The American species of vampire began late into the 19th century when the sadistic outlaw Skinner Sweet
was inadvertently turned by Mr. Percy
, a vampire of the more numerous Carpathian breed. Sweet eventually rose from his grave as a new kind of vampire, one that was made strong by the sun. Being stronger, he took his revenge on the vampires who turned him and the lawmen who initially caught him.
Sweet was defeated and sealed in a collapsed mine by James Book
, who became infected accidentally by a very tiny amount of Sweet's vampire blood. Three years later, the effects of that were more than Book could fight off. He was turning into another American Vampire and did not want it to happen. Rather than live as a creature like Sweet, he had his friend and lover Abilena Camillo
kill him on a moonless night.
American Vampires were created by Scott Snyder
and Rafael Albuquerque
as the foundation of their creator-owned American Vampire
series with Vertigo
. The concept of vampires evolving into different breeds was the unique hook of their vampire-based series, and the new American vampires were the focus of that, beginning with Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones
Major Story Arcs
In the Los Angeles
of 1925, Skinner Sweet purposely sired a fellow American Vampire for the first time. He chose Pearl Jones, who was an aspiring actress that had just been viciously used and fed on by a group of Carpathian vampires. He gave her his blood as she lied dying, and she rose as an American Vampire.
Sweet left after than, and Jones set off to take revenge on the vampires who wronged her as well as the humans who helped. Along the way, her friend and betrayer Hattie Hargrove
used Jones' blood to turn herself into a vampire as well. They fought, and Jones mistakenly left Hargrove for dead.
The Way Out
As Pearl Jones left Los Angeles to live the simple life with her human lover Henry Preston
in a small town up north, Hattie Hargrove was found and imprisoned by other vampires. She endured years of experimentation as they attempted to determine what the American Vampire's weakness was. However, she managed to escape before they could realize that it was gold.
With her new freedom, Hargrove's only goal was to track down Jones and Preston to take her revenge.
American Vampires clashed in 1943 on a small Japanese island. Henry Preston was on the island with a team of Vassals of the Morning Star
soldiers, and Skinner Sweet had secretly tagged along to kill Preston to have Pearl Jones. However, the Vassals' mission went badly as they all found an unheard of species of vampires on the island. These vampires were completely feral and capable of even hurting Sweet. The Japanese army was trying to harness these vampires into a weapon, and took Sweet and the soldiers prisoner.
Sweet and Preston formed an alliance to facilitate their own escape, but Sweet turned on Preston the moment they were in the clear. Jones arrived just in time to save her husband from Sweet. The two American Vampires fought with Sweet claiming they belonged together and Jones feeling the attraction. Despite that, she stabbed Sweet with a gold knife and left with her husband.
Before the mission, Jones had given Preston a vial of her own blood to drink in case he had no other option besides death. The vial was destroyed in an explosion, but unknown to anyone, the vial's shrapnel went into the body of Calvin Poole, one of Preston's fellow soldiers. He was now infected by Jones' vampire blood and turning into a new American Vampire.
Powers and Abilities
Quite the opposite of most vampire species, American Vampires are at their strongest during the day in the sun's light. They are also physically stronger than most other vampires, including the more well known Carpathian vampires. Fully transformed, their fanged mouths become unhinged at the jaw like snakes and their fingers elongate into razor sharp claws. The bite of an American Vampire also injects a venom that has a paralyzing effect on people.
American Vampires do have reflections in mirrors, but these reflections appear distorted, like funhouse mirror reflections.
While at their strongest during the day in the sun, American Vampires are at their weakest on new moons. They become so physically weak on moonless nights that they can barely transform and be killed by conventional means.
Gold is the American Vampire's primary weakness. Piercing their heart with gold will kill them.