Let me start by saying, I have never been a big fan of horror comics. Not exactly sure why. The only time I usually give these books a try is if they are loud enough to get a film made. For example, the last horror series I bought was the original run of 40 days of night. The overall story was interesting and original enough. More recently I decided to give the first run of American Vampire a try. I had heard that Stephen King and Scott Snyder were involved, so I gave it a turn.
Overall I thought it was... ok. The art was good and the overall story was good but the issues felt a little disjointed. King and Snyder took turns with the issues and the different writing styles were obvious and jarring. The vampires themselves were a bit unoriginal. Typically a good vampire story takes liberties with the myth. However, the series basically recycled old ideas daywalkers, vampire race feuds, etc... If anyone has read Stephen King's Salem's Lot, you know he doesn't often get points for originality. The series also suffered from King's other common misgivings. The character development was a bit hit and miss. This problem was actually more evident in Snyder's issues. After all was said and done, I wasn't interested enough in the series to continue past the first five issues.(Hey, I got bills to pay!)
This leads us to the five issue Survival of the Fittest. What can I say?....
I FREAK'N LOVE IT!!!
The sad thing is, I almost didn't give it a look. When I originally heard about the mini series, I thought DC/Vertigo was just trying to cash in on the series which has become a critical darling. I originally thought, "Oh God, not another genre rip off. 40 days of night already did Nazi vampires." However, Scott Snyder has been on a bit of a roll lately. His Detective Comics run was epic. Maybe Mr. King was holding him back with the series? Maybe he can do better on his own? Yes he can!
I jumped into the series after the third issue but I know if I had started with issue one I would have been hooked. My God, everything about this mini series is gold. The two main characters have been flushed out brilliantly so far. (Vampire babies? awesome!) The artwork is perfect. It is extremely detailed and yet it retains a darkness. This is mostly due to it's sketched appearance. While I am being a bit hypocritical. The story elements still aren't pushing the vampire mythos to new ground. But honestly Syder has crafted the borrowed elements to perfection. Nothing, so far, has been predictable. The arc of each issue is full of twists and turns. Very few times in my life have I NEEDED the next issue. The cliff hanger endings are heart stopping.
Whether you like horror comics or not, you are committing an act against nature if you miss out on this series. Did I mention this series is great? After the run is over I will give a complete breakdown. I didn't want to waste your time reading my blog when you could be BUYING THE BOOKS!