The road to hell might be long, but this oversized one-shot reads quickly and leaves you with a thirst for more AMERICAN VAMPIRE. The main series is returning later this year, and this done-in-one story about two lovers on the run is the perfect amuse bouche to the second half of the century.
THE LONG ROAD TO HELL is fundamentally a love story, but it's populated with a fascinating cast that makes it anything but a conventional one. Our heroes are reluctant vampires who see themselves as well-intentioned (if not entirely innocent) kids just trying to make it in their own way; the rest of the world sees them as the "Heartbreak Killers." It's romantic, in a blood-spattered way.
Rafael Albuquerque brings the fifties to life (and death) on the pages, and even the twisted wretches of vampire-thirst are beautiful to look at. He's got a serious talent for faces and period styling, and I'm delighted that the series is making its way through history. (Have I mentioned that AMERICAN VAMPIRE is one of the most gorgeous books on stands? It is.).
Albuquerque and Snyder share writing duties this time around, and the end result is a testament to how completely synced they are as a creative team. It's a one-shot, and Skinner and Pearl are nowhere to be found, but it's still very much an AMERICAN VAMPIRE story (plus we get to see a little bit of everyone's favorite Elvis-meets-James Dean-meets-Buffy vampire hunter, Travis Kidd). The storytelling is sharp, the pacing is fantastic, and the ending is bittersweet.
THE LONG ROAD TO HELL is just a one-shot, and it's one with a definitive ending. It's almost a shame that things wrap so neatly; I'd read a whole full-length arc about Billy Bob' and Jo's adventures on the road, and I'd love to see more Jasper, too.
Snyder and Albuquerque do a magnificent job of telling a single done-in-one story that perfectly captures the essence of AMERICAN VAMPIRE without requiring readers to catch up on the main series to-date (although it's certainly a good gateway, and hey, why aren't you caught up on this series?). It's a beautiful love story and a bloody adventure, all at the same time, and a must-read for your summer list.