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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Something is Killing The Children Vol. 1 review


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AUTHOR INFORMATIONJames Tynion IV is a comic book writer, best known for his work on the Batman franchise for DC Comics. James' comics career began with co-writing the back-up stories on Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's character defining run on BATMAN, which would lead to his making his own name on a number of Bat-Centric series. 

An alumnus of Sarah Lawrence College, Tynion now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

FORMAT/INFO: Something is Killing the Children is 128 pages long. It was published in May 2020 by BOOM! Studios.

OVERVIEW: I was raised on comic books. I still love the medium but I rarely find gems I need to shout about from the rooftops. Spoiler alert: I'm just about to do it. Something is Killing The Children is terrific.

With their first volume, James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera, and Miguel Muerto introduce readers to strange things happening in the small town of Archer’s Peak. Something weird and terrifying, something adults can't perceive, takes local children one-by-one. 


A mysterious stranger known as Erica Slaughter comes to the town. With a name like that, she has little choice but to slay monsters, right? And she does, but there's much more to her than that. Her origins and motivations remain mysterious and barely hinted. I expect the team will explore them in upcoming issues. Carrying machetes, using a chainsaw when needed,  and wearing a creepy bandana over her face, Erica kicks ass. But there's also a sense of sadness to her, a sadness that quickly turns to rage.


From the very first page, the story conveys a strong feeling of dread. Dramatic writing powered by amazing artwork give each scene a morbid atmosphere. Tynion succeeds at making readers unsure if the main characters will make it to the end. In most media, dire situations involving children serve mainly to raise the stakes, but children usually survive. Not here. Monsters are real and they don't care about the reader's expectations and genre's tropes. 

No one is safe. Violence occurs. Mayhem ensues. BUT nothing feels over-the-top, silly, or unnecessary. 




Dell’ Edera's art feels offbeat and unique. He enjoys thick lines of ink and tends to use a lot of shadows creating an eerie mood and sinister feeling. Colorist Miquel Muerto picks the right tones of blues and greens to make the panels and pages even more ominous. 




Something is Killing the Children is terrific and gripping. It tells a deeply personal, slow-burn horror story that deals with childhood's monsters and trauma. An excellent graphic novel.



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