Advance Review: Bleeding Humans Dry In `Blood Stained Teeth’ #10
by Tom Smithyman
Blood Stained Teeth comes to a bloody end with this issue. As they have through this entire series, Heather Moore’s audacious colors steal the show. That doesn’t take away from an interesting story and good artwork, but this series will be known for its use of vibrant colors to tell a story.
When it comes to vampires who are also capitalists, the phrase “bleed them dry” takes on a new meaning. Yet that has emerged as a central theme as Blood Stain Teeth reaches its conclusion in issue #10.
At first, we thought it was protagonist Atticus Sloane – a literal vampire for hire – who was the only money-obsessed blood sucker. That quest for dollars had him selling his services to create so-called sips, or vampires that he created. But it turns out that even the leader of the First Borns, the original vamps, is as hungry for cash as he is for blood.
That sets off the climactic battle as Sloane must decide whether to side with the First Borns and their head honcho Bram Stoker or with a doctor who is essentially curing cancer by stealing vampire blood and infusing it into patients. Both groups have been trying to kill Sloane, so his choice isn’t all that easy.
Writer Christian Ward wraps up the story of Sloan and the other vampires nicely but leaves room to revisit this world, if he ever feels nostalgic. Over the course of the series’ 10 issues, the tale has shifted from a monster-of-the-month format – which got old quickly – to a more serialized style. Sloane is a self-obsessed jerk, so it’s hard to root for him. Yet somehow Ward makes him interesting and relatable.
Artist Patric Reynolds continues to show off with plenty of dynamic action scenes as well as highly differentiated characters. But the star of the series is colorist Heather Moore, whose magenta-based palette gives the book its unique look. Why she isn’t working on more series is a mystery.
While the end is nigh for the vampires of Blood Stained Teeth, there was plenty to like. Once the series righted itself, it turned into an interesting story with an even more interesting look.
Blood Stained Teeth #10 will be available for purchase tomorrow.