Series: American Vampire 1976 (2020-)
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Rafael Albuquerque
Colors: Dave McCaig
Letters: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics – Black Label
Published: October 6, 2020
Publisher’s Summary: America is broken. Trust between the government and the American public has crumbled. Paranoia reigns supreme. It’s 1976, and this is the concluding chapter of the Eisner Award-winning American Vampire! Skinner Sweet has exhausted all efforts to regain his lost immortality. With his powers and purpose gone, he is now determined to go out with a bang. At a seedy motorcycle rally in the desert where he’s closer than ever to his death wish, Pearl Jones and a shocking partner tracks him down for one last, desperate mission: The force known as the Gray Trader and its minions are tunneling through the bowels of the world to unleash hell on Earth-just in time for America’s bicentennial. With catastrophe looming, it’s up to Skinner and Pearl to reconcile and change the course of history-or die trying. The series that launched the careers of superstars Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque returns for nine final issues and the closing chapter of the legacy of American Vampire.
“Fuck history. Time to blow it up. That’s right, you heard me. To shred it and forget it. All of it. From the first cave fire all the way to neon goddamned lights. Forget the people, too, the whole cursed gallery. From Gilgamesh to Elvis. Forget their faces, their stories. Time to ride on.”
Skinner Sweet, the original goddamn American vampire, is back, ladies and gentlemen! Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque have reunited to bring the American Vampire legacy to a close with a final chapter starting in 1976. I’ve been eager to dive back into American Vampire, and American Vampire 1976 (2020-) #1 exceeded my (honestly high) expectations.
American Vampire 1976 (2020-) #1 covers a great deal of ground in a short period of time, taking readers from a scene set in the Virginia Colony, in 1741, to a seemingly deserted subterranean space off the coast of Alaska, through to a 1970’s disco in New York. Along the way, readers are introduced to interesting characters, skin-tingling conflict, and more than one reason to stick around for the next eight issues.
Not to make light of the series’ accomplishments and its legacy, American Vampire 1976 (2020-) #1 succeeds on its own merit; if I were unfamiliar with the series or its creators other work, it would still be difficult not to give this book a ‘perfect’ score. Each page serves as a reminder that there can be much more to a comic than pretty pictures and bad-guy-of-the-week plot. Snyder’s script is sharp, telling, and hard to put down; Albuquerque’s illustrations, highly-detailed and emotionally expressive; and McCaig’s color work is some of the best I’ve ever seen. There’s not much more one could ask for from a comic…
Fans of American Vampire will be more than satisfied with American Vampire 1976 (2020-) #1; those new to the series will get just as much from this debut as long-time readers and, more likely than not, will end up going back to the beginning and catching up. American Vampire 1976 (2020-) #1 is not to be missed.
The Bottom Line
An impressive first issue in the final chapter of American Vampire, American Vampire 1976 (2020-) #1 re-/immerses readers in an unforgettable fictional space not that far removed from our own. American Vampire 1976 (2020-) #1 is exceptional and makes for a reading experience that is not to be missed.