American Vampire 1976 kicked off a series that was 10/10 good and has evolved into quite an action-adventure series. The last issue brought some major revelations to the group–as well as a fun look at some ancient monsters–and now the heroes are off to stop the greatest threat to the planet we’ve ever faced. One might say it’s almost too easy, but how can they be stopped with a lead ahead of the mysterious Gray Trader? Let’s just say issue #6 is very twisty.
This issue opens with some interesting captions about progress sprouting from fire and flame. The line goes, “Yes, progress hurts. Fire and flame, sure enough. But in the end, it’s a good thing. Because we come out better. Evolved.” Scott Snyder sets up the issue perfectly with these captions. They play into the events of the issue and it doubles back in the final moments to land a striking note on the issue, and the series up to this point. That leads to Skinner’s team preparing to enter an iceberg in order to end up with the Blood of Light. One might call this a McGuffin, which will lead our heroes and humanity to salvation. It’s all almost too easy…
Much of this book is about checking in on characters and their dynamics between each other before our heroes get the last edge they need to destroy the beast. It’s a calm-before-the-storm sort of issue. Even James Book and Skinner seem to be happy. We also get a key check-in with Washington D.C. before the team heads into the iceberg.
It’s in this scene that Rafael Albuquerque’s art and Dave McCaig’s colors really shine. One might not expect a small, lush jungle inside an iceberg, but the art team pulls it off splendidly. There’s also a cool skull totem that’s equal parts Indiana Jones and Swamp Thing that you won’t want to miss. This scene plays against expectations, which is pulled off well with character acting and solid angles on the characters. They’re standing around a flower that Book will bleed on and effectively gain powers if it doesn’t kill him. McGaig’s colors always seem to add extra texture and the right believability to an oddity to render something beyond what one expects.
There’s a hanging threat of death amongst this scene due to what they’re up to, but also how they talk. Snyder continues to write great dialogue that helps cue us into who each character is and what they may be hiding. There’s also a key flashback that helps suss out how a certain character got here and what they’re really up to. I’ll leave it at that, but the cliffhanger of this issue will have you guess where things might go.
Like a good episode of Lost, this issue sets up quite a cliffhanger that’ll have you wondering how our heroes escape death and turn the tide. This is the midway point of a planned twelve-issue series and it’s a good reminder it’s always darkest before the dawn. American Vampire 1976 continues to be the action-adventure series your inner 80s kid always wanted.
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