Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth #10 is the end of the second arc of the comic as well as perhaps the series. Despite my hopes that this would prove to be an ongoing series, I am glad to have followed the adventures of Cecily Baine and her Anarch collegues for as many issues as I have. I am pleased to say the characters will also have their adventures continued for at least three more issues in the World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw miniseries that also just started.
The premise is that Cecily Baine is a former Anarch that betrayed the cause in order to get a place where she could keep her mentally-ill sister. Now an enforcer for the elitist Camarilla, she finds herself in a large number of palace intrigues in the Twin Cities. While she managed to evade the problems of a coup and vampire hunters in the first story arc, everything comes to a head in this issue.
The Mortician’s Army, a heavily-armed militia of vampire hunters, has managed to attack the personal skyscraper of the vampire elite. They have managed to corner the city’s ruling class in the hour before sunset and are now taking the fight to them. Cecily was happy to abandon the elder vampires to their doom but finds herself trapped with them and unwillingly ends up protect them as she struggles to survive herself.
The big emotional moment of Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth #10 is the confrontation between Cecily and her “childe” Alejandra. The latter has revealed that not only was she the daughter of the Moritcian but she is far from the innocent manipulated by her family that Cecily hoped she was. Cecily might have forgiven her being a vampire hunter but as a power hungry traitor? No, Cecily knows that she must destroy her only remaining friend.
The ending of Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth #10 is quite surprising and really manages to tie the themes together quite well. Cecily wants desperately to hang onto her Anarch cred but the Camarilla, once it gets its talons into it, is hard to resist. I think this is the sort of ironic hell that works well for Vampire: The Masquerade games and will tickle the majority of readers who enjoy the back and forth intrigue of High Clan games.
The art, as usual, is beautiful and a great balance is kept between the action versus the characterization. You really get a good sense of what the characters are thinking from panel to panel right up until the end. We don’t get much of an ending for the “Anarch Tales” but they were always a secondary storyline to Cecily’s journey.
In conclusion, this was a fantastic series and I look forward to buying the second volume of the graphic novel. Blake Howard, Tini Howard, and Tim Seeley have created a very entertaining addition to the World of Darkness with a single storyline that ends on a satisfying note. It definitely ranks there among the better additions to the franchise.