As with other Vertigo collections like Coffin Hill, I get the neck sinking suspicion that I should have read Volumes #1-6 of American Vampire first. A young girl is chased by an angry mob of local townspeople until she ends up on the land of a woman named Pearl. Pearl quickly ushers the young girl inside and introduces her to the other children she has kept safe. Not surprisingly, all the figures in the basement are vampires. Pearl is a special breed that can walk in the sun and so is known as an “American Vampire.: The rest are from Ireland, the Baltic States and other areas of the world. Pearl is working to get special passports and clearance to get these vampires to safe nest. Unfortunately the new girl, Mya, is gravely ill from a mysterious bite she received from a creature that seems to bring terror to all who hear its name. Pearl must work to keep the vampire children safe and keep herself alive in the process.
I will admit, I was lost. While Pearl’s story was fairly straightforward, a few odds and ends of other characters seemed to show up constantly. One vampire appears to be a biker, or drug dealer or both. One vampire wears special colored suits as a Grand Ol’ Opry equivalent to indicate to the vampire community whether danger is coming. One looks like a cross between the Xenomorphs from Alien and a human being. However, American Vampire does have some pretty great artwork going for it.
In short, American Vampire is incredibly entertaining even when one hasn’t delved into all previous issues. However, I would be remiss in not recommending reading the previous volumes to get the full story of what is going on.
American Vampire Volume #7 is available from Vertigo Press January 13, 2015.