Rodney Barnes, writer
Jason Shawn Alexander, art
Luis NCT, colors
Marshall Dillon, Letters
Each issue of this arc has introduced the backstory of one of the main characters. Last issue, we learned about the backstory of Fergie O’Neil, also known as “Toppy.” Each character is tied to an important part of North American history. Toppy was tied to Deadwood Kansas and in his early life he was a slave and a soldier in the Confederate army. This issue dives into the history of John Adams, the second president, his drive to find meaning and his connection to the vampire army. We learn more about Abigail and her history outside of being Johna Adam’s wife. Finally, Sangster and the Philadelphia police force continue their fight against the vampire army.
This series paints the motives of John Adams as being about ego, prestige, status, and accomplishment. These themes are woven into the American psyche. We pursue a good reputation or connection with those who have already attained notoriety. But more important than any of these themes is that of redemption, and second chances. This too is baked into Adam’s story through the unlikely character, Tevin. If you recall, Tevin was one of the first victims of the vampire army back in issue one.
What continues to be the most interesting story arc is that of Sangster Sr., his transformation to a vampire, the death of his wife, and him learning that she is at peace. As a vampire, Sangster comes to the realization that all he wants to do is suck blood from the people he spent his entire career as a police officer trying to keep safe. The irony in his story is a form of meta perspective taking and reflection on professional life for many Americans. Innocence is lost as we pursue the almighty gods of safety, comfort, and security.
In this issue, Abigail gets the chance to take the spotlight as we witness her side relationship with Sally. The most memorable part of this exchange is the art. The sequence shows a full panel portrait of Abigail that is absolutely presidential.
Artistically, the series remains consistent. The dark, deep lines, shadowy figures, use of the color red, all depict a country shrouded in evil and under attack. The faces are dark and jagged, filled with emotion, or numb from trauma. The landscapes and buildings speak of history, age, and weary living. Imagery, like the dove held by a neighborhood boy Tevin Thompkins, depicts the stark contrast between innocence and his new state being one of the first victims of the vampires back in issue one.
I highly recommend this issue for its courage to explore the tainted history of our country through the creative metaphor of a vampire attack. Each issue dives deeper into the main characters while moving the story forward. If you’ve been along for the ride this issue will not disappoint. Overall = 9/10