American Vampire #34
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Rafael Albuquerque
Colors: Dave McCaig
Review by David Short
You guys, holy sh*t. How am I supposed to wait for a year for this to start back up now?
Scott Snyder and company destroyed what their book was predicated on, and they did so beautifully in The Blacklist. It left the question of: what next? With issue 34 Snyder lays the ground work for AV’s future. It even gives clues as to what lies ahead for our blood sucking heroes (SPOILERS!! It’s going to be awesome).
But this particular issue reintroduces characters that we haven’t seen in quite some time. A young VMS agent visits Abilena Book, mother of Felicia Book (now leader of the Vassals). They discuss her history with Skinner Sweet, and a possible world ending threat. She is a very interesting character, and ridiculously hard to read. None of what is discussed is as interesting, to me, as the secret that is locked away in Mrs. Book’s basement. It’s a great reveal, and something that will most definitely be a wrench in future works.
There is so much going on in AV in most issues that you rarely ever get a double page spread, but this issue delivers—big time! The whole issue is dramatically drawn. Albuquerque’s lines are incredibly bold, and have some extra “upmh” (for lack of a better term) and this is coming from an artist who is known for think, bold, stylized work. As always, the page jumps to life with the pallet Dave McCaig brings. For this being a horror/action series with heavy shadows, McCaig uses very bright and vibrant colors. This is a fantastic art team that has hit its stride.
Along with the new threat that is brought to light, there is also a glimpse into what is to come. Skinner and Pearl are what’s left of the book’s heart, and they will obviously be the key figures, but there are things coming back that you thought were a temporary addition (or may not even know about if you don’t follow the AV minis!). The future for American Vampire stories is bright, but will likely be hell for Pearl and Skinner.
This issue is fantastic. It’s not quite the same as the ending to the previous arc, but it is a standalone story too. For what it is and the things it lays out, it is a great spot to leave its readers heading into a hiatus. Buy it and get a glimpse of what you will jump into starting with #35…because you will jump on. I will make you.