Blood-Stained Teeth #1 Review

Writer:  Christian Ward
Art: Patric Reynolds and Heather Moore
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 27th, 2022

Blood-Stained Teeth #1 is a Film Noir-type thriller with vampires.  It’s a gritty tale of mafia-style vampire warlords, attention-seeking “sips” (those that weren’t born vampires, but were turned into them), and the humans who are caught in-between.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Blood-Stained Teeth #1 Review.

The Story

Atticus Sloane, one of the main characters of Blood-Stained Teeth #1, is a First Born vampire who, though he looks young on the outside, is old and has a contempt for today’s youth and for social media in general.   Yet he’s more than happy to turn others into vampires for big money.

Class warfare is a main theme of the book.  We’re introduced to two other characters in the issue: Ralph Kinski (another First Born vampire who’s rich and part of a cadre of other elder First Born vampires) and Dr. Beverly Phelps, a human who tended to Kinski in the past and stumbles onto his secret.

The bulk of the issue revolves around Kinski’s past with Beverly Phelps (via a flashback) and Kinski and his cadre of First Born vampires “dealing” with Atticus Sloane’s undisciplined turning of people into vampires for money.

It’s all pretty cliched, with Kinski throwing a costume party where all the other rich sleazy First Born vampires come to live out their kinks, and there are torture scenes reminiscent of “Reservoir Dogs”. As a set-up for a new series, it’s very flat and uninspired. 

Even Beverly Randolph, who could be the most centered and interesting person in the book, comes off as just another insipid background character, and the art doesn’t help any.   It took a couple of readings of the book to realize that what I thought was two different characters was actually Beverly in both cases.

Hopefully, as the book continues, there’ll be more confrontation between Sloane and Kinski’s characters, with Sloane being a more free-willing (but poorer) First Born compared to Kinski’s filthy rich (and more stodgy) character.  What we get here between the two is pretty good, but there’s so much focus on blood and gore that any deep character moments get tossed out the window.

The Art

Patrick Reynolds and Heather Moore’s art on Blood-Stained Teeth #1 is a unique style, but looks muddied and almost impressionistic in places, which is great for art museums, but when rendering a story narrative, makes things confusing.

The characters are drawn in a non-descriptive way.  As mentioned above, one of the characters appears in multiple scenes, but is drawn in a way that you can’t recognize it’s the same person in all those scenes.  It took me a reread of the book (because I was confused the first time) to realize what was going on.

The best part of the artwork is the way the city is drawn throughout the story.  The art style works here, because it really shows how far this city has fallen, with massive ugly neon lights seeming to blend with the grime of the streets to form a character in itself.

Final Thoughts

Blood-Stained Teeth #1 is an uneven start to a new series, with dull characters and a world that’s too similar to worlds we’ve seen in other stories. Maybe with time, the series will grow and develop into something more, but based on this issue, it’s a strictly average read.






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