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Review: ‘American Vampire: The Long Road To Hell’ #1

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An awesome return from its hiatus, “American Vampire: The Long Road To Hell” #1 delivers more great material for fans to salivate over. This issue contains a lot of visceral sequences and some surprisingly tender moments as well that have made the “American Vampire” series so popular. If you haven’t already, this one-shot special is the perfect opportunity to start reading about the “American Vampire” series.

WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
ART BY: Rafael Albuquerque
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
PRICE: $6.99
RELEASE: June 12th, 2013

Billy Bob and Jo are young lovers, fugitives of the law, who just crossed the wrong people. On their way to the chapel, they are suddenly attacked by a pack of vicious vampires. Their wedding date is put on hold as they have been turned into undead creatures with a sick, craving need for blood. When the lovebirds pick up a stranded hitchhiker, an orphan named Jasper, the three embark on a road trip to Las Vegas.

Writers Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque have done a fantastic job building the relationship of his characters. The couple, Jo and Billy Bob, are different than Skinner Sweet, the main protagonist of the “American Vampire” series. The couple doesn’t like being vampires at all, and reject the thirst for blood. They don’t want to lose their humanity and are afraid of becoming monsters if they start killing. What these two really want is to get married, which was their dream become they were transformed.

Because the couple cannot have any children, they adopt the orphan, Jasper, and raise him as if he were their own. These three lonely hearts are trying to become a family, something they haven’t felt for a long time. Readers will find themselves rooting for the runaways, especially when Travis Kidd shows. There are strong evocations of Bonnie & Clyde from Jo and Billy Bob, as they desperately try to change their lives.

In his artwork, Albuquerque kicks up the character design of Travis Kidd a notch. Albuquerque draws Travis as if he were a young kung-fu fighting Elvis Presley and adds a samurai sword to his arsenal. In an impressive splash panel, Albuquerque captures Travis slicing off a vampire’s head. Albuquerque has the pose and swing down perfectly in this illustration. I would definitely like to see Albuquerque write and draw another tale in the near feature.

Albuquerque sure knows how to make his vampires nasty-looking and scary. When Billy Bob and Jo transform, you can see the blood veins popping out of their faces. With their fangs and nails elongated, they stare at Jasper with their glowing red eyes. In a great display of artwork, Albuquerque presents the emotional, better half of the couple just before turning them into ravenous monsters.

A fantastic read, readers are going to devour every page of “American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell” #1. If you’re a longtime reader, this is an untold chapter in the long and rich mythology. If you’re a newcomer, there is no way you will not become a fan of “American Vampire” after this.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis