It has been almost four months since the last issue dropped and at least six months since we saw the plot with Pearl and Skinner. After being on the shelf for quite some time, this comic is going to really have to bring it home and make up for lost time. Can it do so? Is it good?
American Vampire: Second Cycle #6 (Vertigo Comics)
While NASA is dealing with a very strange vampire monkey incident at sea, Pearl, Skinner, and Cal arrive in Melbourne, Florida. They arrive at a special secret base for the Vassals known as “The Black Station,” which hopefully should provide them with the information they need to fight and face the Gray Trader. However, the place does hold some rather special surprises.
This issue begins a new story arc, Dark Moon, and for the first issue, it’s solid. It’s not particularly scary and it’s mostly just setup (with lots of talking), but it’s a good book. It establishes the focus and goal for the storyline, laying down some interesting history and backstory for where the series is currently at and some very good lore. We also catch up with a few previous characters from the past and fill in a couple of gaps as well. It’s honestly not the most thrilling or exciting way to have the come return after a long hiatus, but it does offer a lot of potential to entice readers to stick around to find out more.
I guess he didn’t count on a special guard dog.
The writing overall is pretty good, I’d say. The pacing is decent and even though there is a lot of exposition being dropped, it’s actually doesn’t feel the book ever drags due to how interesting the subject matter is and the surprises within. The characterization is good, though I do have to tilt my head a little bit at what happened at the end. I really understand what Felicia did by identifying and removing the traitors in the organization, but why didn’t she use her salt trick on the gang? You know, just to be safe since they are joining the team and have been on the outside for so long. The dialogue is fine, if a bit heavy with the exposition like I mentioned, and does its job fairly well. The only other thing that stood out as a flub was that one character said there were nine people in the room when there were really ten. Nothing big, but it was something that seemed obvious to me.
The artwork by Rafael Albuquerque is pretty good overall despite the lack of action. While some of characters I noticed seem to have the same mustache and beard styles (really must be a popular style), the characters are drawn fairly well and look rather diverse from one another in the book. The layouts are decent and the tiny bit of action we got here was nicely put together. The art still does a great job with establishing a mood and feel for a location, especially when we get to see the inside of the Black Station and how eerie it feels. It’s good stuff overall and I’m excited to see what new creepy visuals we get in the coming issues.
Is It Good?
American Vampire: Second Cycle #6 is a decent return for the series after being away for so long. It’s mostly setup and not particularly exciting, but it establishes a lot of interesting new directions for this new story arc and helps expand on the world and its history. I’m intrigued by what I’m seeing and hopefully the arc lives up to the potential that’s being shown here.