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REVIEW: 'Blood Stained Teeth' #1 by Christian Ward, Patric Reynolds, and Heather Moore

 


BLOOD STAINED TEETH #1

Writer: Christian Ward
Artist: Patric Reynolds, Heather Moore
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: April 27, 2022
Cover Price: $3.99

SERIES PREMIERE!

CHRISTIAN WARD, the Eisner Award-winning co-creator of ODY-C, Invisible Kingdom, and Machine Gun Wizards, returns to Image with red-hot artist PATRIC REYNOLDS (The Mask) for an all-new ONGOING SERIES-a fast-paced 100 Bullets-style crime saga with fangs!

Atticus Sloane-misanthrope, criminal, asshole, and vampire-lives in a world where blood isn't the only thing vamps crave. And for the right price, he'll make you a vampire too. After all, immortality isn't cheap.

Score:

★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Let's face it, vampire stories will never go away. Its popularity may wane from time to time but fervor for sexy blood-suckers among mortals will always find a way to capture the public's heart again. Especially, when vampire stories are as entertaining and refreshing as 'Blood Stained Teeth' by Christian Ward, Patric Reynolds, and Heather Moore, the time is now!

What makes 'Blood' special is the vibe it projects right from the get-go. It has this 'Miami Vice' aesthetic, a shadowy neo-noir drama soaked in neon navigated by an opportunistic vampire who offers immortality for a price and according to Atticus Sloane, 'immortality isn't cheap.'There are set rules in this world. Ward lays them out from the outset. 

There are two types of Vampire. 

One is born. 

One is made

First Born vampires are rich, powerful, and can turn someone. Those that are turned are known as Sips and are vicious killers. Naturally, First Borns frown upon making Sips unnecessarily, as they tend to draw unwanted attention. It's something Sloane is not concerned with as long as he lines his pocket with some cold hard cash. And thus, this is the crux at the heart of 'Blood.' Old School versus New School and the consequences the stubborn cocky Sloane must deal with. It's a great premise in a first issue that sets up all the characters and the heavy, heavy stakes at risk. A first issue should immerse you into a new reality, albeit a familiar one, with some fantastic reimagining bridging a classic monster tale with a modern sensibility. And 'Blood' hits all the right notes. 

Patric Reynolds offers a scratchy but stylish art style. There's no mistaking the confidence in Sloane from first sight. Suited up with no tie, like he's on his way to a downtown club, looking like a young Sam Rockwell or maybe Chris Pine. His stance, the sunglasses at night, Sloane knows he's the shit and slithers into the night with his trusted familiar from one gig to the next. Reynolds gives us a clear picture of who Sloane is without a word. All the characters, in fact, have a distinctive personality by their very design. Moore infuses energy into every panel with some bright color choices. Vibrant watercolors wash the pages into a mesmerizing mix of primary colors that highlight each scene with warmth and an undercurrent of electricity to match the action. 

'Blood Stained Teeth' revitalizes vampire lore with a slick, gritty, neon-soaked descent into a modern-day underworld. Led by the defiant entrepreneurial Atticus Sloane, this power struggle between generations of vampires reveals an organized crime-family style of drama that crackles from dialogue to visuals. Be sure to pick this one up. 

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