Thursday, May 17, 2012

American Vampire #24

Cover by Rafael Albuquerque

American Vampire #24 (February 22, 2012)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Rafael Albuquerque
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher

I’ve been reluctant to review American Vampire #24 for the sole reason that this was the first issue in this series to make me go, “Meh.”

That was incredibly disappointing.

This is not to say that this was a poorly done or weak issue. Even a mediocre issue of American Vampire is frankly superior to the average mainstream comic out there right now. Nonetheless, because I have been so in love with this series, the fact that this issue didn’t do much for me was all the more disheartening.

This is the first time that the pacing of this four-part series has felt stretched out and weak. Snyder has always been adept at provocative and well-structured storytelling but American Vampire #24 is essentially filler. Nothing crucial really happens and instead, the issue simply provides the reader with more of the same action sequences and more (and now, basically unnecessary) exposition. Before this issue, Snyder had successfully provided the reader with enough backstory to both propel the plot and make new readers feel comfortable. Here, however, there was no real new plot. If anything, this issue felt like reading a long advertisement for the fourth part of the series.

Travis’ inner monologue has also gone a bit stale and while he is still steadfast in goal to kill Skinner Sweet, he doesn’t seem all that much closer to achieving his goal. Of course, the final page sets up the epic showdown between Travis and Skinner in the fourth issue and if anything, the promise of an exciting and action-packed fight scene between the two only highlights how little really occurred in this one.

I’ve also given up on Piper. She isn’t so much a character as a burden and essentially is just there to up Travis’ stakes. She barely had any dialogue in American Vampire #24 and simply looked frantic.

Albuquerque’s art and McCaig’s coloring are still lovely and one of the strongest aspects of American Vampire. Unfortunately, this was first American Vampire issue where I enjoyed looking at the comic more than actually reading it.

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