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"Something is Killing the Children #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

Something Is Killing The Children 1 Large

Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Werther Dell'Edera
Colored by Miquel Muerto
Lettered by Andworld Design
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 4th, 2019

Review:

The residents of Archer's Peak are terrified. Children in the town are going missing and no one has any idea as to what's causing this tragedy. James and his friends had an encounter with whoever or whatever is taking these kids. He's the only one to make it out and no one believes the horrors he's seen...except Erica Slaughter. She's a monster hunter and she's ready to put down this beast.

When you put it that way, this sounds like a noble endeavor. Erica rides into town to slay the dragon. That's not the vibe of Something is Killing the Children. There's a foreboding tone throughout this book, like all hope has been sucked out of this place. Missing kids will do that to you.

It's not just the subject matter that's creating this dreadful mood. It's how it's portrayed. James recounts his experience to the authorities through tears, trying to explain what he went through despite the skepticism from the cops. Imagine watching your best friends get torn apart by some monster and no one believes you. This is a heartbreaking sequence that's made even more so by the actual depictions of the attack from artist Werther Dell'Edera.

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This comes later in the issue and it's nothing short of chilling. Dell'Edera shows the aftermath in all its horror for two shocking double-page spreads. Your eyes dart from one atrocity to another with James at the center of it reeling back and forth. No punches are pulled with this depiction either. The gore is plentiful and terrifying. Then, just when you can't take it anymore, you flip the page to see the monster in all its glory. That's about when you might need a new pair of pants.

Letterer Andworld Design amplifies the tension of this sequence between James' frightened screams and the exasperated final words of his friends. Those in particular stick out as you can imagine how sickly they sound.

While that's certainly a highlight of Something is Killing the Children #1, that unsettling feeling creeps into every page. You immediately understand that something is wrong in Archer's Peak. It comes through in how people look at each other or the quiet stillness of the streets. There's no joy in this town anymore.

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Click images to enlarge

Writer James Tynion IV has created some very real characters. Even if you haven't been through something as traumatic as these folks have, you instantly understand how they feel and what they're going through. It comes through in how they walk and speak. They've been beaten down and don't know what to do next.

Colorist Miquel Muerto adds to the ominous tone of Something is Killing the Children. It's like the town is constantly in a state of twilight. The sun is setting not just on the day, but on their hopes and dreams. There's a dark cloud hanging over these people, so there's no bright, shiny happiness shining through.

Something is Killing the Children is a top-notch horror comic. It's a gripping read full of dread that will shake you to the core. I'm already hooked and we're only one issue in. If this first chapter is any indication, we're in for a wild ride.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Something Is Killing The Children 1 Small
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Something Is Killing The Children 1 Small
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Something Is Killing The Children 1 Small
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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