Advance Review: Time Is Running Out In `Blood Stained Teeth’ #9
by Tom Smithyman
There are a lot of plot threads taking place in this penultimate issue, but the story is straightforward enough to keep up with everything. Visually, Heather Moore’s eye-popping colors truly define the look of the entire series.
The clock is ticking for Atticus Sloane.
Sloane, a member of the First Born vampires, has funded his lavish lifestyle by selling his services to humans who want to become immortal. But the First Born Council – the original vampires – have not looked kindly on Sloane’s entrepreneurialism and have given him a month to kill all the so-called Sips he’s created. After nine issues’ worth of vampire-on-vampire killings, the month is almost up and the First Borns have lost their patience.
And the pressure is starting to get to Sloane. He lost a hand a few issues ago and has been trying to replace it. Several of his victims haunt him from beyond the grave. He’s being chased by both a vampire assassin and a pensmith, or vampire hunter. To make matters more complicated, the series creative team only has one more issue to tie up all the loose ends and to seal Sloane’s fate.
Writer Christian Ward is clearly juggling lots of plot points as he guides the story of Sloane to its finale. But he seems to have a steady hand on the wheel of this runaway car. He even manages – in a wonderfully audacious way – to pay homage to 1989’s Batman movie by ripping off a memorable scene between two unfortunate cooks on a rooftop. (It’s true that good artists borrow; great artists steal.)
Artist Patric Reynolds continues his strong, stylized visuals. Sloane is no longer the confident man we saw at the beginning of this series. His desperation is now apparent, thanks to Reynolds’ work. But as has been the case for nine issues now, the real star of the series is colorist Heather Moore. More than anyone else, she is responsible for the look of the title thanks to her bold palette and splashes of color thrown against the faces of many characters.
As Sloane’s story reaches its climax next issue, it will be interesting to see if the creative team allows him to be redeemed or if they force him to pay for his crimes. The team has done a good job of keeping us guessing so far.
Blood Stained Teeth #9 will be available for purchase on Wednesday.