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Review: Sweet Tooth: The Return #1

Sweet Tooth: The Return #1

I’ve never read an issue of Sweet Tooth. As much of a fan of Jeff Lemire as I am, I never went back and read the series, no matter how many good things I’ve heard. So, with its latest volume set to debut, I thought I’d dive in to Sweet Tooth: The Return #1. And, after the first issue, I’m intrigued…

Sweet Tooth: The Return isn’t a follow up it seems. From the solicits it’s described as a “bold re-imagining” of the mythology. It takes the elements of the original series and remixes them into something familiar but new. As I haven’t read the original, I can’t really comment on that. The comic and the world is new to me. So, I’ll leave others to go in that direction.

Writer and artist Jeff Lemire delivers a world of mystery. It’s a story of indoctrination with a theme and message that can be debated for some time. Where Lemire is going with it all, I’m not quite sure yet but there’s a clear focus on a cult-like world. That focus had me wondering if Lemire was giving us a series with commentary on our modern world, taking his classic concept with updating it with today’s sociopolitical world. Where the environment might have been a topic before, demagogic leaders is the theme of this one.

The debut issue introduces us to a mysterious world as its main character explores and discovers it, so do we. It’s a location where we feel captive and denied knowledge. An interesting debut that toys and plays with how much information is provided to the reader and when. Just when you think you’re about to break free, for instance, you don’t. Instead, the issue and its world remains somewhat claustrophobic and confined.

Lemire is joined by José Villarubia on the art. Lemire’s style is enhanced with Villarubia’s watercolor-like addition. The art is beautiful, as expected. There’s also a weird beauty of this world. It’s an almost sterile environment, perfect in design with nothing out of place. That leaves the small details to focus on. Dirty, crusty finger nails deliver a sense of malevolence. What seems like mechanical nurses adds a bit of unease. It’s a mystery of a debut that forces you to look for clues among the visuals.

Sweet Tooth: The Return #1 is an interesting debut. While it doesn’t have me wanting to see what has come before, I want to see where the series goes. The story of attempting to escape your current reality is something that’s very relevant to today and the religious aspect to it makes it all the more intriguing. As someone new to the world of Sweet Tooth, I’m excited to see where it all goes and watch Lemire work his usual magic.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Jeff Lemire
Color: José Villarubia Letterer: Steve Wands
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Sweet Tooth: The Return #1

Sweet Tooth: The Return #1

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Jeff Lemire
Color: José Villarubia

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Gus. He had antlers and lived with his father in a little cabin in the woods. Then his father died, and the big man with cold eyes took Gus away. Gus went on many great adventures, found friends, love, happiness, family, and acceptance. Now, years later…it begins again. A young boy with antlers and deer-like feature wakes in a bizarre and completely foreign world where the last humans struggle to survive. They tell the boy he is special, he is chosen, and that he alone can lead them back to a world dominated by the oppressive Hybrids. Sweet Tooth: The Return is no re-hash of the original series, but rather a bold re-imagining of the Sweet Tooth mythology; taking elements of the original series and remixing them into something familiar, but totally new. A divided world. A planet long ago past the point of devastation. And at the center of it all, a child who didn’t ask to be born into any of this, but who has no choice but to try and forge some life for himself. His visions and dreams may not be real at all…they may just be fiction. But they are hope. And sometimes hope is enough. Acclaimed writer/artist Jeff Lemire reunites with colorist José Villarubia to bring you the next chapter in the saga of DC’s acclaimed series Sweet Tooth!

Sweet Tooth: The Return #1

Dark Horse Announces an Afterlift Comics Retailer Incentive

Dark Horse has announced a new incentive for comic shops ordering the comiXology original series Afterlift. Shops that order 5 copies of the graphic novel by the final order cutoff of November 2 will receive 5 free book plates (a max of 20 per store) with original artwork by Jeff Lemire and signed by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo.

Arriving in print February 2021, Aferlift is colored by Paris Alleyne, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, and edited by Allison O’Toole, includes a Jason Loo Sketchbook with commentary by Chip Zdarsky as well as a process piece called Anatomy of a Page.

Afterlift is a fast-paced story about car chases, demon bounty hunters, and figuring out your place in this world and the next. Janice Chen recently quit her day job in finance and signs up to be a driver on a ride-sharing app. She has enough to deal with, from annoying passengers to overbearing parents. But what was at first a mundane yet enjoyable way to pass the time takes a terrible turn when she picks up a pair of mysterious passengers who are pursued by otherworldly forces, Janice realizes that her already-terrible day might be headed straight to hell.

Preview: Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place #1

Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place #1

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Michael Del Mundo
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 30, 2020
SRP: $4.99

There’s a monster raging in America’s heartland – and it’s not the Hulk. When a young girl goes missing on a Kansas farm, Bruce Banner gets the itch – the one that tells him gamma is on the loose. But this town doesn’t take kindly to strangers – especially the big, green, violent kind. Can the Hulk save a child before it’s too late, or is he about to take the blame for another massacre?

Immortal Hulk: Threshing Place #1

Underrated: Black Hammer: Secret Origins

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Black Hammer: Secret Origins

A lot has been said about Black Hammer, Jeff Lemire’s homage to the classic hero comics of yesteryear, and much of that praise can be found on the back of this very collection. Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Cullen Bunn, Dan Jurgens and more are all effusive in their praise for a comic that Mark Millar called “the most brilliant comic I’ve read in years.”

I would agree with everything said on the back of the book, honestly. Jeff Lemire is one of the dozen or so writers whose work I will read without caring what it is because I know the quality of writing will always be very high (of course there are some things that just don’t do it for me, but not because they’re bad – but because it’s not entirely my cup of tea). Black Hammer is one of those things that is both really good (better, honestly, than I expected), and entirely my thing.

In short, it’s one of the best things that I have ever read from Jeff Lemire.

So what exactly is the book about? I’ll use the blurb from the back of the book to explain:

Wiped out of their superhero universe by a multiversal crisis, the forgotten heroes of Spiral City now live as a dysfunctional family on a mysterious farm in a small town from which they have no escape.

If it sounds intriguing, well you’ll be happy to know that’s only the very tip of the iceberg. The premise is good, and promises an interesting look at what life looks like after (forced) retirement, but it’s the way that the characters come to life on the page that’s truly gripping. Some have accepted their new lot in life, and are even making the best of what cards they’ve been dealt as they adjust to life after superheroics.

And some, well, some have never given up trying to get home.

The way that Lemire frames the opening parts of Black Hammer (as I write this I have the following three volumes on my read pile, but I’m just looking at volume one today) is that escape is hopeless, and anything other than acceptance is foolishness. But if that were you, would you accept what you’ve been given or do your damnedest to get back to the home you knew, even if it may not be as peaceful as where you are?

The answer, ultimately, would depend on a couple key differences; whether you were at least content with the new life you had or if it was driving you to insanity. Within the pages of Black Hammer, there are characters nearing their breaking point (or in some cases may have already gone beyond the breaking point), and it’s fascinating watching them all struggle to navigate the normal that they now find themselves in.

Black Hammer has spoken to my love of modern takes on distinctly Golden Age heroes. With a Justice League like group of characters locked in mysterious pocket dimension where they’re forced to live normal lives on a farm, we get to explore what happens to a hero on a forced retirement. Not everybody I know is a fan of where this comic is going, and how it’s been getting there, but every issue has been a win for me – which is another reason this appears in this issue of Underrated. But the tinges of something lingering just beneath the surface give a genuine sense of unease to the comic. Black Hammer is very much a slow burn, but it’s going to be incandescent when we get the pay off at the end…

Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Gideon Falls Will Keep Readers Guessing Until December with an 80-page Finale

Gideon Falls #27

The Eisner Award winning Gideon Falls by New York Times bestselling writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino (the creative team behind Green Arrow and Old Man Logan), with the talents of Eisner Award winning colorist Dave Stewart, will come to its show-stopping conclusion with an extra-length, shelf-busting issue #27. This final, mind-bending issue will clock in at 80 pages and release from Image Comics this December.

The horror/mystery series became an overnight success and critical darling when it launched in March 2018. It went on to take home the 2019 Eisner Award for Best New Series and become one of the top selling, reordered series at Image Comics with multiple reprints.

Gideon Falls explores the lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed up Catholic Priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets. At the heart of the town’s secrets is intertwined the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, a otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake.

Fans won’t want to miss the satisfaction of this finale. Gideon Falls #27 will be the final issue in the series and will be available at local comic book shops in December.

Comics Deserve Better: Episode 4: Descender #1-7 by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, and Steve Wands

In this episode of Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan gush over the first arc of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen‘s 2015 space opera comic, Descender. Stay tuned for chatter about small robots, big robots, and great watercolor art. Other comics mentioned on the show, include Robert Kirkman and Chris Samnee‘s blockbuster Fire Power, self-published darlings Post and Stella vs. the Tinder Box, Tom Taylor and Daniele Di Nicuolo‘s Seven Secrets, Evan Dahm‘s Harrowing of Hell, and more. (Episode art by Dustin Nguyen)

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