Scott Snyder is having one heck of week with not only the release of Superman Unchained and Batman #21, but also this special one-shot for his American Vampire series. The series is currently on a break while he works on his other projects, but we still got this one shot to keep us excited while we wait for the series to come back. Is it good?
American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell (Vertigo Comics)
A young couple, Billy Bob and Jolene, are caught and turned into vampires by a coven looking for some more recruits to build up their army. The first chance they get, the couple makes a break for it and drives as fast as they can to Las Vegas in search of a mysterious cure for their predicament that is slowly eating away at their humanity. Meanwhile, Jasper, a mysterious boy with a talent for body language, and a familiar vampire hunter are both heading in the same direction as well.
The whole story is a done in one and it’s an extremely good one. While the story and ending are strong, it’s the characters that make this comic worth it. The couple are very sympathetic and you really feel for what they are going through as they have to commit evil acts in order to prevent themselves from going too far off the deep end. Jasper is an interesting character, who is also sympathetic due to the traumatic and terrible life has had, and plays well off the young couple and helps keep their morality in check at points. Add in the good dialogue bits between everyone that adds more to their characterization, and you’ll be really invested and enjoying these characters.
Dude, she’s so not interested in music right now.
The artwork was done by the usual artist of the series, Rafael Albuquerque, and he was on fire with this issue. As good as the character writing was, it wouldn’t have nearly been as great without the art able to back it up. The emotions on the characters faces and in their body language is what sells you on a lot of these characters and the dark moments in the story. The minor bit of action, the rainy ending, and utterly brutal violence is especially striking, getting the right tone at the right moment. Though the only thing that bugged me was that the young boy character reminded of someone from another comic…
Poor Calvin, if only he had Hobbes.
- Very well written characters and story.
- Beautiful art that captures the mood and emotion perfectly.
- Solid ending and cliffhanger.
- The vampire coven sideplot was kind of pointless in the end.
- Travis could have been used more.
Is It Good?
Without a doubt. A strong story with a great and memorable characters all add up to a must read for any fan of the series. It’s also especially good for new readers as well, since there is no background needed to truly understand anything going on, outside of maybe Travis Kidd’s backstory. Definitely recommend.
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