Sweet Tooth: The Return #6 – Jeff Lemire, Writer/Artist; Jose Villarrubia, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Compared to the thirty-odd issues that the original series ran, six issues of Sweet Tooth: The Return barely feels like a teaser of a return to this universe. But that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been an excellent teaser, as we got to know a new version of the young hybrid Gus as he faced challenges and conspiracies as grim as the original—but mostly without the help of his most trusted companion. The battle against Father reaches a gripping conclusion in this issue, as the people of the below finally rise up and take a stand, and Gus is faced with an impossible choice. The last ten pages are an exceptional series of twists, turns, and gut punches ending in a final page that’s more an ambiguous statement of hope for the future than anything. Lemire obviously had something to say by returning to this world for a brief stay, and I think he accomplished it. Really, just getting to see Lemire cartoon at his best is worth the price of admission.
American Vampire 1976 #7 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Tula Lotay, Francisco Francavilla, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Artists; Dave McCaig, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: It’s something completely different this issue, as Scott Snyder teams up with a trio of artists for a break from the main story—in three interconnected tales of terror.
First up, it’s Tula Lotay on a story that essentially serves as the genesis of the American vampire saga, as an aging George Washington gets an unexpected visit from a long-gone face in his last days, begging him to abort a pact he’s about to make. This one is gorgeously drawn and haunting, with a subtle horror to it that really works.
The story shifts dramatically for Francisco Francavilla’s story, set only a few years before the main narrative as Pearl and Jim seek out information from an unexpected ally in 1973 New York. The two air out some old business and discover some dark secrets before the story concludes in a hail of grindhouse violence. This one feels like it stepped right out of the main story.
The third story by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz is the shortest of the three, and is more of a character-setting piece for Travis and Gus, as the two redneck vampire hunters exchange gifts and have a rare moment of relative peace in the Florida swamps. Unlike the other stories, it’s light and funny—which means horror is likely right around the corner. Overall, these three stories do a great job of setting the tone for the final act of the series.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.