The series that started off strong, then hit a rut, seems to be correcting itself in this latest issue. By setting a larger story, it is evolving from a monster-of-the-month story to something a bit more connected and meaningful.
Sometimes it takes a psychedelic trip down memory lane to reset the system.
After quickly falling into a bit of a rut in issues #2 and #3, Blood Stained Teeth is showing renewed promise in its latest outing. The series was devolving into nothing more than a monster-of-the-month storytelling groove, and while there are still elements of that trope, we are finally starting to see some elements of a larger story.
Vampire Atticus Sloane is being forced by the First Born Council – the original bloodsuckers – to kill all of the sips, the humans he previously turned into vampires for profit. In this issue, he’s hunting Bobby Dale, a predator steals victims’ memories in addition to their blood. Dale is unable to create new memories, so his host of victims provide him with theirs as he slowly drains them of plasma.
It’s a different take on the vampire myth and it provides for some stunningly trippy visuals from creators Christian Ward, who takes on some artistic duties in addition to the script) and Patric Reynolds. The main story is intentionally puzzling as Sloane fights to emerge from his drug-induced high and put an end to Dale. The different artistic styles and choices add to the experience, leaving the reader to guess what’s real and what’s illusion. It’s a nice touch that makes the book stand out from past issues. And in a vampire story, these kinds of visuals work perfectly.
The main story is bookended by what looks to become a larger part of a larger conflict between Sloane and the council. After getting concerned that he’s handled the situation poorly, the first born leader sends his son to hunt Sloane. No spoilers on the hunter’s identity, but vampire aficionados will either love or dread the choice. It will come down to the Ward’s and Reynold’s storytelling choices. Fortunately, those are trending in the right direction.
Blood Stained Teeth #4 will be available for purchase on July 20, 2022.