The mysteries behind writer and artist Jeff Lemire and colorist Jose Villarrubia’s sequel-series are revealed in “Sweet Tooth: The Return” #4. This chapter finally irons out all of the secrets and connections between this series and its predecessor, and in a manner that builds the characters in ways that are meaningful. Complete with dirtbag villains and lovable protagonists, this is yet another winner from Lemire’s catalog and is certain to be a treat of an issue for fans of the original comic.
“Rejoice! For at long last the tale of the Boy’s miraculous birth is revealed. A savior born of holiness and science! Truly, such a feat could only be conducted by one as holy as Father. Behold! As the stage is set for the final confrontation between man and the abhorrent hybrid beasts that walk the earth! Praise! For out of nothing Father has birthed a savior: the Boy.”
Writing & Plot
Jeff Lemire’s focus in “Sweet Tooth: The Return” #4 is to catch the audience up on how exactly this story came to be in reference to the original. This is arguably the issue that everyone has been waiting for, the answer to why and how this story exists when the original wrapped up so perfectly. Lemire handles these events through the same flashback lens that the original comic used, though saying anymore would definitely lead to major spoilers. Many characters and events from the first Sweet Tooth series are namedropped here, and this is going to be the issue that gets fans talking about this mini-series. Admittedly, this is a much more dialogue and exposition-heavy issue than most Lemire comics, but it’s all delivered so naturalistically and in such a character-centric manner that it’s never boggy or boring. The main villain in this comic goes from your average a-hole to a prime example of complete human garbage over the course of this issue as we examine what his motivations are. While ‘The Boy” and his friends don’t get much attention this time around, there is enough development around them tied in with this issue’s revelations to keep developing our interest in this trio of kids. This is an comic that satisfies our long-standing curiosity about how this story came to be, as well as leaves us deeply anticipating the next chapter.
Every time a new issue comes out, I have to talk about just how perfectly charming Jeff Lemire’s pencils are. So, once again for “Sweet Tooth: The Return” #4, Lemire crafts this story with his artistic skills just as much as he does through writing. His wiry, rough hewn penciling is offered with a definite attention to character, with simplistic but effective expression animation. His panel direction is relatively straightforward, even with how this comic bounces from past to present. Lemire’s style really sells the uncanniness of the more haunting settings in bone-filled crypts and disturbing laboratories. Despite its outward lack of polish, Lemire’s art always has this sense of care in the visual work that makes his art all the more endearing. Now admittedly, much of what makes the visuals work so well here, and did in the original comic, is the colorwork of Jose Villarrubia. His tone-rich watercolors set the tone perfectly for every scene, ranging from the deep browns and greens of the woods to the dirty ruins of an old lab. Villarrubia also uses a neat kind of faded postcard look for the flashback sequences, and it’s a really neat take on the black and white color scheme. Overall this is once again another perfectly fitting visual experience for the story being told.
“Sweet Tooth: The Return” #4 is the piece of the puzzle we’ve all been waiting for. Jeff Lemire takes us through the events that separate the original series from this one via character-focused flashbacks and familiar plot devices. His visual work is his usual perfectly charming and unpolished style that is aided to perfection by Jose Villarrubia’s colors. This issue makes the wait for the following chapter almost intolerable, so join in on the suffering by picking up this comic when it hits shelves on 2-9!