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Babyteeth #1

Writer: Donny Cates
Penciler: Garry Brown
Colorist: Mark Englert
Publisher: Aftershock Comics

A while back, writer Mark Millar and artist Peter Gross explored the second coming of Christ in their critically acclaimed supernatural series “American Jesus.” Now, Aftershock Comics delivers a new title that deals with the birth of the Antichrist in a manner that’s both wonderfully horrifying and engrossing.

Told in flashbacks from the perspective of the Antichrist’s mother Sadie Ritter, “Babyteeth” #1 recounts the bizarre and otherworldly circumstances surrounding the child’s birth. While Sadie is a mere teenager at the time with enough problems and fears already on her mind, she endures even more unimaginable terrors when she goes into labor. It’s here that she encounters a mix of demonic forces, which then pave the way for the post-apocalyptic present which her adult self narrates from.

Creators Donny Cates and Garry Brown handle this material well, particularly with the characterization of Sadie. While the narration is delivered by her as an adult, it’s her teenage self that we see and empathize with as her entire world is flipped upside down. Cates’ script and Brown’s pencils go hand in hand, capturing both the darkest aspects of the story as well as the human themes that really drive it. Likewise, Mark Englert’s colors add a whole other dimension of occult horror to Brown’s already stellar world-building. This issue is as cinematic and eery as one could hope for. Just be careful if you decide to read it before going to bed.

Aftershock has been putting out some great books lately, and “Babyteeth” is no exception. It’s a great time to start adding some of their titles to your pull-list, and you can also meet some of their representatives and creators next weekend in Charlotte at HeroesCon. Come on down and stop by the Ultimate Comics table while you’re there. I’ll be there too, and am always game to talk comics!

-KEVIN SCHAEFER for Ultimate Comics