American Vampire: Second Cycle #2 (Comics Review)

After several months of indecision about whether or not to read American Vampire as an ongoing, I jumped on the series last week with the first issue of American Vampire: Second Cycle, which begins a new phase in the series. I’d read the anthology issue last year of course, but that was a one-off experience and I never went back. But after reading the first issue of the new series last week, I’m definitely on board. It was a great issue with a great sense of mood and tone, and some really good artwork. So how could I not continue on then?

American Vampire: Second Cycle #2 carries on from where the first issue left off, although most of the story deals with Pearl and her runaway vampires rather than mixing things up with Skinner as in the previous issue. Scott Snyder continues the tale of Pearl and he gives a nice enough recap of the different vampiric bloodlines and what these mean for Pearl’s latest charge. At the same time, Rafael Albuquerque’s artwork is better than ever as he turns out another beautiful issue to go with Scott’s strong script.

American Vampire - Second Cycle 02

The previous issue ended on a rather alarming and horrific note, amping up the entire mood of the story and providing ample evidence that writer Scott Snyder is definitely not going to hold back. That issue has one of the creepiest climaxes I’ve read and to see the the second issue of the series pretty much go off from there is quite a thrill.

When the issue starts off, we are treated to a musical concert and it turns out that Pearl is in attendance, as is one of the vampires she turned ages ago. The two of them talk about Pearl’s sanctuary on her ranch, as well as the case of the little vampire girl May who has the strangest vampire bite markings on her. Pearl talks with Calvin about this and the two of them resolve to get to the bottom of things. But of course, the genre of the story being what it is, things quickly go south and they just keep getting worse and worse for these characters.

I’ll admit that I really miss Skinner here. His monologue in the first issue was pretty darn fun to read and he definitely lightened up the mood, although in a somewhat morbid manner. This issue is grim from the get go and we begin to see the hints of the larger plans that are at work as far as the monsters featured in this issue are concerned. Plus there’s the strange case of which vampiric bloodline May belongs to, and that is an entire mystery in itself.

Scott’s writing here is absolutely riveting. He keeps you glued to the pages until you turn the final one, and even once you are done with that, you want to go back to read the whole thing all over again and spot all the little things sprinkled throughout. And that is most especially true for the apparent antagonist of this new series, whom we glimpsed in the final pages of the last issue and who returns here once more to strike some more terror into the hearts of some of the characters.

The cast of the new series is slowly expanding, and it is fun to see who all gets pulled into Pearl’s orbit as the issue progresses.

Plus, the issue has lots of vampire action which feels quite breathtaking and visceral narrative-wise, and which is another euphoric element of the story here. More of this is going to be most welcome as the series itself progresses.

Rafael Albuquerque’s art is stellar yet again in this issue. Right from the start the man doesn’t let go of this world that he has co-created with Scott and he continues on at a breakneck pace. But that’s not all because colourist Dave McCaig is also on top form in this issue, especially in the early pages which are a riot of colours at first and then slowly turn muddy and sombre, befitting the story itself. Looking at this issue, it is quite evident why a lot of people are in love with this creative team’s artwork, and I’m certainly one of them.

Overall, an excellent issue. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Rating: 9.5/10

More American Vampire: Anthology #1, (Second Cycle) #1.


Posted on May 6, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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