Characters / American Vampire

Pearl Jones

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pearl_jones.png
A young girl living in LA during the 1920s with dreams of stardom... until she's invited to the wrong party.

  • Action Girl: After being converted into a vampire.
  • Battle Couple: With Henry.
  • Break the Cutie: Pearl was just a rising starlet until she ran into a party hosted by vampires who nearly drained her dry. And to make matters worse, the person who arranged for her death was her own best friend.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Not as pale as the European vampires since she can walk in the sunlight so she got a nice tan, but whenever she into vampire mode, her skin becomes extra pasty.
  • Friend to All Children: In Second Cycle, she turned her family household into a safe haven for vampire children.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: While she is a nice and sweet woman, she certainly qualifies for this trope from the Euro-Vamps' perspective: like many girls before her, she was given as "prey" for the Hollywood Coven to feed on, and after they were done they dumped her body into a ditch to be forgotten. However, she survived long enough to be found by Skinner Sweet, who gave her an Emergency Transformation and turned her into another American Vampire. She proceeded to hunt down those responsible.
  • The Heroine: She is the closest thing the comic has to one, in stark contrast to Skinner Sweet.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The american vampire has elongated finger-claws, rattlesnake fangs, and are powered by sunlight, only becoming vulnerable during the nights of the new moon and can only be killed by gold.
  • Mama Bear: To the vampire children in her care.
  • Nice Girl: Even after being turned into a vampire, she tries to live morally.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against the Hollywood Coven for nearly killing her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Pearl after becoming a vampire.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Pearl. After the Hollywood Coven does bad things to her, her rage is only stopped when they're corpses.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: While Henry's usually able to handle himself, if he's in over his head, particularly against vampires, Pearl's right there and ready to rumble.

Skinner Sweet

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1722523_skinner_sweet_3.jpg

A psychotic outlaw in the Wild West who runs afoul of the Pinkerton Detective Agency and a group of European vampires. Becomes the first American Vampire.

  • Arch-Enemy: Sweet has the tendency to become this for a lot of people: Jim Book, Abilena and her daughter Felicia, Travis Kidd, Cash McGogan, the entire Carpathian coven, etc...
  • Ax-Crazy: Whenever he shows up, there's a very good chance a lot of people are going to end up dead.
  • Back from the Dead: As of #23
  • Buried Alive: For 20 years.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Skinner is cured of his vampirism at the end of Second Cycle and to his distress he learns that he can't be infected again.
  • Character Tics: He likes to chew or suck on candy. Readers can always identify Sweet whenever he is disguised or taking another identity by his yellow eyes and him always chewing on candy.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: If you ally with him... watch your back.
    Skinner Sweet: "Everyone who meets me knows I am just plain pitiful at keeping deals... And I always got to be the last man standing."
  • Evil Former Friend: Formerly Jim Book's best friend and adopted brother.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sure he seems like a friendly guy, but don't let that fool you. He'll rip you to shreds without a moment's hesitation, just for a laugh.
  • First Of Its Kind: The first American Vampire.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From an orphan adopted by Jim Book's family to a notorious outlaw that by pure chance becomes the first American vampire, even stronger and more dangerous than the common bloodline.
  • Joker Immunity: Has a knack for evading death several times.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The american vampire has elongated finger-claws, rattlesnake fangs, and are powered by sunlight, only becoming vulnerable during the nights of the new moon and can only be killed by gold.
  • Pet the Dog: Skinner saving Pearl's life may count (though it is possible he has ulterior motives or simply wanted to screw up the Hollywood Coven's plans).
    • In Second Cycle, he attempts to pull off a Heroic Sacrifice to save Calvin's life when Sweet is about to be possessed by the Beast influence.
    • Skinner's interaction with Kitty at the ending of 'Strange Frontiers'.
  • Slasher Smile: Seems to be his preferred expression.
  • Sweet Tooth: He retains this trait even after becoming a vampire.
  • Reforged into a Minion: A heroic example: he is found and resurrected by the Vassals of the Morning Star just to serve as their agent.
  • Villain Protagonist: While Pearl is The Heroine, Skinner carries the plot a great more deal.
  • The Wild West
  • Worthy Opponent: Skinner sees Jim Book as this, as seen in 'Strange Frontiers' when he murders the actor who is playing the part of Book in a Wild West show.
    • You don't deserve to wear Jim Book's name! *tears off head*

Henry Preston

A Marine who served in World War I before becoming a traveling musician who crosses paths with Pearl in Los Angeles and falls in love with her.

Hattie Hargrove

Pearl's best friend and roommate, also an aspiring actress.

  • Ax-Crazy: When she comes back from her near-death experience, she becomes much more wantonly murderous and bloodthirsty.
  • Evil Former Friend: Goes from Pearl's best friends to one of her greatest enemies.
  • Evil Is Petty: Set her best friend up to be vampire-chow just so she can become a famous actress.
  • Evil Redhead: An Ax-Crazy vampire with bright orange hair.
  • Glasgow Grin: As the result of having the gold star from her dressing room shoved down her throat.
  • I Have Your Wife: Pearl is lured into an ambush when Hattie gets kidnapped by vampires. Unfortunately for Pearl, Hattie is in on the whole thing.
  • Not Quite Dead: Pearl appears to kill her near the end of volume one, only for it to eventually be revealed that she was merely put into a death-like state. Other vampires recovered her body from the morgue and used her as a guinea pig to find out the weakness of American Vampires.

James Book

A veteran of the Civil War, he becomes a detective in the Pinkerton Detective Agency and hunts down Skinner Sweet.

  • Heroic Willpower: Jim manage to go on without feeding for three years. Sure, he was tormented the whole time, but that is damn impressive.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Asks his best friend's daughter to kill him rather than live as a vampire.
  • May–December Romance: His best friend's daughter has a crush on him despite possibly having at least 20 to 40 years on her. Taken to an extreme degree when she only agrees to kill him if he slept with her and gave her a child to remember him by.
  • Pinkerton Detective: A rare example of one played purely heroically.
  • Tragic Monster: Gets turned into an American Vampire when Skinner Sweet's blood enters his body.

Abilena Carmino

The daughter of Jim Book's partner Felix Carmino.
  • Action Girl: She was willing to jump into the fray along with the men when Skinner re-emerged.
  • Action Mom: Abilena joined the Vassals of the Morning Star following Felicia's birth and became a top agent.
  • May–December Romance: Abilena always loved Jim who is old enough to be her father.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She served the order way past the 60s before resigning.
  • Staking the Loved One: Not actually staking, she actually gunned Jim Book down during the New Moon at his own request to end his suffering.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: She was forced to fight alongside Skinner Sweet, the man who ruined the love of her life.

Felicia Book

Jim Book's daughter (born after his death). Is seeking vengeance on Skinner Sweet and becomes an agent of the Vassals of the Morning Star.
  • Action Girl: She is a top member of the Vassals of the Morning Star and proficient vampire hunter.
  • Action Mom: Ends up raising Gus McGogan as her own son.
  • Big Good: Following Linden Hobbes' sacrifice, she leads the Vassals and takes the order into a new direction: to fight against evil, instead of merely hunting vampires.
  • The Chosen One: One of the Ancients Vampires that were awakened in Survival of the Fittest refer to one as one, but to what purpose its not said.
  • Dhampyr: Her father was an American vampire and her mother was a human. While she doesn't necessarily show any obvious vampiric traits, she is not completely human either. In Second Cycle, she has shown no obvious signs of aging despite her being over 50 years old.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In Survival of the Fittest a group of female VMS agents Squee! as she passes by.
  • It's Personal: Skinner turned her father Jim into a vampire, who was so tormented by his state he begged Abilena to kill him after providing her with a child.
  • Ms. Fanservice: While Felicia doesn't usually play this role and dresses modestly, she had a completely gratuitous nude scene in Survival of the Fittest, being the only female character to feature one in the comic so far. Pearl was nude in her introduction, but the circumstances were disturbing rather than titillating.
  • No Sell: One Carpathian vampire tried to bite her, only to recoil away in disgust from drinking her blood.
  • Promoted To Parent: She pretty much raises Gus following his father's passing.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Felicia was conceived by her parents as part of an agreement that her mother would end her father's suffering if he gave her a child.

Cash McCogan

The police chief of Las Vegas in 1935 who is drawn into a string of mysterious deaths that bring him into the world of vampires.

  • Action Dad: He joins the Vassals of the Morning Star after his son's birth.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Cash goes out in a true blaze as he makes his last stand against the Nazi vampires, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and then detonating several grenades.
  • Find the Cure: His goal in Survival of the Fittest is to find the cure of vampirism to his son.
  • Happily Adopted: His father was a sheriff who adopted him when no other couple would.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In order to ensure Felicia's escape and takes the cure to his son, he performs a final stand against the pursuing vampires detonating several grenades strapped to his body.
  • Morality Pet: To his father Gus, who was a Gaelic-Prime vampire.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Cash's investigation leads him to lose his adoptive father and his wife, both of them victims to Skinner Sweet, and his unborn son being turned into a vampire by Skinner's blood injection.

Linden Hobbes

A mysterious agent who is the leader of the Vassals of the Morning Star.

  • Big Good: He leads the Vassals of the Morning Star at the time of the series.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Killed Off for Real: In an appropriately badass way, naturally, given that he takes DRACULA with him.
  • Knight Templar: Surprisingly averted. In his first appearance, he seems to be obsessed with destroying all vampires, no matter how harmless, however, by the 'Lord of Nightmares' arc, he's mellowed out a lot, allying himself with Pearl and Felicia, two known vampires, as well as allowing The Firsts, a group of surviving vampires who are out to kill Dracula to live.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure

Calvin Poole

An African-American VMS agent, he is part of Henry Preston's team in Ghost War. He becomes an American Vampire at the end of that arc.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He is harassed by a couple of racists and he even gives them one last chance to apologize. Had they known they were Mugging the Monster.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Inverted; he is the only African-American member of the team and survives the Ghost War ordeal, but emerged as an American Vampire.
  • Nice Guy: Very mild-mannered and comforting to his friends.

Travis Kidd

A young, rebellious vampire hunter in the 1950s who is... extremely talented at killing vampires.

  • Badass Normal: Possibly the series's greatest example, lacking any powers, allies or decades of expierence, but still taking on scores of vampires on his own and fighting Skinner Sweet to a standstill.
  • Greaser Delinquents

Gus McGogan

The son of Cash and Lilly McCogan who due to tragic circumstances was born a vampire thanks to the notorious Skinner Sweet.
  • The Chosen One: By Dracula to become his vessel.
  • Creepy Child: When we first see the poor kid, he is a small and disfigured vampire baby trapped inside a cage and being fed small animals by his father.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Gus was named after his grandfather, who was a ancient Celtic vampire.
  • Generation Xerox: His story tragically mirrors his father's as both of them were orphaned at early age and adopted by someone else. He is also a vampire like his grandfather and namesake, although Gus the Elder was a Gaelic-Prime, while little Gus is an American Vampire.
  • Fetus Terrible: He was born twisted and disfigured as result of Skinner injecting her with his blood while he was still in uterus.
  • Tragic Monster: Poor kid was just another victim to Skinner.

Dracula

The first Carpathian vampire, the originator of the European strain.
  • The Dreaded: He is always referred to in a ominous manner and with good reason. The prospect of him being released into the world terrifies Hobbes.
  • Dracula: Its stated that the fictional character were inspired by him.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Its speculated that rather than a nobleman, he is also believed to have been a mere pig farmer before rising up as vampire. At the time he was created, his bloodline wasn't particularly powerful or virulent and went by largely ignored by the Vassals until the 1700s, when they became the most populous vampire species in Europe and nearly wiped out the every other species in the world in the following century.
  • Greater Scope Villain: In the sense he fathered the European vampires and and he may as well be much worse than Skinner Sweet. In fact, the latter owns his existence (as well as the American bloodline) to Dracula since he sired by a vampire from his bloodline. With that said, he is never actually fought by Skinner or Pearl in the main series. In addition to his storyline, its implied he is the Bigger Bad for Jack the Ripper, since he drove Albert, Duke of Clarence to madness and made him target Whitechapel prostitutes.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Rather frighteningly, he is depicted as a being made of shadows than anything close to a human.
  • Mind Rape: He is capable of causing this: when Albert, Duke of Clarence requested to see Dracula in person, he was driven insane.
  • Monster Progenitor: To the Carpathian bloodline.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Naturally, Vlad the Impaler is among his many identities speculated by the Vassals of the Morning Star.
  • No Name Given: "Dracula" is not really his actual name, merely how he is referred by characters because how he inspired the book.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: At some point while attempting to reach America by sea, he was captured by the Vassals and trapped inside a vault
  • The Spook: Besides him being of Romanian origin, his true identity and how he became a vampire in the first place are unknown.
  • Stronger with Age: One thing that makes him so much dangerous than Skinner is that Dracula is so much stronger and powerful than any of his progeny.
  • Ultimate Evil: His body is almost always covered in shadow.
  • Vampire Monarch: The European vampires started with him and its stated he has absolute control over all of them.
  • Villain of Another Story: While he is part of the setting's background and his influence affects them, he is never faced by the protagonists in the main series. Rather, he is the Big Bad in the limited minisseries Lord of Nightmares.

The Gray Trader

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gray_trader.png
A mysterious and enigmatic figure who is one of the most feared and dangerous threats to the Vassals of the Morning Star.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: He is shown interrogating a native by dismembering very slowly.
  • The Dragon: Originally thought to be a strong contender for Big Bad in the series, he is actually serving the will of the Beast.
  • The Dreaded: Anyone who knows him sweats and trembles in fear from just hearing his name.
  • The Faceless: His face is always covered in darkness, his eyes being little white dots.
  • Fallen Hero: He was not just a VMS member, but the order's actual founder.
  • Humanoid Abomination: One even more horrifying than Dracula.
  • I Have Many Names: Hurin, the Great Protector, the Great Traitor, the Grey Trader, the latter is a bastardization of his Great Traitor from over the years.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Originally, the Vassals of the Morning Star were united under his banner to fight the Beast. They ultimately succeeded in defeating it, but their leader suckled on the monster's teats, gaining its power and becoming his champion. His actual name is supposed to be the Great Traitor, but it has been bastardized to its current form.
  • Satanic Archetype: Calvin calls him the actual Devil. He is actually not quite, but as Felicia explains his backstory he fits the archetype regardless, see The Paragon Always Rebels.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He wears an old gentleman's costume.
  • Was Once a Man: A normal human at first, but then he became the Beast's champion, he was elevated into... something else entirely.

The Beast

An ancient entity that plagued the Mesopotamic world with its demonic offspring, the Vassals of the Morning Star were created to defeat her. They succeeded in doing so, but it was not destroyed, since it managed to successfully corrupt the order's founder Hurin into becoming its protector and champion.
  • Ancient Evil: It was released on Earth in 13.000 BC and for a thousand years reigned supreme until the Vassals challenged it.
  • Big Bad: Quite possibly the greatest example in the series, bigger than Skinner and Dracula.
  • The Corrupter: Its "milk" turned Hurin into the Great Traitor. Its also capable of turning other beings - and yes, including vampires - into its servants.
  • Eldritch Abomination: This thing used to walk the Earth when mankind was still young, terrorizing mortals with its demonic spawn. Its a force of nature beyond human and vampire comprehension.
  • I Have Many Names: Tiamat, the Mother of Beasts, the Dragon, the Worm.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: It had spawned countless demons upon the world and can turn her human minions into monsters.
  • Outside-Context Problem: While the Vassals were founded specifically to fight it and its minions, this thing is a whole new can of worms seemingly unrelated to vampires and belonging to a Cosmic Horror Story instead of this one. The heroes also are poorly equipped to take care of it.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/AmericanVampire