Sweet Skinner is a daredevil motorcyclist and the original American Vampire: a type of vampire that is stronger than others and could walk in daylight. However, in American Vampire 1976 #1, Skinner’s now a mortal, desperately seeking to become immortal again. His old friend Pearl Jones approaches him to rob a train, which will help stop an organization from bringing about an end to the world. It’s a mission that may also possibly give him his immortality back. Meanwhile, Agent Poole recruits vampire hunter Travis Kidd to help find the serial killer who is killing former Vassals of the Morning Star agents.
Scott Snyder has done a great job writing a compelling horror story. Serial killers, secret organizations, and a plethora of vampires! What more do you need? The way Snyder has set up the VMS as an organization under attack from two fronts is extremely effective, and it plants seeds for both duos to eventually meet up. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Additionally, I love how Rafael Albuquerque draws these characters. Faces are angular and eyes are sunken, especially for Skinner. Even though he’s mortal, he looks a little monstrous. I also appreciate that Albuquerque draws normal vampires like they’re human, but then gives them the ability to transform into a monstrous being–like the vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The choice to reveal American Vampires through inhuman eyes rather than fangs is a nice touch as well. Dave McCaig uses a lot of red and orange colors, giving the book a kind of sepia look and nostalgic tone. Being a book about vampires, it also looks like the characters are wading in blood, even when there isn’t any.
American Vampire 1976 #1 is a great Halloween comic with its serial killers, secret conspiracy organizations, and of course, vampires. If the train robbery or the serial killer angle to the story doesn’t make you want to read more, then the art definitely will. My one issue is that it’s not very friendly to new readers of Snyder’s American Vampire. There were a few times characters and organizations were introduced and I was confused as to who they were and why they were important. However, the team did a great job of making me want to go back and catch up on the series.
American Vampire 1976 #1
Secret Organization Conspiracies9.0/10
New Reader Friendly6.0/10
- Writer: Scott Snyder
- Artist, Cover Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
- Colorist: Dave McCaig
- Letterer: Steve Wands
- Variant Cover Artist: Dustin Nguyen
- Editors: Mark Doyle, Maggie Howell
- Publisher: DC Comics/Black Label