Rivers of Blood

American Vampire #6

It’s 1936 in Las Vegas, and Police Chief Cashel McCogan is struggling with a vastly expanded population, thanks to the still-being-constructed Hoover Dam, and a shortage of prison space or police officers to deal with the resulting crime wave. He gets some small amount of assistance from two federal agents, Jack Straw and Felicia Book, but two feds aren’t gonna make much of a dent in the crime situation, especially with one very high-profile murder — local businessman Howard Beaulieu, found withered and drained in his hotel room bed. His only companion for the night was a working girl in the employ of the notorious Mr. Smoke. Hey, don’t Mr. Smoke look kinda familiar to y’all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. You might notice that Stephen King’s name isn’t at the top of this comic anymore. Well, he’s moved on with the end of the first storyarc, but Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque are still on board and lightin’ things up. We don’t see much of Pearl Jones or Skinner Sweet this time, but we don’t even miss ’em that much — it’s good fun getting introduced to McCogan and his supporting cast and getting a handle on our new Depression-era Vegas setting. Plenty of time to catch up on our American bloodsuckers soon enough…

Batgirl #14

More vampires! This all gets started when Supergirl shows up in Gotham City to hang out with Stephanie Brown (Not real sure why — I guess it’s just tradition for Batgirls and Supergirls to be friends, kinda like Flashes and Green Lanterns). And when you’re not rockin’ the spandex, Gotham can be as dull as anywhere, so they go to take in an old vampire movie. And due to a spectacularly unlikely accident with spectacularly unlikely hologram technology, there are suddenly 24 black-and-white Draculas running around the city. Unfortunately, they’re able to hurt Supergirl, but the local spectacularly unlikely scientists realize that the Draculas will disappear if they’re staked by high-tech control rods. So Batgirl and Supergirl run all over the city staking cheesy Draculas.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a spectacularly unlikely premise, but it’s all used to cook up some spectacularly awesome jokes. Anything that includes Draculas on Segways and in photobooths, and jokes about Stephanie’s “bat-bra” — well, I’m always in favor of hilarious stuff, right?

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – New World #2

Two major plotlines working out here — first, Johann Kraus does not trust ancient Egyptian mummy Panya, who seems to be trying to get some keys so she can release her hybrid monsters. They both get on Kate Corrigan’s nerves and she gives ’em a well-deserved chewing-out. Meanwhile, Abe Sapien has run into Ben Daimio — long thought either dead or turned into a wendigo — in the Canadian wilderness. They’re both trying to discover where a small town’s population has vanished to. Abe and Ben follow the trail to a local lake, and Abe goes for a swim, finding what one might expect to find in a supposedly bottomless lake nicknamed the Hell’s Kettle…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great to see some actual character development for Panya, and even more wonderful to see Ben Daimio again. And the last page brings the creepy stuff that Guy Davis seems to do so very well.

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