Sunday, December 30, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] American Vampire Volume 3 by Scott Snyder

Title:  American Vampire Volume 3

Author:  Scott Snyder

Artists: Rafael AlbuquerqueDanijel Zezelj, and Sean Murphy

Genre: Horror / Action / Adventure

Year Published: 2012

Year Read: 2012

Series: American Vampire #3

Publisher: Vertigo Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Gory Violence and Strong Language)

Brief Introduction:

I am definitely on the roll with Scott Snyder’s fantastic series, “American Vampire” and the third volume of this series does not disappoint me!  “American Vampire: Volume Three” is probably the most intense out of the entire “American Vampire” series as Scott Snyder’s dramatic writing and Rafael Albuquerque, Danijel Zezelj, and Sean Murphy’s artwork contribute greatly to this volume!

What is the story?

In this volume, there are two stories being told regarding Pearl and Felicia Book.  In the first story, it is the 1940s when there is war between America and Imperial Japan and Pearl’s husband, Henry Preston, is called into battle to fight off a group of vampires that are sighted on an island near Japan.  Unfortunately, Skinner Sweet happens to be in the same group as Henry and he is planning revenge on Henry and only Pearl can rescue her husband from Skinner Sweet!  In the second story, Felicia Book, the daughter of Jim Book, who was killed by Skinner Sweet, goes on a mission with Cash McCogan to Nazi occupied Romania to find Dr. Erik Pavel, who claims that he has a cure for vampirism!

What I loved about this comic:

Scott Snyder’s writing:   What can I say?  Scott Snyder’s writing for this series continues to get better and better as the characters are thrown into new and troubling situations!  For one thing, I loved the way that Scott Snyder actually made the story progress in the timeline as the setting goes from the 1920s to the 1940s and it really gives the story a more realistic feel to the characters.  It is rare that I see many comic books actually progress the characters forward in time, so this was a welcoming change for me!  I also loved the way that Scott Snyder tied in the historical aspects of World War II into this story without trying to twist the history of World War II.  Usually, the problems I find with stories that has historical elements mixed in with fantasy elements is that sometimes it tries to state that the fictional characters were actually involved in any kind of historical event that happened in history.  What I like about what was being done with combining the historical aspects of World War II with the fictional characters of “American Vampire” is that they never really mentioned any historical figures like Hitler and the stories were more centered on the characters and their fight against vampirism while using the historical elements to bring the reader into a whole new world on the idea of vampires existing in such times.  I also loved the way that Scott Snyder developed the relationship between Pearl and her husband, Henry, as Henry seems to have second thoughts about their marriage since Pearl is a vampire and is much younger than he is and he wanted to feel wanted again.  I also loved the way that Pearl and Henry still cared about each other, despite the fact that Pearl is a vampire.

Rafael Albuquerque, Danijel Zezelj, and Sean Murphy’s artwork: Rafael Albuquerque, Danijel Zezelj and Sean Murphy all contributed greatly to the artwork of this volume as each artwork is scratchy yet dramatic for these stories!  In the story “Strange Frontier,” where it talks about Skinner Sweet’s former lover, I loved the way that Danijel Zezelj made the artwork a bit brighter than what you would normally see in “American Vampire” and I also loved the way that the characters’ faces are shadowed in which makes them look really dramatic.  The only problem I have with Danijel Zezelji’s artwork is that sometimes it is hard to distinguish the characters’ facial features since it seems like their facial expressions are lumped into one expression as there are barely definite linings on the characters’ faces that could really detail their emotions.  Rafael Albuquerque’s artwork is as usual, brilliantly done as the artwork is scratchy and yet, it fits perfectly for this type of story.  I loved the way that Rafael Albuquerque illustrates the characters’ facial expressions in a dramatic way as I really felt the emotions that the characters were feeling.  Sean Murphy’s artwork in “Survival of the Fittest” was extremely well done as the characters’ faces are shadowed in such a dramatic way and I loved the snow covered landscape when Cash and Felicia came to Romania!

What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

As with the previous volumes, there is some strong language and gory violence in this volume including people having their heads ripped off and that might be disturbing for anyone who is not a huge fan of gory violence.  As for the strong language, there are many instances where the characters drop the “f” bomb and say the “s” word, so readers might want to skim over those words if they are uncomfortable with reading them.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “American Vampire: Volume Three” is a fantastic volume where using historical context in a fantasy series is used extremely well and anyone who is a huge fan of Scott Snyder’s works will easily enjoy this volume of “American Vampire.”

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