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American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell #1 - The Long Road to Hell Review

5

If the words "vampire love story" make you think of sparkles, your recommended summer reading (for correcting that reflex) is right here.

The Good

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 Bad

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.

The Verdict

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.

12 Comments
Posted by Hawkguy

Gonna pick this up if I can find it tomorrow. I never read the original "season" I guess, do I have to in order to know whats happening or can I jump right in?

Edited by MissJ

@hawkguy: You don't! It's one of those rare standalone specials that you can jump into with no background and not miss a beat. (It'll make you want to pick up the trades, though.)

Posted by redhood21

was awesome. love travis kidd

Posted by K3vinkha0S

Sooooooo Good

Edited by lifeboy

Damn!!! Three 5 star reviews for snyder in a row! Talk about working great under pressure.... The man deserves some kind of regognition for this feat! He's all like BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Hatrick time baby! Hes a legend!

Posted by adamhollander4

@hawkguy: It's not a season and you probably wouldn't need to read the other volumes but you definitely should before reading this as the character of Travis Kidd appears in previous issues. I would recommend reading the rest of the series before reading this.

Edited by viin

Out of all of Snyder's comics that came out this week, this was my favorite.

Posted by DonFelipe
@lifeboy said:

Damn!!! Three 5 star reviews for snyder in a row! Talk about working great under pressure.... The man deserves some kind of regognition for this feat! He's all like BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Hatrick time baby! Hes a legend!

Still, American Vampire is what he does best!

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Travis Kidd is my favourite character in American Vampire

Posted by TheUnN4med

Wow, Snyder killed it this week!
I want to read this, but i don't think i can find it today... anyway, i try.

Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale

I needs it !

Posted by zarrarzeez

Just finished reading it and it was amazing!!! 4.5 out of 5 from me! It was the first American Vampire story I read, and now I need to go back and start reading the ongoing series!