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American Vampire: Ghost War (Vertigo, 2010; #12-18)

Next up on the docket, the first half* of American Vampire, Vol. 3.

  • It’s the 1940s, and America’s at war…with vampires!
  • Well, not exactly, but there are vampires lurking in the Pacific theater.
  • So Pearl’s husband Hank joins up with the Vassals and Skinner Sweet to take them down before they spell doom for the Allies.
  • This arc takes Hank’s point of view, as he writes a letter to Pearl to tell her the story of how he and his squad were wiped out.
  • With that perspective comes an arc that feels less like an outsider’s take and more directly connected to Skinner and Pearl’s story—it’s much more bittersweet than previous issues.
  • Being a full-blown war story also makes it a different kind of American Vampire than what came before.
  • And there’s a one-shot from Skinner’s POV—a first for the series—in which the original American Vampire sees a troupe of players tell the story of his death at Book’s hands.

“Ghost War” is my favorite arc of American Vampire so far, which says a lot given that war stories aren’t usually my bag.  And give how much I enjoyed the first two trades.  But strong writing from Snyder and awesome art from Albuquerque, Zezelj, and company make for an excellent chapter in the series.

* A clarification: American Vampire releases occasional mini-series with different artists.  Rather than coming out later as separate trades, they end up doubled up with the ongoing depending on where they fall in line with the story.  The third trade is the first instance of this; I think it’s super helpful as a reader, but for Clearing the Backlog’s purpose, I’m going to split it up every time this happens to keep things manageable and to keep the focus of each entry clear.  So the Survival of the Fittest mini-series will be the next entry on American Vampire.

Collected in

  • American Vampire, Vol. 3 (#12-18; American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1-5) 


Writer: Scott Snyder | Artists: Rafael Albuquerque (13-18), Danijel Zezelj (12) | Colorist: Dave McCaig, Dave Stewart | Letterers: Steve Wands, Pat Brousseau | Covers: Rafael Albuquerque

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