American Vampire 1976 is Scott Snyder’s favorite series he’s ever done, but it comes to an end this week. Launched in October 2020, the series finds itself ending right in time for Halloween. Given Snyder’s recent partnership with ComiXology, could this be his last DC Comics work? If so, he’s going out with a bang on his own terms as he wraps up his and Rafael Albuquerque’s epic series.
If you’d call giants fighting in the city streets “epic”, we’ve come to a very epic finale indeed. Before that, this issue opens with Skinner Sweet turning Pearl Jones into a vampire. Appropriately taking place on July 4, 1925, Snyder lets us know what Skinner was thinking at the time through a letter he’s writing for this issue’s big finish. It’s a smart way to end the story arc since it bookends things nicely, but it also helps end things with Skinner and Pearl.
Smash cut to a yellow-skinned Skinner standing 50 stories tall facing off against a purple-skinned James Book with horns standing a bit taller. They’re fighting in the streets of Las Vegas on July 4, 1976. It’s a throwdown of epic proportions made even more epic via the United States government’s choice to nuke everything. The Nuclear Football is a nice choice as it connects with the times, but it also serves as a typical means for blind government folk to solve their problems. Historically speaking.
As this battle rages, the rest of the characters get some time to shine on the ground. Snyder mixes up the use of these characters so everyone’s favorite should get enough time to shine.
It’s in the last five pages fans of this miniseries will find the most solace. It’s a well-written ending thanks to the captions that play over the final acts of a key character. These scenes add up to a promising future and even though this is the end of the story, all good stories never end completely, do they? Snyder is very good at clever touches and this issue connects back to moments in the issue and previous issues well.
The art by Albuquerque with colors by Dave McCaig is great fun, especially if you like monsters. Book in particular has a cool-looking chest that lights up and is practically spilling out of him. Ending on giant monsters is certainly not new in a finale, but Albuquerque and McCaig sell it well. From the scary red sky, to a cool twist when friends show up looking badass there’s plenty here to cheer for. The final few pages are also very well done showing a great change is coming. There’s no 50-story tall monster, but there’s a seriousness to the characters and a well-drawn montage to go along with it that sells the ending.
American Vampire 1976 #10 ends the series on a high note. It has giant monster clashes, raises the stakes, and plenty of moments for characters to shine. Most of all, it cleverly wraps up with a letter you’ll read more than once to soak in.
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