"Babyteeth #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by AfterShock Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Garry Brown
Colored by Mark Englert
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 13th, 2017
After giving birth to the Antichrist, sixteen-year-old Sadie Ritter is struggling to figure things out as a single mom. This is made exponentially more difficult by the fact her infant, Clark, doesn’t drink milk. Instead, he drinks blood, specifically her own. Fortunately, Sadie has a good support system between her hard-as-nails sister and her awesome father. Now, if they can just do something about the assassins coming to kill her kid.
What is rather alarming about Babyteeth is how quickly and subtly the events escalate. One moment Sadie is taking her own blood to put in Clark’s bottles and the next she’s hoping her and her family are not gunned down by an assassin’s bullets. It’s something you don’t see coming at first, despite the appearance of said killer in the previous issue. This is the world that writer Donny Cates and artist Garry Brown have crafted that feels so real and natural that you’re engrossed within the characters’ lives.
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The father / grandfather of the year award definitely goes to Sadie’s dad. It goes to show how you can love someone unconditionally, even with any faults or oddities. When he learns about Clark’s penchant for blood, he doesn’t freak out or start screaming and yelling. He’s calm. He handles the situation like a man with experience.
This comes into play even more so later in the issue, catapulting him to World’s Greatest Dad status. There’s a powerful scene that is worthy of the likes of other fictional dads like Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights (my personal paternal role model). This is seen in Brown’s artwork too, depicting the man as caring and kind yet determined and steadfast. He’s strong and definitely someone you can depend on.
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Brown’s art direction pulls you into each panel, keeping your eyes glued to the page. He perfectly guides you through the story, keeping you focused on key elements and driving home specific emotional beats.
This issue takes place at night and colorist Mark Englert uses that darkness to help set the mood of several scenes. It’s like the shadows are closing in around the characters, ready to swallow them up if they’re not too careful. The people have a colored outline around them, which accentuates their movements and provides additional focus.
Every issue of Babyteeth has pulled me in deeper and deeper and this one is no exception. It is a riveting story with real, relatable characters. This is what makes for powerful, pulse-pounding horror. It looks like it’s just getting started and I cannot wait to see where it goes next.