Blood on the Tracks

American Vampire #8

Pearl Jones and her beau Henry get a visit from Abilena Book and Linden Hobbes, representatives from a vampire-hunting organization called the Vassals of the Morning Star. And they want Pearl to tell them how to kill her and Skinner Sweet, in exchange for a promise not to come after her right away. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Chief McCogan is skeptical about Agents Straw and Book’s claims about vampires, but he’s becoming more convinced as more bizarre deaths pile up. But is he prepared for the true identity of the murderer?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great storytelling and art — I’m loving the way Rafael Albuquerque draws his monsters. The western setting really does help the stories feel more unique and interesting than some other vampire stories out there…

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – New World #4

Things are still going good and crazy. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is short-staffed in the wake of the Houston volcano, Johann Kraus is shirking his duties to be close to the artificially-grown humanoid he wants to inhabit, and Panya is slowly taking over the entire facility. Meanwhile, Abe Sapien and Ben Daimio meet a guy who’s trying to find his wife — he got back from the war soon after his wife had their baby, wouldn’t let him see the kid, and finally knocked him on the head and disappeared. Sure enough, he’s found out the baby’s really dead — so what was his wife cradling around the house? And what’s her connection to the giant monster that keeps following Abe and Ben around? To make things even worse, the long-missing wendigo shows up, and Ben is getting set to go were-jaguar on everyone.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of chaos, lots of cool artwork, lots of excellent action and creepiness. And a pretty good cliffhanger, too — looking forward to seeing how this all plays out next issue…

The Unwritten #19

Tom Taylor, Richie Savoy, and Lizzie Hexam have traveled to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, hometown of “Moby-Dick” author Herman Melville, on a semi-magical hunch that this was where they needed to be. While they explore Arrowhead, Melville’s former home-turned-museum, Pullman the assassin visits a toymaker named Rausch, an elderly woman who’s a high-end sorceress of some kind. Pullman wants her to ally herself with the Cabal, but she’s reluctant — unless Pullman has something important he can bargain with. All that, plus Savoy gets sick — but he has no idea how sick he really is.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A more relaxed pace to this story, which is a relief after how furiously previous issues have run. Good dialogue all over the place, too. A lot of mysteries moving forward, which is a nice benefit. And I really enjoyed all the stuff in Pittsfield — no idea how accurate our glimpse of Arrowhead and the town are, but they’ve got some nice touches.

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