Last month, I mentioned how joyous it is to have both of Scott Snyder’s books ship in the same week. That was specifically in reference to Detective Comics’ title being “Lost Boys,” and this month, there’s a thematic intertwining. Both issues are about how us humans getting too close to something is a good way to get bitten in the ass. This concept works better in Detective Comics, partly because Snyder doesn’t revolve the issue around it, and partly because there’s a deep, emotional reasoning for that concept in Detective Comics, while in American Vampire, it’s more about simple foolishness.
Henry Preston does indeed leap before he looks, and it leads to one of the most exciting last pages of the series. Snyder opens the issue with some WWII beach storming, but it’s not at all what you’d expect from “WWII beach storming”. In fact, the way Rafael Albuquerque renders things, you don’t ever actually see the enemy, except for one brief and glorious panel of Skinner letting loose on some japs. It’s another moment that leaves us salivating for more.
Rafa’s style looks less painterly this time, opting more for hard pencils and inks to portray the grizzly warfare, which I suspect we’ll see a lot more of next issue. Albuquerque still uses the ink washing for some vast landscaping shots. His Pearl’s also looking better than ever, and scary too. There’s some nice shadowing involved in an expositional scene.
We do get to learn more about Henry’s vampire-slaying platoon, but again, Snyder chooses to tell us rather than show us. The plot progresses us right to where we want to be, and the issue ends wonderfully, but this issue still doesn’t have quite the dramatic oomph it should.