A father and son live in isolation in the woods until one day the father dies. The son must carry on without his father in Sweet Tooth Vol. 1.
Father and son lived alone because the father believed the outside world was fire and looked like literal hell. The father believed the rest of the world wes taken up to heaven in the rapture by way of a plague.
This plague also caused any children to be born as half animal. The son in the series, Gus, is one of those children as he is half deer with antlers.
After the death of his father Gus buries him next to Gus’ mother, but as he is doing so hunters shoot a deer next to him. They try to capture him because hybrids as they are called are worth a lot of money.
A mysterious stranger named Jepperd comes in to save Gus and kills the two hunters. Jepperd offers to take Gus to a place called The Preserve where hybrids can live in safety. However, Gus was always told by his father to never ever leave the woods.
Gus decides to trust Jepperd and the two work their way to the promised land. Life outside the woods is very different than anything Gus is used to and even more different than his father told him it was like.
Sweet Tooth Vol. 1 was written and drawn by Jeff Lemire with colors by Jose Villarrubia. Vertigo published the volume in 2013.
This comic blew me away right from the start and just kept getting better. It reminded me of The Village at the start with the isolation because of the outside world being instant death. However, because I saw that movie I was unsure if the father was telling the truth about the outside world.
It is slowly revealed there was a plague and it did cause death and the hybrid children, but it happened 7 years ago and Gus is 9. The time frames don’t match up which leads to more questions about what the truth is. This makes me think Gus’ dad was a scientist and created Gus and accidently created the plague.
Gus is such a sweet and innocent boy that I started to care for him and root for him to find The Preserve. His character’s innocence lives in dichotomy with Jepperd’s violence and the bleak world. Jepperd brutally kills multiple people right in front of Gus. At one point Gus tells him that he knows he had to kill those people, but he isn’t a bad person.
Jepperd is another mystery because he is a middle-aged man who can kill many people very quickly. When he gets hurt he is able to heal up enough to fight again very fast. The most interesting thing is in one fight he either cuts or rips out someone’s throat with his bare hands. My question is if Jepperd is a hybrid too.
This comic is amazing I loved it so much. The dystopian world is sucking me in and I am fascinated by it. I want to reveal the mystery of this world. Lemire does an amazing job of making complex characters who I care about. His art is not the cleanest, but he is able to capture the emotion of the character very well. It is very easy to see the different emotions through the character’s eyes.
I haven’t been this into a dystopian comic since I started reading The Walking Dead and is done at the same high level. Sweet Tooth Vol. 1 does a better job with getting the reader to connect with the characters faster than The Walking Dead though. However, if you like the The Walking Dead you will love this comic.