Where should I begin? How about the opening lines?
There is a world behind the one we know. A shadow world, where monsters walk among us. Hunting from the shadows. And if you look hard enough, closely enough, you can see it.
That is the feel of American Vampire. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not really crazy about all the vampires that have crept into all our media. But what Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque have done in the main series is something different (and great) with the genre.
While the main series primarily focuses on the American Vampire (a new breed of vampire that is causing havoc among the old breed), Skinner Sweet, this series focuses on Felicia Book, seen in previous issues. If that wasn't enough, we also see more about the Vassals of the Morningstar, a group that wants to destroy all vampires.
It's pure Scott Snyder/American Vampire goodness. We have had a mix of really great art in the main series and Sean Murphy does an incredible job, joined by Dave Stewart on colors. It literally took me twice as long to read this comic because I kept going back over each panel and page. The story and art compliment each other in telling the story that continues to build up throughout the issue.== TEASER ==
Is this a completely great issue? For me, there were no flaws. I loved seeing New York in 1941 and seeing a story not necessarily directly involving Skinner Sweet (at least, not yet). Of course seeing more of Felicia Book and her being the badass she is was wonderful. If someone was picking this up without having read American Vampire, it might be a little harder for them to get fully invested. Sure there really isn't an excuse for people to not have read American Vampire and they could always look up her page here on Comic Vine, but that might be the case for some readers.
Despite that, there is a good amount of explanation that should allow them to know what is going on.
Scott Snyder + Sean Murphy + Dave Stewart + American Vampire = Success. Snyder has taken the vampire genre to a new (and better) place and teaming up with Murphy gives us the chance to see his interpretation of some of the existing characters. If you've been reading American Vampire, there's no question that you will want to and need to pick up this series. For those that haven't read AV yet (shame on you), this series is accessible but you would be better served being more familiar with this universe and the characters involved.
Survival of the Fittest shows a different part of the American Vampire world and if you haven't been reading, treat yourself to the first two trades and catch up on a wonderful series. This easily earns a 5 out of 5.