Ooof that’s a… big question. I recognize that some people are finding genuine depth from the Epilogues, but I genuinely don’t. There is something of a lack of good faith to be had for the team behind writing them.
Some context: At the start of 2019, there was another official release of content through a site called SkaiaNet Systems. It was a little ARG-y in that if you looked through the index of the site you could find some extensive histories of the characters from the Beta Universe (long story, Homestuck is big on alternate timelines). Some of it was funny historical stuff, but it veered sharply into deeply antisemetic shit, including alternate history stuff about Hitler and Einstein. The blowback was bad enough that Hussie issued a public apology and like… because he’d garnered so much goodwill and clout over the years, he was largely forgiven for the incident and it was kind of swept aside as old, immature writing.
Then, the Epilogues dropped and… I am unsure how to explain to someone who is not a HS fan how deeply vicious and cruel the writing was. There’s a laundry list of grimace-worthy events and a lot of backhanded monkey’s paw “this is what you wanted, right” stuff directed at the fans.
The worst example, in my opinion, but by no means the only example was we got trans representation! A character came out as trans!
But, around that event that should have been pretty cool, they took a beloved queer character and made him transphobic out of nowhere (which doesn’t make any goddamn sense given character’s background). And another character suddenly has a dog dick and makes jokes about how if she had any kids, she’d be the “father.” Which… is not. Great.
Suddenly someone is a fascist who puts another species in cages (bit on the fucking nose there, Hussie) and date rapes another character. Suddenly there are incel “jokes” that amount to “oh these characters call people ■■■■■ and beta bottoms now.”
Instead of being satirical, it’s just repeating the “jokes” of the alt-right as if that’s progressive. No thanks.
(ALSO This is a new version of earth with an entirely new origin and timeline, so the presence of these groups needs justification, but the story never bothers and just makes the setting into It’s Our Earth.)
There’s gross things like the breast milk thing and there’s a lot of ■■■■ humor. The canon lesbian couple who got married in the big finale are broken up by a newly evil character, and one of them ends the Epilogues ironing a man’s clothes for him. Another character is mind controlled and abused by his friends and viciously slutshamed. The narrative mocks readers who were hoping to get a canon confirmation of a queer couple. A character who had struggled with self-worth and suicidal tenancies hangs himself graphically in an lengthy scene.
There’s more and like a lot of it is hard to even explain without the proper context, but while I respect the article, my personal take-away is that… the Epilogues were poorly written and extremely incendiary in a way that felt like a final “screw you” to the audience. And the team around the Epilogues have responded to criticism mostly with complaints that “people only want happy stories.” But that’s not it. People love dark fiction, look at the success of GoT and the horror movie boom. What I take umbrage at is bad writing, and a story that is willing to throw all previous characterization and themes out with the bathwater to be edgy. And in a petty way, I’m real pissed that Hussie chose to revive Homestuck to take potshots at fans, especially given the massively queer fanbase.
That is my take. At this point, I’m at peace with Homestuck ending, back in 2016. I don’t consider the Epilogues canon and I will not be following any future content from the Homestuck team. Frankly, there are creators out there who I believe are more deserving of my support.
For anyone familiar with the Epilogues who liked them or thought they were really deep: good for you. I respectfully disagree.
ETA: Wow some of the language used in the epilogues is literally censored on these forums. OOF. OOOOOOF.