Babyteeth #1 (Aftershock Comics)
Aftershock Comics has been making quite the name for themselves lately. While they don’t have the volume of titles like Image or Dark Horse, they’ve been acquiring the kind of talent that definitely makes you stop and take notice. Their latest series, Babyteeth, is no exception. Co-created by God Country and Redneck writer Donny Cates, Babyteeth is a surprisingly sweet take on the old “girl gives birth to the Antichrist” story that we’ve seen plenty of times before in horror movies.
Sadie Ritter is a sixteen year old girl who’s about to go into labor. Funny thing is though, with each contraction, the ground shakes underneath her. Instead of her water breaking, she’s bleeding. Once she makes it to the hospital, she blacks out and finds herself in a white, quiet space. She comes to once the baby is born, and even though it has pale skin and jet black eyes, Sadie doesn’t mind, it’s her child, and she loves him. And she’ll do anything to protect him.
It’s this take on the Antichrist story that makes Babyteeth so unique. Instead of being afraid of her child, Sadie loves him unconditionally. Donny Cates’ script makes you feel for Sadie and fully understand the love she has for her son (who she names “Clark” in a funny nod to Superman). Cates’ gift for characterization is on full display here, creating a character that is just as fully realized as the ones in his other books God Country and Redneck. Sadie’s a character that you immediately want to spend more time with as soon as you finish the book.
Garry Brown’s art is a little looser than I prefer, but he’s able to express the right human emotions on the characters to make this book work. Sadie’s love practically beams off her face with Brown’s pencils, and he even makes baby Clark look kind of cute in a demonic baby sort of way. While he could work on his details in his art, so far Brown’s a good companion to Cates’ script.
Babyteeth’s subject matter isn’t going to be for everyone, but it is a pretty cool and refreshing take on a well-worn horror trope. Cates leaves us on a very intriguing cliffhanger, and while I do wish this issue was just a little bit longer, I can’t wait to see what else he’s got up his sleeve. Mark this as another win for the newest hit writer on the block.