'Sweet Tooth's' Ending: Looking Back at the Series Nearly a Decade Later

Chris Barilla - Author

Jun. 4 2021, Published 1:51 p.m. ET

Over the years that he has spent writing comic books, Jeff Lemire has established himself as one of the foremost authorities on the craft and has a massive following of devout readers that love his work, particularly the cult classic Sweet Tooth series.

Although those comics came to an end nearly a decade ago, they are as relevant today as they were the day they came out and that's exactly why Netflix has decided to release a television show adaptation of Sweet Tooth on its streaming service.

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For longtime fans of the series, this new breath of fresh air in Sweet Tooth is giving the beloved story the modern treatment it deserves. For new fans, the Netflix series promises to be a visual delight, capturing the essence of Jeff's comics in real life. Within that latter group, there might still be some context issues if they've never read the comics. So, here's a breakdown of the ending of Sweet Tooth.

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Here's the ending of the 'Sweet Tooth' comic book series, explained in full.

From the moment it initially debuted to critical acclaim back in 2009, Sweet Tooth was clearly much different than other comic book series that had taken off in the past. The series focuses on the story of 11-year-old Gus, a young boy living in the woods of Nebraska with his father.

But Gus isn't like other people. To put it plainly, the boy has deer antlers and ears and is warned constantly by his father not to venture far from their secluded cabin to avoid harm.

Gus's father eventually dies, so Gus decides to set out on his own to see what the world is really like. He finds a clear power play between "the Sick" and the few good souls left in the world, one of which comes in the form of a tough old man named Mr. Jepperd.

The duo embark on a journey of self-discovery where Gus finds other animal children and eventually learns that he is the product of an experiment that took place at a scientific facility in Alaska.

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By issue 39, the crew of ragtag animal children and Jepperd come face-to-face with the story's antagonist, Abbot, an evil scientist bent on killing the hybrid children. In a remarkable show of bravery, Mr. Jepperd gives his life to save Gus, and Abbot is killed. This was the end of the story that had been building up in every issue until then, but the series wasn't done just yet.

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The 40th iteration in the Sweet Tooth series takes a different turn than the first 39, opting to fast forward 15 years into the future. Here we can see Gus and the other hybrid children (who are no longer children) coexisting and living their best lives.

However, a lingering element that remains over Gus's head in issue 40 as well as others leading up to it is that his existence was the root cause of the pandemic outbreak that altered humanity years prior.

The ending sees Gus grapple with this deeply personal issue and reflect on how he and the other hybrids can still exist happily and peacefully without repeating the mistakes their people made in the past.

Jeff has been adamant since that point that Sweet Tooth would never receive a follow-up or any other extensions via comics, so the release of his Netflix series marks the biggest divergence from that thought process since 2009.

The entirety of Sweet Tooth is available to stream on Netflix now.

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