Wednesday, December 14, 2011

American Vampire #21

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jordi Bernet

Scott Snyder's decided to finish off his 'Beast in the Cave' arc by dodging something that I expected since the end of the first chapter.  All along, this story has been telling us about series baddie Skinner Sweet and his adoptive brother Jim Book's time in the US Army, between the two men became bitter enemies.  They, and their unit, have been following a group of Apache warriors into some mountains, looking to capture or kill them.  The leader of the Apache has led his remaining troops to a cave, where an ancient Native American vampire lives.

I thought for sure, as this issue progressed, that Skinner or Book would come face to face with the ancient vampire, or her spawn.  Instead, Snyder swerves in a different direction, and it's interesting.

Of course, the main point of this issue is that we see the start of the rift between Skinner and Book, as the one wants to go his own way, and the other wishes to adhere to the rules, even if that gets him put in front of a firing squad.  Book has been out of this series for a while now, so it's strange that Snyder takes so much time to build up his character, but I think part of that is to provide a contrast to Skinner's darkness.

These three issues with guest artist Jordi Bernet have been a nice treat.  The only person who draws a better Western is John Severin, but Bernet's cartoonish approach works very well here (except for his monstrous vampires - I thought they looked silly).  Still, I'm looking forward to seeing regular artist Rafael Albuquerque back next month, as I do the regular cast of this comic.

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