16th Jun2017

‘Babyteeth #1’ (Aftershock Comics)

by Phil Wheat

Written by Donny Cates | Art by Garry Brown | Published by Aftershock


With God Country, Redneck, and now Babyteeth Donny Cates is making a run to be the biggest breakout writer of 2017. Not only have his books sold remarkably well they are also quite good. As a comic fan it is exciting when fresh faces come along in this world so it is hard not to unabashedly root for his success.

After reading Babyteeth #1 I feel my hope is secure. Sure based on the premise of the first issue this story is one we have seen before. Some sort of demonic baby is born into the world and everything then falls apart, but with a first issue you do not need to shock the world to sell your book. That tends to lead to an opening issue that overreaches and does way too much. Here Donny Cates does two major things. He begins developing a strong leading character in Saddie Ritters, and takes a sequences we have seen before and does it with his own sense of style. Cates and Garry Brown have done the impossible and made childbirth ever more scary.

We learn a lot about Saddie and her current life situation based on the way she reacts to her pregnancy as she chooses to hide it from everyone.  The fact she actually successful at doing so despite how far along she is in her pregnancy is evident how the people around her view her. We also see the dynamic  between her and her sister Heather, and the way Heather holds a sense of protection for Saddie. When Saddie does go into labor there is no shock but only action. She obviously knew what Saddie was hiding and let her keep her secret. These are only small tidbits but important at building the overall story.

Garry Brown’s art works well to make the delivery sequence quite effective. Earthquakes are not easy to depict in a comic but with a drastic change of coloring and well designed sound effects the impact of those tremors is felt. Panel wise he tends to stay within the basic nine panel grid framework with a few adjustments here and there. He can also draw one creepy looking cute baby.

This is only the third series I read by Donny Cates and a pattern is already emerging. His first issues are all about building the premise while at the same time introducing major character relationships that will surround that premise. With God Country it was a son attempting to help his dad while still supporting his current family. I sense a similar situation with Babyteeth it seem he is having a premise that may about the ending of the world but in fact its really about how this family interacts and reacts to this situation. Either way we can chalk this up as another major success for comics newest ‘It’ writer Donny Cates.

**** 4/5


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