Author: Scott Snyder
Illustrators: Rafael Albuquerque, Dustin Nguyen
There are two things that make American Vampire unique and the best ongoing story about vampires in any form of media. First of all, the vampires in this series are not all of one species. There are several sects, each with unique powers and weaknesses, yet all draw on the common vampire mythos. Secondly, the story arcs are in the backdrop of US history. Each volume has taken on another decade, starting with the twenties in volume one, thirties in volume two, forties (WWII) in volume three, fifties in volume four…
And in volume five, we are still in the fifties. Early fifties, in fact. I had hopes when picking up this volume that we would now have a story taking place in a hippy-infested America with man striving for the moon. Instead, the setting has stalled in the fifties with two stories that frankly could have been told in any decade.
The first story arc deals with the reawakening of Dracula. He is the definitive vampire with power to control all of his subordinate vampires from miles away. Even humans can be bent by his will. Felicia Book and her song Gus are recruited by Hobbes to stop this lethal force, resulting in devastating consequences.
The second story arc is about Pearl, whose husband is in a comatose critical condition from a vampire attack in the previous volume. She joins the VMS to learn who was behind this attack and gets paired up with none other than Skinner Sweet. As they search to discover the secrets of the evil cult, Pearl is reunited with an old foe.
I was a little disappointed in this volume, but like I said — American Vampire is the best vampire story out there. Even in the less favorable volumes, the series shines with excellent art and storytelling. The characters are fallible and we see many prominent characters die off like a George R.R. Martin novel.
There are essentially four comic volumes I am following right now — American Vampire, Saga, The Walking Dead, Locke and Key (soon to be completed). Even though the American Vampire time line stagnated in the fifties, the story still has momentum and I still eagerly await the next installment.