Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 collects issues 1-5 of horror comic published by BOOM! Studios. It is written by James Tynion IV (Batman), with illustrations by Werther Dell’Edera, colors by Miquel Muerto, and letters by AndWorld Designs. The series follows Erica Slaughter who kills monsters but at a cost. When the children of Archer’s Peak begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. The few children that have survived are convinced a terrible creature is killing their friends. However, Erica believes the children and claims to be the only one who sees what they can see.
After James tells a story, that he made up, during a sleepover about a creepy creature his sister saw one night things seem to get strange. James lost his friends right in front of his eyes to a very similar, horrifying creature. Understandably, the police do not believe him. While James is struggling to cope with the horrors he witnessed, he meets Erica. Swearing she can kill the monster once and for all, the two team up to track it down and save the remaining children of Archer’s Peak.
With an aesthetic similar to Wytches, Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 is a gory and unnerving horror story that tackles dark themes like childhood trauma. While none of the adults in town can see the terrifying figures lurking in the shadows, Erica and the children of Archer’s Peak can. Horrific creatures being invisible to adults is a common, and at times overused, trope in horror. However, Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 makes it feel fresh with the addition of Erica.
The most interesting part of the story and what sets it apart from other horror comics on shelves is the character of Erica Slaughter. Erica is fierce, protective of those she is trying to save despite seeming cold, and very aware of her surroundings. Erica’s interactions with James are heartfelt as she sympathizes with his pain. But through it all she is still incredibly calculated, treating the murders as what they are, a job. This is further seen in her interactions with the police. Erica knows they won’t believe her but her calm demeanor and confidence when speaking about previous cases make her impossible to ignore or write off as insane. The mystery and complexity around Erica make her a compelling character. Everything pops more on the page.
That being said, it is impossible to fall in love with Erica based on Tynion’s script alone. Dell’Edera’s brilliant design gives Erica her cool, edgy vibe. With a killer mask, cool piercings, and a carefree but practical wardrobe clearly inspired by Dean Winchester, Erica Slaughter is an all-around badass and someone I would love to cosplay as. Additionally, Muerto’s use of neons, primarily pinks, and purples, with panels showcasing the creature is unique and adds the overall aesthetic. AndWorld Designs’ lettering never feels cluttered and is easy to follow even when some of the issues have heavy scripts.
This book is a slow burn but well worth it. This is a great pick for horror fans or anyone looking for a new strong leading lady to fall in love with. With its nightmare induced creature design and cool as hell lead character, Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 is a must-read especially for fans of Buffy and Supernatural.
Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 is available now in comic book stores and online.
Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1
This book is a slow burn but well worth it. This is a great pick for horror fans or anyone looking for a new strong leading lady to fall in love with. With its nightmare induced creature design and cool as hell lead character, Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 is a must-read espeically for fans of Buffy and Supernatural.