Cut to their core by an act of unspeakable betrayal, the team must think fast to regroup and recover – but with two of their lives hanging by a thread and a third taken captive to be sacrificed to the Beast, hope and practical solutions are in short supply. As a demon army prepares to rise from the earth on the eve of America’s bicentennial celebration, an old friend of the VMS steps in to assist and Gus gets a chance to rewrite his grim fate. In the end, their efforts will all hinge on Skinner Sweet’s final decision to either retreat and preserve what’s left of his limited life, or to face his fear of death and risk it all for Pearl and the future of humanity.
Before Skinner and Pearl reunited and the Beast returned—before 1976—the fight to protect humanity persisted. This special anthology issue presents new stories from the unseen era between American Vampire: Second Cycle and American Vampire 1976, bridging the VMS’ turbulent past with a nation’s uncertain future. Jim Book and Pearl will test their new partnership on a mission to uncover new DNA technology in the fight against the Beast, Travis, and Gus enjoy a rare carefree moment in exile, and a deathbed vision reveals the truth about George Washington’s pact with the Council of Firsts and America’s role as a haven for persecuted monsters.
With the help of the Council of Firsts, Skinner’s team has learned the secret sacrifice required to obtain the Blood of Light—their only hope of stopping the Beast from destroying humanity and conquering the world. Finally within reach of the remedy, the crew sends one of its own on the grueling last leg of the mission—but a devastating betrayal and an unwelcome revelation about Skinner’s quest for immortality could sabotage the expedition.
Skinner, Pearl, Book, and the rest of the team are finally united in their mission to stop the Beast from world domination, but the missing key to their success is protected by a council of preeminent ancestral monsters with an axe to grind. These are the progenitors of some of the world’s most iconic folkloric species, and the victims of a broken American promise. Desperate for the council’s assistance, Skinner’s crew becomes a captive audience to their tale of betrayal—but the chilling insight saps all hope of recruiting their help. With only a few days to spare before terror is unleashed, the team must convince the legends that humanity is worth preserving, and that history may still bend toward redemption.
Key clues and coordinates in hand, the rogue branches of the VMS reunite for a final mission that could unlock the secret to taking down The Beast. On their journey to find answers about a pact between America’s Founding Fathers and an ancient counsel of monsters, the whole team—Skinner, Pearl, Book, Felicia, Travis, and Cal—realize they’ll need to confront their own complicated personal pasts before they have a hope of correcting world history. Back at the White House, the Gray Trader’s secret associate, Bixby, wrestles with his allegiance to evil and makes a final decision about the president’s fate.
PART THREE: BENEATH THE GREENHOUSE…
Two subterranean showdowns escalate! Thousands of miles apart, rogue American vampires and the last remnants of the VMS chase the only known leads against the Beast’s looming plans for world domination. As Skinner’s crew fight for their lives aboard the runaway Freedom Train in the Tongue-infested tunnels of the Southwest, Cal and Travis scavenge the tracks below Times Square for traces of the Beast’s terrifying challenger—but when they get too close to the monster for comfort, they’re blindsided by the mother of all unexpected twists.
Skinner, Pearl and a surprising new ally team up to pull off their game-changing heist of the Freedom Train, but time is running out for a nation in crisis. The Beast’s plan for mass terror and world domination is finally revealed in sick detail, and as humanity spirals toward extinction, there’s a devastating twist. When an unexpected force returns to pick off the VMS’s top officials, Travis and Cal discover that the ultimate evil has competition—and the final battle will be more merciless than anyone imagined.
|PART ONE, “DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU!”|
America is broken. Trust between the government and the American public has crumbled. Paranoia reigns supreme. It’s 1976, and this is the concluding chapter of the Eisner Award-winning American Vampire! Skinner Sweet has exhausted all efforts to regain his lost immortality. With his powers and purpose gone, he is now determined to go out with a bang. At a seedy motorcycle rally in the desert where he’s closer than ever to his death wish, Pearl Jones and a shocking partner tracks him down for one last, desperate mission: The force known as the Gray Trader and its minions are tunneling through the bowels of the world to unleash hell on Earth—just in time for America’s bicentennial. With catastrophe looming, it’s up to Skinner and Pearl to reconcile and change the course of history—or die trying. The series that launched the careers of superstars Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque returns for nine final issues and the closing chapter of the legacy of American Vampire.