Las Vegas Nevada, 1936. The country is in the midst of The Great Depression and the city’s new Chief of Police Cashel McCogan is brooding over the cost of progress. With the population explosion due to the construction of (and jobs created by) The Hoover Dam, Las Vegas’ growing pains are being felt by a police force needing more resources. After all of his requests for federal help have seemingly fallen on deaf ears, the government has finally deemed Las Vegas’ problems to be worthy of it’s assistance and sent in the troops.
Much to McCogan’s dismay, the troops consist of exactly two people by the names of Federal Agent Jack Straw and his assistant Felicia Book. Clearly frustrated with how badly he’s been short-changed, “Cash” has the two immediately thrown alongside him due to the fact that there’s just been a murder at the Peabody Hotel. And, since the name of the book is American Vampire, this murder is a little bit out of the ordinary.
This is the first issue of the new story arc and series creator Scott Snyder’s first solo mission on the title as writer (having shared the launch of the book with back-up stories by Stephen King). Snyder has already established a talent at creating characters that instantly jell with the reader and American Vampire #6 not only retains that talent, it expands upon it by using such an interesting setting.
Unlike the first story in issues 1-5, there are no starry-eyed hopefuls here. The setting of a Hollywood that’s become the dream of so many has been replaced by the growing pains of a city on it’s way up. A city that’s going to have a rough time of it getting there and things don’t necessarily look nice even on the outside. The way this story ties itself in to the American timeline gives it a depth and a feel of believability even when the subject matter is unbelievable.
Series artist Rafael Albuquerque ties the mixture of fact and fantasy together brilliantly, creating a look for American Vampire that keeps you sucked in to each page. Albuquerque is able to make Snyder’s characters so charismatic, but can flip everything around and make them horrifying the minute you’re not expecting it. His tough guys are tough and his ladies have charm and it seems like everyone has a bit of swagger when they need it. At the very least, Mr. Albuquerque is closing in on the domination of the wicked grin.
I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, American Vampire should be at the top of everyone’s pull list. Tired of (or just don’t like) superhero’s and such? Then quit bitching and check out this book. It’s alternative fare that’s completely accessible to any mature reader and it’s also fun as hell. American Vampire is the epitome of what Vertigo brings to the table and I’m loving it.
I’m going with an A for this one and can’t wait to see where this story goes.