BLOOD STAINED TEETH #6
Who is Dr. Beverly Phelps and why is she hunting the villainous First Born? And what is her connection to Atticus Sloane?
This issue differentiates itself from the first arc as it shifts focus completely away from our misanthropic bastard Atticus Sloane and his quest to save his own vampiric butt by snuffing out the “sips” he’s made and instead focuses on Dr. Beverly Phelps. Ward smartly fills in the gaps we have in the history of the character and delves deeper into her motivations and how she came to be a vampire, filling out her timeline as we follow her on her path to where the current arc ended. It’s a well-placed bridging issue that answers questions unanswered at the conclusion of the first arc.
The issue isn’t all talk, though. There is creepy hospital horror (brought to life marvelously by the art) and the requisite vampire-on-vampire violence that’s characterized every issue so far. While this issue could be a good jumping-on point for some, I am inclined to say that reading it in conjunction with Vol.1 of the series is a far better idea than reading it alone and moving into the next arc, as it’s still heavily tied to what’s gone before. Still, if you do read it as your first issue, it’s absolutely intriguing enough to make you go in search of the previous volume. Six issues in Ward’s modern vampire world is still as compelling as ever, with new vampires popping up every issue and feature characters like Dr. Phelps and others having their story expanded in meaningful ways.
Artist Mack Chater steps in for series regular and co-creator Patric Reynolds, and he’s an excellent choice. Matt’s style maintains the gritty, modern noir feel that’s a hallmark of the series. The opening pages of the issue are a masterclass on how to start a horror noir story, and once again, there is a play on the traditional hospital horror trope using strong eerie paneling before using more overt horror imagery. Heather Moore’s marvelous psychedelic neon palette ties this issue to the rest of the series for an almost flawless art continuity while letterer Hassan Otsmane Elhaou continues to show off how lettering is an actual art, not just throwing words down next to pictures.
You can check out our review of ISSUE #1 right HERE
Issue 6 of this series is a perfect stopgap between the first volume and where the creative team is taking us next. The shift of focus to another character uses the opportunity to its fullest extent and fleshes out the character of Stephanie Phelps, clarifying her motivations, how she got to where she is and exactly what her intentions are.
BLOOD STAINED TEETH #6: A Mother’s Motivation… (ADVANCED REVIEW)
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10