Customer Reviews: Sweet Tooth Vol. 2: In Captivity
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on December 14, 2010
This TPB collects the "In Captivity" story arc (issues #6-11) of Canadian writer/artist Jeff Lemire's fascinating, character-driven, post-apocalyptic monthly Vertigo comic book series. Protagonist Gus is a deer-human "hybrid" boy who upon his father's death and the collapse of outside society has left his isolated wooded home for Sheppard's promise of "the preserve". The last volume ended with Sheppard trading Gus to the militia camp in exchange for a large duffel bag. The story alternates among three periods of Tommy Sheppard's life: flashbacks of his professional ice hockey career with the Minnesota Wildcats and life with pregnant wife Louise before the accident, his further decline after leaving Gus at the camp, and his brutal first encounter with the militia camp after months on the road, the entire focus of Issue #11. The camp experiments on and interviews Gus, with a relatively kindly doctor probing Gus' memories about life in the woods with his late father. Lemire slowly reveals more details about the causes and circumstances of society's fall. This title was nominated for a 2010 "Best New Series" Eisner Award. I've enjoyed every Sweet Tooth issue thus far.
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on February 2, 2016
I was slightly unimpressed with the first volume of this comic, Lemire has a gift for strong character interaction--particularly with complicated family dynamics--and while the premise was wildly original, the beginning of "the road meets Bambi" was too literally implemented. The secondary character motivations were mostly unprovoked malice and seems to small of the kinds of character simplifications that ruin post-apocalyptic films and television (AMC's Walking Dead being a prime offender). This actually started to deliver more on the premise by removing the malice from many of the main actors and taking time with the backstory, even if there are still some cartoonish villains in the brew.

Lemire's art still works here and the expressionistic art is maintained. Some of the panel designs are particularly innovative and some of the mystery is more firmly established. It takes it's time with movement, which is nice as comics often rush development in a way that cheapens the characters. That said, I still feel that this isn't quite living up to it's critical acclaim level yet. It's good. It's very good. Lemire is talented artist and writer, and both in one person is rare, and Vertigo is doing a good job of letting these characters breathe, which was rare in comics. Some of Lemire's superhero work seems to suffer from being forced to accelerate things.

Those caveats aside, this volume, more than the first, let me truly see it's promise
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on January 21, 2016
If you enjoyed the first book in this series, this second volume continues the unique and awesome story while moving it forward at a solid pace. Really not sure how much more needs to be explained beyond that, as Jeff Lemire keeps up the quality of work here.
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on June 9, 2016
I love that right off its treated like a series or show where they do a "previously on" and recap the previous volume. I think the pace was pretty steady and we're learning a lot about the characters and what's happening in this new world.

We pick up with Gus and Jepperd on their journey to "The Preserve." Jepperd promised to take Gus to this safe haven. It's supposed to be a sanctuary for Gus and other hybrids, but it isn't what it seems. Nothing is. What Gus learns is you can't always trust the ones you love... Heart ache, guilt, and determination are rolled into this packed volume.

I totally feel for poor Gus and Jepperd with their losses and trying to cope. It's got to be hard. Jepperd struggling with internal issues which is reveal to be about his late wife, Louise, and Gus becomes and experiment at "The Preserve".

And that ending! Before starting I did NOT see that coming, but started to pick up on some hints and was like noooooo way! I'm really interested to see where this goes and how it all connects.
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on June 6, 2016
Lemire is arguably the greatest comic author and artist of his generation. The realistic "Essex County" is one of the greatest graphic novels of recent years, and he has jumped to a radically different genre with this disturbing and affecting post-apocalyptic story of desperation and mutation, with a simple and scared "freak" at the emotional center. This volume explains the motives of Tom Jepperd, who at the end of the last collection seemed to be a mercenary and a traitor. Like all of Lemire's characters, he goes much deeper than that.

"Sweet Tooth" should be on any serious comic fan's reading list.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 11, 2011
The second book of Jeff Lemire's apocalyptic sci-fi horror "Sweet Tooth" sees our hero Gus in a concentration camp with fellow human-animal hybrid kids who are being experimented on in a Dr Mengele-like fashion. But wait, the yuks just keep on coming! Jepperd, the Judas of the first book, is given his day in court also and we learn of his tragic relationship with his now-deceased wife, and we find out clues about the origin of the mysterious plague that has ruined this reality.

Lemire expands on his world-in-ruins that we caught glimpses of in the first book. We see what's become of society and the survivor camps. We find out how the survivors are coming to terms with this massive shift in life and how they are trying to reverse the plague. What's interesting is that through some weird hypnosis sequence involving a plague doctor and Gus, we see Gus' father differently as well as Gus' own origin.

Things are left unresolved on all storylines though as there are several more books in the series planned. It's a tantalising setup though which initially felt like it was a Road-Warrior mashup with Cormac McCarthy's "The Road but is turning out to be something totally original.

Lemire's art is as strong as in the first book but the overall tone of this second book is far more depressing and darker than the first. Nonetheless it is compulsively readable and I enjoyed it a lot. The setups in Book 2 mean that Book 3 promises to be really exciting.

Comics fans looking for something a bit different will do well to check out this original series.
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on December 14, 2014
A great comic that keeps your attention from start to finish. I would suggest to start on volume 1 so you're not missing anything important. I read a lot of comics and this has to be one of my favorites.
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on December 31, 2010
The technique for writing this arc is one I haven't found in any other comic. Lemire takes two characters and tells separate stories about them, while linking them to a larger plot. Jeppard and Sweet Tooth were developed quite a bit in the first volume, but here we go much much deeper, and then you start to realize that this big mystery has just begun. All the supporting characters are well written, but I'm in love with the fact that the story is focusing on two central characters, even though they did not come into contact with eachother this round.

I don't want to give anything away, but volume two is better than the first. It just feels like a bomb ticking away before an explosive event occurs. The tension is high, and the mystery is thick. There's nothing that can stop me from picking up volume 3 the day it comes out. I'm dying to know the answers, and Lemire has set up one big, big story.
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on November 26, 2011
The second volume in Jeff Lemire's atypical post-apocalypse begins to explore the backstory and shed light on how the world came to the devastated state it is now in. The character development is great, and the odd and often misshapen art works perfectly with the unsettling story. There is violence, but it is not what the story is built around. The emotions and mystery are the driving force behind this excellent story.
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on January 9, 2014
** spoiler alert ** I have not been enjoying Sweet Tooth. As I suspected, this volume made Jepperd more of a protagonist instead of leaving him a bad guy as he appeared to be when delivering Gus to the "preserve" in the last volume.

I am not a fan of Sweet Tooth's art style, and it feels like the story is progressing at the speed of a snail. Yes, it was interesting that Gus may have been the first hybrid, or even the cause of the plague. And I did like that he wasn't actually born, but possibly created by his "crazy" father. But the writer, Jeff Lemire, is taking so long to deliver these interesting plot points, that it makes the rest of the book feel mediocre.

Prediction: Jepperd's wife and baby are alive!
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