"Babyteeth #8" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by AfterShock Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Garry Brown
Colored by Mark Englert
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 14th, 2018
Oh man. Where to start with Babyteeth #8? If you're just joining us...where have you been?!? Teenager Sadie gave birth to the Antichrist and named him Clark. Now she's been taken to a weird underground civilization where she meets her estranged mother who totally worships the devil. All this, a murderous raccoon monster, and more.
There's a big exposition dump in this issue. This normally doesn't work well, as it's basically a ton of information which translates to huge blocks of text and not a lot of action. In the hands of writer Donny Cates, this is handled very well. It helps that the dialogue is riveting and dealing with some crazy stuff, greatly expanding on what we've learned to date regarding Sadie and her infant son.
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What's interesting is how Sadie's mother is shown. She has been nothing but welcoming since Sadie, her father, and her sister, Heather, have arrived...but she is 100% a Satanist. We're taught that that makes someone evil, but that runs in direct opposition to how she's acting for the most part. It creates this cognitive dissonance that is really fun, particularly as the issue plays out and we learn of the woman's larger plan.
Sadie and her mother have been separated for some time. This issue goes into why she left in the first place and drops some revelations regarding the structure of the family. Artist Garry Brown highlights the emotional connection between these two women that leads to some really touching moments. They grapple with destiny, love, and duty in this really intriguing way that pulls right on the heartstrings. There are some shots where they're almost staring right at you, cutting directly to your soul with a face on the verge of crying.
Then there's a raccoon monster. This sounds a little silly and it totally is, but it also leads to some of the best segments of the book. It definitely has one of my favorite lines of the year with Sadie's dad saying, “Just...follow the fire-breathing murder raccoon.” If some high schooler isn't out there making a punk rock band called fire-breathing murder raccoon, there is no justice in this world.
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This creature was summoned forth during one of Clark's screaming sessions a few issues back. It's this adorable purple little monster that has some connection to the Antichrist. We see here how powerful it is when it shoots terrifying flames out of its mouth. Colorist Mark Englert did a tremendous job with this sequence, contrasting the bright, sunny day of the exterior with harsh hellfire. It comes as shock as the flames billow out of this tiny creature. Right after this, it reverts to a wide-eyed little Pokemon-like animal. Is it wrong that I totally want this as a plush toy now?
This is the issue of Babyteeth that is not to be missed. Granted, every issue has been pretty great and you should be reading it if you like awesome comics. I mean that it is integral to the story, as there are a ton of revelations and some major movements in the plot. It's amazing to watch as characters start out one way and then slowly evolve into the complete opposite, flipping from a helpful ally to a horrifying enemy. This right here is one of the best single issues in recent memory. Babyteeth is firing on all cylinders with compelling characters and brilliant artwork. Damn, this is good.