Netflix's 'Sweet Tooth' Made Some Noticeable Changes From The Comics

- Sweet Tooth -
Netflix's 'Sweet Tooth' Made Some Noticeable Changes From The Comics

Between 2009 and 2013, DC's Vertigo imprint released 40 issues of Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth comic book series. Much like the Netflix adaptation, the comics expertly balanced the relentless optimism of Gus with the stoic pessimism of Jepperd. But the show ultimately has a far gentler spirit, which becomes even more apparent when you compare the ending of the Sweet Tooth comics with the ending of Season 1.

It should be noted that Season 1 doesn't cover the entire 40 issue run of the comic series, so the season finale is vastly different than the end of the comics. In truth, Sweet Tooth the show diverges from the comics in several major ways during Season 1, so if the Netflix series continues, the ultimate ending may change as well. As it is, the first season wraps up with Gus in the custody of Abbot and Dr. Singh with an injured Jepp recuperating under the watchful eye of Aimee.

Nearly everything about that storyline is a departure from the comics aside from Gus being taken by the First Men — in the comics, Jepp actually turns on Gus and hands him over, and let's be clear here, TV Jepp would never do such a thing. In terms of the timeline, the show has roughly covered through issue six, so there's still plenty of story left to be told (give us a renewal, Netflix, I'm begging you). And if the story does continue beyond Season 1 — and it really, really should — here's what viewers may be in for, according to the comics.

Jepperd Meets A Tragic End

Currently, TV Jepperd is recovering from a gunshot wound with some help from the totally badass Aimee, who saved his life. At the end of Season 1, the two fierce, adoptive parents are preparing to infiltrate Abbot's camp to rescue Gus, Wendy, and the rest of the hybrids. So for now at least, the Big Man is alive and well-ish.

But if the show follows the storyline laid out in the comics, then Jepp will eventually meet a heartbreaking end trying to save Gus and his son. In the comics, Abbot forces Jepp to choose between Gus and his son, Buddy (note: Buddy is not to be confused with Bobby, the CGI groundhog). In the moment, he takes advantage of a distraction to save Gus' life before chasing after Abbot, who has Buddy.

Ultimately, Abbot ends up stabbing Jepp, and he dies in Gus' arms. It's a total gut punch of an ending, and one the show will hopefully subvert since the Big Man has already been shot. And also, on a purely selfish level, I'm not sure I can watch that particular scene play out onscreen.

Gus Ends Abbot's Reign of Terror

At this point in the story, Gus is still very much an innocent, who is just beginning to understand how dark the world beyond the woods can be. The final shot of Season 1 is actually a hopeful one, all things considered. Even though Gus is in the custody of Abbot's men, he's surrounded by other kids like him for the first time ever. Despite the danger they're all in, the children find comfort in each other by sharing a big group hug in the final shot before the finale's Birdie stinger.

By contrast, the comic's grand finale is about Gus' loss of innocence. After Jepp is stabbed, Gus kills Abbot with the general's own knife, before holding his surrogate father figure while he dies. Again, the bleakness is too real, but prepare yourselves, because if the show continues, some version of this depressing scenario could very well play out in a future season.

Old Man Gus Starts A New, Better Society

The ultimate end of the comics is actually quite hopeful. In the final issue, Gus and Wendy are married with two children, and they have built a safe society where hybrids can thrive. When the humans come to attack them, Gus and Jepp's son Buddy lead an army to defend the hybrids. In the end, the humans surrender, and choose to live among the hybrids peacefully.

The show isn't anywhere near this point yet. At this stage, the humans are still murdering hybrids under the guise of science, and society is far too fragmented to forge any sort of peace. Still, the ending of the Sweet Tooth comic book series should give viewers hope that Gus will grow into his role as a leader and eventually help heal the world. (And as an added bonus, if you were wondering if you should be shipping Gus and Wendy, now you know that you 100 percent should be.)

Even though the ending of the critically-acclaimed comic book series paints a picture of grim days to come, the finale echoes the hopeful spirit of the series. More importantly, it serves as a promise that no matter how bad things get, Gus will survive his current predicament, and grow to become the good man both of his fathers hoped he would be.


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Images: Kirsty Griffin/Netflix; Netflix

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