Advance Review: Rope-A-Dope In `Blood Stained Teeth’ #2

by Tom Smithyman


Atticus Sloane’s mission to kill all the vampires he’s created over the years kicks off as he tries to take down an MMA fighter. It’s a pretty simple story brought alive (or undead) by great art and even more amazing colors.


Sports and horror are not two genres often presented in the same story. When the particular sport in question is mixed martial arts, the tale is even more rare. After all, when was the last time you read about an MMA fighter who was a vampire? In the world of Blood Stained Teeth, though, just about anyone can be an undead bloodsucker.

That is due in no small part to Atticus Sloane, who has been turning people into vampires – known as “Sips” – for decades. Sloane hasn’t been transforming people due to his unending thirst for blood, but rather for much more material reasons. He gets paid to do it. Or rather, he did until the vampire’s First Council gave him a month to undo every one he turned for profit or face his own death.

Sloane’s first target is Duke Ellis, a fighter he had turned into a vampire. Instead of snacking on his opponents, Ellis has been making a meal of local cows. Not steaks mind you, just the blood. So Sloane needs to go into the ring to bring him down.

Writer Christian Ward tells a relatively simple, but still compelling story. You don’t need to be an MMA fan to appreciate the tale. But Patric Reynolds art, which pops thanks to the terrific work of colorist Heather Moore, with bright hues that make this story come alive. Most vampire stories are told in the dark with a hint of red to accentuate the blood. But in the world of Blood Stained Teeth, brilliant colors help to tell the full story.

Issue #2 is a departure from the series’ initial installment, which set up Sloan’s mission to eliminate the Sips he created. It will be interesting to see where Ward takes subsequent issues. Will it be a “monster-of-the-month” approach, or will he try to weave together multiple storylines? We get a hint of that larger danger at the end of this issue. Let’s hope it pays off.

Blood Stained Teeth #2 will be available for purchase on May 25, 2022.

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