Review: American Vampire 1976 #2
If you read the first issue of American Vampire 1976 and came out of it a little lost and confused, American Vampire 1976 #2 is what you’re looking for. The first issue played off of previous knowledge of the series in its set-up. This second issue explains what you need to know to enjoy the series. The stakes, the characters, it’s all laid out here for new readers and a reminder for long-time fans.
For those who don’t know, this latest volume takes place in 1976. Evil vampires are looking to wake up an ancient evil. To stop them, Skinner Sweet is recruited to steal a train which holds clues to stop it all.
Writer Scott Snyder does a fantastic job with this issue. American Vampire 1976 #2 acts as an easy way to catch up on everything you might not know and missed. It also really moves the story along in a quick pace. We’re much further in the story than I expected at this point. Things have flown with a fun aspect about it all.
In between Snyder cementing who these characters are, we also get some solid action, great humor, and horror. American Vampire 1976 #2 feels almost like the real start of the series to the previous issue’s tease and setup. It’s been years since I’ve read a comic from the series and it was beyond helpful to get this issue. It’s the perfect reminder as to what I didn’t remember. For new readers, it’ll be vital as the first issue. It packs a lot in but left out the “why” new readers should care.
Rafael Albuquerque’s art continues to be fantastic. Joined by Dave McCaig on color, the visuals of the comic bounce between horror and action. There are some fantastic sequences that drive things along and it’s all delivered with 70s cool. Albuquerque’s Gerald Ford is a little lacking but that’s a minor issue for a comic that otherwise looks great. What truly stands out is the team’s ability to balance its various genres. The comic is part heist and part horror and the two are balanced visually. If the horror aspects went a bit “scarier” or “gory” they would feel off or even more extreme to the issue’s focus on a heist.
The big sequence is a train robbery that relies more on the action and grand visuals and sequences made for the big screen. That sequence too eventually goes into horror territory with the need to that sequence to balance out with others in the comic. If other parts of the comic were a bit scarier or gorier, it’d lessen the pop for what happens later in the comic. It’s a solid balance done where one genre aspect never overpowers the other and the two deliver an entertaining balance.
American Vampire 1976 #2 is a fantastic second issue. It takes a step back to make sure all readers are caught up and on the same page while hurtling the story forward balancing its various aspects. While it’s the second issue, it feels like the true start to things and is as good a starting point as the first issue. If you were a bit confused by the debut or feel like you were missing something give this second issue a shot and get caught right up.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Rafael Albuquerque Color: Dave McCaig
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review