(w) James Tynion IV (a) Werther Dell’Edera (c) Miquel Muerto (l) Andworld Design
Since James Tynion IV’s newest creator-owned project was first announced, it seemed to take the world by storm, going to a fourth printing before it even released and then the change from mini-series to an ongoing. All of that just for a comic about crushing student loans and high rent….Wait, no something is actually killing the kids! Not just their hopes and dreams, well in that case let’s call in one slick looking monster killer—Erica Slaughter. You could say, killings in the name!
Tynion begins the horror on the night of the killings with James and friends involved in an epic game of truth or dare. Choosing truth James tells his sleepover buddies the story of some creepy noises and a ‘thing’ in his yard from a week prior, with his buddies not believing him Tynion ends the page with an ominous truth or dare. Shifting from the night of to the night after, James is next seen being interrogated about the incident, with another time skip Tynion puts us in the present as he introduces Erica Slaughter.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Erica Slaughter became the next Smash Bros. fighter, or receives spin-offs. Maybe an anime adaptation. From the moment she is introduced, she feels ripped straight from a manga. With the issue not even focusing on her that much, it seems that she or the Principal will be breakout stars, as James is mopey most of the issue. This is understandable since people blame him for the deaths. Although Something Is Killing The Children #1 focuses much of its story on James and the small town of Archer’s Peak, Tynion’s writing has hints of a larger picture, and a history of people hunting monsters elsewhere.
Werther Dell’Edera’s art mixed with Miquel Muerto’s colors work in great conjunction with the horror story being told. With the opening pages taking place at night, Dell’edear keeps faces and body parts obscured through heavy inks while Muerto keeps the coloring dark with hints of blue, giving the appearance of both nighttime and shitty weather. Muerto’s coloring scheme for daytime feels authentic, giving Something Is Killing The Children #1 a feeling of realism that Dell’Edera’s art and Tynion’s story goes for. The duo on art duties style really shines when the monster that James describes is finally shown.
With a palette of varying blues and crimson red blood, Muerto’s colors a gore-filled crime scene as James’ sleepover buddies are torn apart. Dell’edera lays out these moments of death with quick, frantic images. The panels flow as James runs away until he finally runs into the monster, which the duo spend a full page displaying. This build up of suspense and frantic pace pays off perfectly with the reveal of the creature.
Something Is Killing The Children #1 is a great first issue for a comic and a gruesomely awesome introduction to a new horror series. After reading this issue it’s easy to see why it’s got so many printings and upped to an ongoing, with Tynion’s hints of a larger world.
Memorable Note: “I had to run around the house naked.” -Noah
That’s not even much of a dare! I do that just for fun!
Side Note: James’ school Principal is pretty damn cool, he curses and cries in front of his students! At one point he even mentions how he barley just got out of school himself, Tynion made him such a great and relatable character that you hope he survives!