Review: Sweet Tooth: The Return #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Jeff Lemire
Colors: José Villarrubia
Letters: Steve Wands
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
By the end of issue #1, Gus realized that everything he had been told does not add up. Now, in Sweet Tooth: The Return #2 Gus discovers that the man he has called Father has been outright lying about so much more.
The lies parent tell children are some of the most influential and damaging a person will experience. On a mundane level, lies can foster hope or offer comfort. On a grander scale, lies can obscure great truths.
When Gus discovers Penny and learns that he is not the last of his kind the lies he uncovers puts them both in danger. Gus is just recovering memories he’s trying to understand, but he feels he needs to remember more.
The appearance of a familiar face at the end of the last issue is the first image in this issue. In the event, the person standing in front of Gus appears almost real. And the sudden disappearance is so jarring it triggers and unlocks memories and experiences that Gus doesn’t recall living yet somehow he remembers.
Father looks even older in a regeneration chamber. The discovery that Gus has not only escaped but possibly contacted someone as dangerous as a little girl named Penny warrants the intrusion on this personal time. It is apparent that Father is fighting to stay alive despite time and aging. But when the project known as Gus is at risk recapturing him becomes more important than the process that keeps Father alive.
Penny is a wonderful discovery. In the midst, of all of his doubt and uncertainty, it is Penny who is certain that her father and others are right when she tells Gus said he’s going to save them. At the ejected Gus Chase, “what’s the point? Nothing matters now. It was all a lie.” to which penny responds, “just because the world is cruel, doesn’t mean you can’t believe in something.”
If there’s any negative in this story it would come from the impatient reader. That reader who brushed by and missed in the quiet moments that make this issue so powerful. To that reader who rushed through, read through again and each time, go slower. This reviewer would enjoy reading what happens next.
Jeff Lemire took a risk when he catapulted the story 300 years into the future. But the payoff is substantial. The result is a story about the legacy of Gus. What happens when the truth obscures and people must use what they can learn to plan a better understanding of the world that is being kept from them.
The possibility that something else exists which is both free dangerous and therefore enticing is the lure that any fly-fisher would appreciate. It is beautiful; it is free; it catches the eye and will not let go, and because of that it is worth pursuing. New readers and old fans will enjoy getting hooked.