Winter’s Teeth marked the return of Vampire: The Masquerade to comics for the first time in decades. I’m a long-time VtM fan, so this was pretty cool to see. The first book collected the first six issues of the comic, and this book collects issues 7-12. As I noted in my review of Book One, the protagonist vampire (Cecily Bain, Camarilla enforcer) was interesting and the convoluted politics were very Vampire – well worth checking out for VtM fans or anyone interested in bloody politics. If that sounds like you and you haven’t read Book One yet, go check that out first – Book Two is very much a continuation of an ongoing story and not a jumping off point. (Note that instead of Winter’s Teeth, Books One and Two, you may see these books described as Winter’s Teeth and The Mortician’s Army.)
If you read and liked Book One, you’ll definitely want to check out Book Two. The political scheming and violence goes into overdrive. The stakes keep getting higher as a justicar pays a visit and the vampire hunters close in. And the political maneuvering just gets more complex. But there’s they still work in personal matters for Cecily and Ali, not just alongside the political plot but sometimes weaved together with it. Maybe the climax of Winter’s Teeth is bloody politics, but the conclusion is very personal.
The main weakness of the book is the “Anarch Tales” b-stories, which are basically irrelevant to the main plot. I kept expecting that plot to link back up with the main one, but just didn’t happen. Maybe it will pay off in Crimson Thaw (the continuation of the Winter’s Teeth story), but here it felt like a distraction.
I continue to like the artwork and think the style fits the World of Darkness vibe well, although I do wish Cecily didn’t “vamp out” when she goes to drink someone’s blood – I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that’s not a thing in the World of Darkness.
As with Book One, there’s also some mechanical content for the tabletop roleplaying game included. There’s a loresheet for the Mortician’s Army hunter group. Many of the options could be re-purposed to work with any hunter group that’s an ongoing presence in a chronicle, although as a Storyteller I think the higher-dot options could be problematic from a chronicle management perspective. There are also four new Thin-blood Alchemy powers.
But the main thing is that once I started reading Book Two, I was compelled to devour the whole thing in one go. If you liked Book One, you will like Book Two.
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