Every so often a comic comes along that pushes the limits of your sense of comfort; BOOM! Studios' newest series Something Is Killing The Children fits in that category easily. While the series walks the edge, it grounds the more deranged parts in rich character work between the small and memorable cast. You'll quickly find yourself eager to learn more about this mysterious world, the very human people in it, and the not-so-human people causing so much chaos.
This is a non-spoiler review of Something Is Killing The Children #1, so read ahead without any concern for early spoilers.
For those unfamiliar with the premise, Something Is Killing The Children revolves around a mysterious stranger named Erica Slaughter. As her name implies, she kills monsters and, at the moment, there is a string of brutal child murders occurring across the country. Slaughter's newest call-to-arms takes her to the city of Archer's Peak, and that's where we meet a young man named Daniel who will quickly become an important part of Slaughter's world. The dynamic between the pair shows incredible promise.
One of the things that immediately jumps out at you is the comic's visual style, courtesy of artist Werther Dell'Edera and colorist Miquel Muerto. The cover alone is praiseworthy, but the sense of tension evoked before page one continues throughout the opening sequence before the color palette brightens (still without losing any of that palpable tension). You're still on guard despite the brighter colors; as soon as you get comfortable, the comic switches things up once more, pushing you back into those blacks and blues, destroying whatever sense of security you've summoned.
Aside from Erica, there's a persistent sense of powerlessness amongst the characters in this town. While you ascertain that through the dialogue, the visuals are what make the hopelessness feel real. One stellar exchange between James and his principal is the perfect example of this. It's a conversation that not only pulls back layers regarding both characters but also feels incredibly human, setting you up for an even bigger shocker when things get brutal.
Now, this isn't really a spoiler, as it's in the title, but Something Is Killing The Children isn't playing around. There will be parts of this comic that you might find unsettling. Tynion IV keeps things focused on the effects these traumatic events have on James and those around him though, not engaging with horror simply for the shock value. The violence also sets the stakes for Erica's mission and provides necessary motivation for James' new story, and that's something we can't wait to read more about.
Something Is Killing The Children doesn't pull any punches. Those who dare to venture into this world will find a unique and compelling cast of characters in a killer mystery. You don't want to miss out on this.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Werther Dell'Edera
Colors by Miguel Muerto
Letters by Andworld Design
Cover by Werther Dell'Edera