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Review: American Vampire #3

I just wish this weren't about vampires...

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Vampire intrigue unfolds in both roaring 20's LA and old West Colorado.

The Good

Aside from having an awesome name, Rafael Alburquerque should be noted for having some amazing art. I could see a strong Paul Pope influence to his line-work, but with a lot more consistency and clarity. His art's something of a "skinwalker" itself in that it shifts from stylization to realism with such mercurial grace. It can be "quiet" for chamber discussions and then suddenly get explosive. I'd heard mixed reactions to how King's talents had translated to comics for the first couple issues, but I was pleased to find his signature style working just as well here as it does in the novels usually gobbled up by his "constant readers." I'll compliment Snyder, too, in crafting a really intriguing character with Pearl. Like the moon she draws power from, she waxes and wanes between ferociousness and vulnerability in a way that always keep you on your toes. Oh, and I have to say I loved the whole scene with Sweet raiding the candy store.

The Bad

I think my objection is really only on a conceptual level because, while I think the execution here is top-notch, I don't think the premise and the ideas are that fresh. You've got a vampire council brokering feuds here, "old world" vampires adjusting to a new life in America as immigrants, a animalistic vampire outlaw terrorizing the old west, even some kind of "reverse vampire" preying on other vampire... and they're all concepts I've seen too many times for my liking. You can make the argument that there's nothing new under the sun, but I'd like to see some ideas that at least haven't been out in the sun as often.

The Verdict - 3.5/5

I'm a little torn on my recommendation of this title. Definitely pick it up to check out the art, and know that you're going to get some well-oiled storytelling from the writers, but understand that you're not going to be much that will surprise. Again, I wish I could see this same team in a title that just wasn't about vampires.