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"Babyteeth #12" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by AfterShock Comics

Babyteeth 12 00

Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Garry Brown
Colored by Mark Englert
Lettered by Taylor Esposito
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 15th, 2018

Review:

Sadie is sitting powerless while her sister, Heather, and infant son / Anti-Christ, Clark, are stranded in the Red Realm. Her only hope of finding them is young Simon, a previous Anti-Christ who could open a portal to that hellscape, but that's no easy task. He was stuck there for some time and he's in no rush to go back.

Babyteeth #12 is a heavy dialogue issue, however it's just as riveting as it's ever been. Writer Donny Cates has spent time developing these characters and it pays off in dividends with these heartbreaking moments, such as the opening pages where Sadie “celebrates” her son's first birthday. This is like an emotional gut punch.

Sadie lashes out in anger because she needs to do something. She doesn't care where he son is, she just knows that he needs her. Sadie pours her heart out to Simon in this beautiful scene that shows just how strong a mother's love is. I know that sounds corny to say, especially in a review for a horror comic, but shut up. I'm not crying. You're crying.

Babyteeth 12 01Babyteeth 12 02
Click images to enlarge

This interaction is also interesting because it shows that adults don't know everything. Up until this point, Sadie and Simon have been pushed around by their elders and told what to do and what's best for them. When they can sit down and have a heart-to-heart chat, they can figure a lot of things out in a short amount of time. This is done calmly and peacefully instead of screaming and yelling. I mean, remember when Sadie's mom tried to make things right and got a whole bunch of people killed? Maybe let the kids try it out for once.

While the dialogue carries an emotional weight, it's made so much stronger by Garry Brown's artwork. He can say so much in a single facial expression. That ranges from deadpan humor to an outpouring of affection and everything in between. I'm particularly impressed by how Brown balances the comedic moments in Babyteeth with the somber ones. There are laugh-out-loud scenes interspersed with these important character beats.

The scene with Sadie and Simon makes them look so small. Although they are capable of figuring things out, they are still just kids. They've been through so much in their short lives and that burden is just weighing them down.

Babyteeth 12 03Babyteeth 12 04
Click images to enlarge

Colorist Mark Englert controls the tone of Babyteeth, moving from the calm cool blues of the evening where Sadie and Simon chat to the fiery explosion of color from the Red Realm. The contrast is startling and signifies the change we're about to see. These characters have had their moment of peace. They've caught their breath in the still of the night and now they're about to march into a crimson explosion of fire and death.

Babyteeth #12 builds to an incredible cliffhanger, although you should know by now that just about every issue does that. This is a book that will keep you wanting more and I hope it runs forever. I like how letterer Taylor Esposito brings out the final words, which are said in a weakened and frightened state. The font is smaller, like the speech is coming out faint and you'd have to lean in close to hear everything. It makes the last panel all the more jaw-dropping.

Seriously guys, just go buy this comic. Buy it every month because Babyteeth is consistently one of the best comics out there. Where else are you going to read about a young girl and her Anti-Christ baby trapped in a hell dimension? You're not going to find that in Oprah's book club.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Babyteeth 12 Cover
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Babyteeth 12 Cover
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Babyteeth 12 Cover
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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