American Vampire closes out its Second Cycle with issue #11. Is it good?
American Vampire: Second Cycle #11 (Vertigo Comics)
Pearl and Felicia are desperately trying to take back the Issaku to their allies, unaware of the ambush that lays before them. In space, Skinner and Poole are stuck in space with no way to bring their ship down, and all the while Skinner is slowly changing more and more. In the end, how will it all come crashing down for our heroes?
As a conclusion for this long arc, it’s pretty good overall. Outside of the continued threat of the Gray Trader, most of the storylines wrap up pretty well with the total fall of the VMS and the fate of all of the characters (including a twist with someone that I did not remotely see coming). Plus, a few storylines and hints for what the future holds are dropped to help encourage people to stick around, which I won’t spoil. All in all, the comic ends on a pretty big note that is certainly going to leave fans eager for more next year.
Scott Snyder does a solid job with the writing as usual. The characterization for everyone remains on point (for instance, the decision Skinner makes in the middle feels very much in line with his character, planning on dying and denying the villain trying to control him of what it wants as a sort of a final fuck you to them) and some of their dialogue and cunning planning shown by them are quite enjoyable to read. The comic is pretty fast paced for the most part, which helps since the comic has a more high-octane and energetic approach to it this time around with its focus on tense situations and action set pieces. The twists and turns are good and transitions between scenes are fine. Overall, the comic is written just as well as you would expect.
Rafael Albuquerque remains on art duties and his work still looks as a great as ever. The characters look nice and are expressive as usual, the action is intense and exciting, the layouts are easy to read and follow along, and the colors by Dave McCaig are warm and eerie at the right times. Reading this after coming off of Albuquerque’s work on Huck, it’s night and day in terms of style and really shows just how talented he is with being able to convey completely different types of tone in his art.
All things considered, the finale feels a bit disappointing in some regard. After this series had an absolutely chilling and terrifying first five issues, the change of tone it has undergone is somewhat disappointing. It’s not remotely scary or creepy at all, especially now that mystery angle has gone and there’s a heavier focus on action. It’s almost similar to that game, The Evil Within, with this slow change and shift in focus. Now, that’s not to say that writing or story are bad by any means, but it’s a tad sad that this horror comic isn’t as scary as it was or could be.
The dialogue is hit and miss, dragging along when the comic gets too exposition and monologue happy as the villains go on and on about their plans or what they want. It gets very long-winded and isn’t all that engaging, cutting into the creep factor of the comic and making the villains (besides the Gray Trader) rather dull.
Is It Good?
American Vampire: Second Cycle #11 is a good conclusion to this part of American Vampire. It wraps up a lot of plotlines, while also setting the stage for Third Cycle in the coming year. While some of the dialogue leaves a bit to be desired and the creepy factor is just not here anymore, the comic overall was very enjoyable and a lot of fun to read.