The long-simmering next volume of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque has a name and a release date: American Vampire 1976, debuting October 20.
"The characters in '76 are in a really dark place in terms of the fight against evil," Snyder says in the announcement. "The '70s mirror our current era in many ways: the anxiety, the fear, and the re-examination of American identity.
"The book opens on Skinner Sweet working outside of Vegas doing death-defying Evel Knievel-style stunts, trying to die," the writer continues. "There’s a kind of Son of Sam plot in New York City with Cal and Travis, a political thriller plot with Felicia, and all sorts of '70s iconography. It’s my favorite arc so far."
Set in 1976, this nine-issue series plays on the turmoil and anxiousness during the United States' Bicentennial.
"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," reads DC's description of the book. "At a seedy motorcycle rally in the desert where Skinner’s closer than ever to his death wish, Pearl Jones and a shocking partner track 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."
Here's a four-page first look at the debut issue. The series will be colored by Dave McCaig:
And the new series isn’t just about Skinner, but about the entire franchise and the other vampires introduced along the way.
"American Vampire 1976 embraces every character so far from the franchise, including Dracula, the Lord of Nightmares, the Council of Monsters," Snyder tells Newsarama.
Although Albuquerque had been working for DC for long before American Vampire's 2010 debut, this Vertigo (and now Black Label series) was Snyder's DC debut - and this volume comes on the 10th anniversary of his time at DC.
"Scott, Rafael, and I, we cut our teeth together on American Vampire 10 years ago," DC executive editor Mark Doyle said in the announcement. "Returning to finish the story we started a decade ago is a thrill. Working on American Vampire 1976 has been so creepy and cool, especially because the parallels between 70’s paranoia and today are really chilling…"
DC's Thursday announcement of this limited series they call it the franchise's "final chapter," however Snyder clarifies to Newsarama that it's not "the end end."
"American Vampire 1976 brings us up to the present," Snyder explains, as the series has previously been set in the historical past. "After this we'll jump to the present-day."