It has been quite some time since fans have been blessed with an ongoing American Vampire book. A wait that has been filled with one-shot teases that were satisfying, but not something that wholly satiated the hunger of ravenous fans. Today, that longing can finally cease as Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuqueque unleash American Vampire: Second Cycle upon the masses!
This time around, we follow Skinner Sweet and Pearl into the treacherous nineteen-sixties where their roles have drastically changed since the last time we saw them. Pearl has become the "Harriet Tubman" of the vampire world, taking in children that have been hunted and persecuted, giving them not only a home but knowledge and friendship as well. Skinner has transformed into a one man hit-squad along the Texas/Mexican border, amassing weapons and cash from unlucky smugglers before, literally, going underground.
Snyder's tale is multifaceted to say the least. There is the core tales of both Skinner and Pearl, ones filled with beautifully rendered flashback panels that will inform and delight even the newest of readers, but he also bookends the piece with an unnerving mystery that continues to build the overall mythos of the world he has created. The commingling of different eras and story focuses is where Snyder's skill as a writer truly shines. More often than not, writers who converge on too many story fronts fail to make the changes coherent enough to hold the readers' attention, let alone enthrall them! But Snyder holds sway over the reader, making the changes not only smooth but meaningful to all other aspects of the tale. He makes each "solo" tale so rich and detailed that it could resonate completely on it's own merit, but placed together, they make for a single perfect tale of tension and ferocity that will enamor even the most fickle of readers!
American Vampire: Second Cycle transcends past the label of "horror comic" and lands squarely within the parameters of "great comic!" Although, those looking for something fierce and haunting will be more than pleased as well. Viscousness is intrinsic to this book and with creators like Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, the "Modern Day Masters of Horror," at the helm, who could ask for anything more?!