc of this epic book, it’s all about the Lord of Nightmares and putting him back out of action.  Dustin Nguyen’s artwork in a word is flawless.  His water colors set the tone perfectly for Scott Synder’s amazing story line.  We’re introduced to the history of monsters that apparently have been walking this world for ages.  It’s a story worthy of the subject “Vampire”.  The ending of the first story is one to remember, and ends in an epic finale.

When we get to the next story arc “The Blacklist” Rafael Albuquerque picks up right where Nguyen leaves off.  Although a different art style, it’s one that fits perfectly with this story.  We re-introduced to some more familiar characters: Pearl, her husband Henry, Cal, Agent Pixby, Hattie Hargrove and of course Skinner Sweet.  If you’ve been wondering when these guys are going to meet for their revenge and vengeances past, this is the book.  Without revealing too much, a lot of people die… and a lot of people die again.

From cliffhanger to cliffhanger Snyder has kept us wanting these enemies all to meet up again, and when they do, its war.  It’s a shame now that the next book from Snyder most likely won’t deal with some of these characters as he is focusing more on Travis Kidd’s history.  Although Kidd was an amazing character I still want more of Skinner and Pearl, of Hattie and Henry.  I guess that’s the beauty of American Vampire – you can never get enough, and you can never get your fill.

Onto the next American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell – issue #1 coming in June, 2013.

Robb Ghag works for an Arts & Entertainment Brokerage in Toronto Canada. An Animation and Film school graduate, he specializes in Risk Management of Animation and VFX studios throughout North America.