In American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #3, Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy combine Nazis and vampires in a fantastical blend of old monster and adventure movie serials. With his vampire hunters trying to infiltrate a Nazi science stronghold, Snyder writes a spooky story, mingling real historical evils with his exploration of vampire mythology. Mixing World War II and Hitler’s obsession with the occult creates a horror story that feels more real as Snyder plants his story in real history. Is he creating a horror story based on history or a quasi-historical story with elements of Bram Stoker sprinkled through it? Sean Murphy doesn’t carry over a lot of the drama and emotion from the regular series, instead concentrating on showing just how cool fighting vampires and Nazis can be, giving this series a harder edge than Rafael Albuquerque does in the regular series.
I can’t say that this is a comic book for everybody, because “The Third Reich teams up with a race of super-vampires” is not going to be a concept for everybody. However. If “Nazi vampires” even sounds like it might be up your alley, rest assured that you won’t find a better Nazi vampire book than this. I don’t have the vocabulary to explain what makes Sean Murphy one of the best comic book artists in the game; fortunately, all you need is a pair of eyes to see that he is. Dave Stewart’s colors do their usual job of making great art look even better – his reds just pop, and when the only reds are vampire eyes and Third Reich flags that turns out to be essential. With this able assistance, Scott Snyder continues to expand on the wildly inventive universe of his American Vampire series. Cashel and Felicia, two of the best characters from the main AV series feature here. This issue isn’t a jumping-on point, and if there’s any weakness it’s the typical mid-arc problem of remembering exactly what these characters are doing here and why. (Would a recap page kill you, Vertigo?) Still, it’s well worth picking up all three issues so far in this mini, whether you know the main title or not. Murphy and Snyder and Stewart are all at the top of their craft. Also, as I mentioned: Nazi vampires.