Just when you thought they couldn't do something new with vampires, somebody comes along and finds a way.
In American Vampire, the ongoing comic book series launched by writers Stephen King and Scott Snyder, the traditional idea of vampires still exist, but the bloodline mutates every once in awhile and a new species of vampire emerges.
"We’re so sick of the same vampires over and over again, you know?" said Snyder, who came up with the series concept. "That was sort of the whole idea of the series."
The comic starts its second storyline this week with American Vampire #6, after having introduced the idea that a new breed of vampire -- a uniquely American one -- emerged in the Old West. And these new vampires are not welcomed by the existing, "European" strain of vampire.
The first storyline in American Vampire finished up last month, but now the series enters its second phase, as Snyder takes over the book solo with the help of regular series artist Rafael Albuquerque. The comic moves the story to 1930's Las Vegas, taking all the familiar characters along, but introducing several new ones to the cast.
In anticipation of the next stage in this ever-expanding vampire universe, Newsarama is profiling the main characters in the series. So far, we've done profiles on Skinner Sweet, Pearl Jones , Henry Preston, the European Vampires, Hattie Hargrove & Mr. Bunting, and James and Felicia Book.
Now we look at a brand new character being introduced this week in American Vampire #6 -- a lawman who becomes a central figure in this vampire-filled world.
Origin: Cash McCogan is the young chief of police in Las Vegas in 1935, having inherited the mantle from his father, who was gunned down recently."He is struggling to keep the peace in a town that’s just tripled in size in the last few years because of the building of the Hoover Dam nearby," Snyder explained. "And this is a Las Vegas that’s quickly becoming the Las Vegas we know. The term 'Sin City' is starting to get thrown around, it has the biggest red-light district around, and it caters to all of these workers from the dam who come over to party in Las Vegas."
Appearance: "Cash is a guy with a huge responsibility on his shoulders," said Albuquerque of the character's design. "But also, he is not old as Book was, so he is impulsive. He has a lot of anger and guilt. Visually he is a simple guy. No fancy suits. He is just practical."
What's Next: This week, American Vampire #6 is the first issue of a new storyline titled, "Body Search." Cash McCogan is a central character in the story.
"In the first issue of 'Body Search', McCogan has a problem, because bodies are showing up drained of blood -- prominent citizens all around town -- and so it kind of leads him down the rabbit hole into the world of American Vampire as he begins to investigate."
McCogan encounters the main vampires who were introduced in the first storyline. "Pearl is back and Skinner is back in a big, big fun way," Snyder said. "And Felicia comes back to play a big part. Henry, as well, Pearl’s fella. They’re all there.
"But we wanted to try and broaden it a little bit," Snyder said. "We're using a couple new characters to give us a new angle a little bit. But they’ll all play major parts in the whole series. None of it will be throwaway or standalone. The cycle that takes place in Las Vegas won't have all new characters and then they go away.
"Cash McCogan goes through a real evolution in this story and he becomes involved in the bigger picture, and anyone we introduce we really intend to follow through the years, as well," he said. "Cash McCogan has – he comes to a very interesting, I think, place at the end of the cycle that will bring him forward through the years as well."More AMERICAN VAMPIRE UP-CLOSE: