Review: American Vampire #4

Published on June 30th, 2010

I reviewed the first issue of American Vampire with very high hopes and all of them have been surpassed by leaps and bounds.  Both parts of this two story book, one by Scott Snyder and the other by Stephen King,  get better and better along with the amazing art by Rafael Albuquerque.  I seriously don’t know what to rave about first.

americanvampire4Albuquerque’s art is so rich with texture and atmosphere. There is actual movement in hair and clothing, nothing is too stiff or posed. People have facial expressions that actually match the tone of their mood, not like some books  where every woman looks like she is in a photo shoot with the same blank expression or every man looks like he is on a movie poster. This book has life to it when you look at it. Albuquerque does such an amazing job bringing the already great story to another level. I know I am excited every month to see the book as well as read it.

Once again Snyder’s primary story arc is gripping and has more emotion page for page than King’s arc. You feel hurt when Pearl is betrayed by her best friend Hattie, as well as, the jealousy Hattie feels towards Pearl. I loved that twist when I read it, I really didn’t see it coming before it happened and had to re-read that page a couple times before I would believe it. I really liked their friendship and wanted to believe that sister-like bond could endure even after Pearl became a vampire. Now though, I hope Pearl finds Hattie and teaches her a lesson. That is how much you feel a part of Snyder’s story, you can’t help but immerse yourself into the world he has created.

King’s story, although not as compelling as Snyder’s, is becoming very exciting. We seem to be coming to a turning point. Skinner Sweet is finding vulnerabilities he didn’t have before. The ego maniacal villain is almost like a child throwing a tantrum, which almost gives those hunting him down a level playing field. Well, as level as one can have against someone who is stronger and faster than you, with no value for human life. Like the first story we have an unexpected twist when Jim faces Sweet. Instead of killing Jim Sweet mixes some of his blood into Jim’s eyes. We have yet to see Jim in Pearl’s story so I am wondering if he is still around. Little by little King shows us how the world Skinner Sweet was born in shaped who he was before and after his “death.” I think this issue finally made me really interested in him.

This is probably the book I am most excited about monthly. I have yet to read an issue that didn’t leave me anxious for the next. A big well done to everyone involved and a big thank you to Vertigo for putting it out!

Christina Flores