Collective Consciousness Babyteeth #1

by stephengervais on June 06, 2017

Welcome back to Collective Consciousness, our weekly article where the staff takes one comic and puts it under the microscope. This allows us, and you, faithful reader, to get a good idea of how the comic fares against a variety of opinions. This week we're taking a look at a debut from Aftershock Comics, Babyteeth #1.
Aftershock solicit: “ Sadie Ritter is sixteen years old, nine months pregnant, and scared out of her sweet nerdy mind. Having a baby that young is tough, but with the support of her loving family behind her, everything should be okay. OH YEAH, and also her baby is the antichrist and it's going to break open the barriers between the earthly and demonic planes and unleash eternal suffering to all of humankind. Other than that, though...should be fine.”
Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Garry Brown
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Forrest Hollingsworth
I’m, as a huge fan of Donny Cates, unfortunately conflicted about this one. It’s not what one might expect from this book, especially reading its premise, but it has a unique energy that I’m interested in seeing honed over the coming issues.  
It’s a slow burn of a first issue but it effectively hints at more to come which is, as far as I’m concerned, the most important aspect of any first issue. Cates is, as evidenced by God Country and Ghost Fleet, incredibly good at writing and hinting at deep, pantheon-like lore that Babyteeth’s first issue is steeped in, grounded by the connection between mother and child, the dichotomy between those two more than enough to lay a compelling narrative foundation here.
The art, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same kind of unique energy. It’s more than passable but pedestrian – surprising given Brown’s awesome work on Black Road. The scenes with demonic intervention, lines laid slightly askew and atop each other I found especially hard to parse. 
A dark and moody affair, Babyteeth’s first issue doesn’t have the immediacy or bombastic energy one might expect from Cates and the art doesn’t do enough to carry the slow burn but there’s just enough compelling forward momentum that by the issue’s end I’m eager and a little scared to see what’s next. 
Hussein Al-Wasiti
Donny Cates is currently one of the best writers in the industry. His work on God Country and Redneck alone may be Image classics already. When I heard he was writing this series, I thought to myself, "… another one?" If this ends up being a hit then he'll end up in the pantheon.
While I enjoyed this issue, it was a little bit more traditional with the page count and hence we got a shorter story. However, I loved the hints that Cates dropped that pertain to the parentage of the main character's, Sadie's, child.
The art by Garry Brown was mostly good, but I thought at times it looked slightly off. I don't this his style particularly fits the tone of the story being told, but it was good for what it was and he did a good job rendering the more supernatural elements that we see later on in the book.
I wouldn't recommend rushing out and grabbing this one. We've seen this kind of story before, but Cates is a smart man and my opinion might completely change when the next few issues hit.

Our Score:


A Look Inside