Some Local Legends Are Best Left Undisturbed: Reviewing ‘Scarenthood’ #1

by Brendan M. Allen

‘To-Do List: Drop kids at preschool/ Grab coffee with other parents/ Go ghost-hunting in woods/ Fight demonic entity/ Collect kids/ Naptime.

With their kids away on a field trip, a group of parents disturbs an ancient evil buried beneath the old Church Hall, unearthing a decades-old mystery about a missing child, and inviting something… hungry into their lives. Suddenly, their mornings go from playdates and peanut allergies, to a battle for the souls of one broken family⁠—and one child in particular.

What scares you the most: fighting demons, or letting your kids down? Nick Roche and Chris O’Halloran have the answers.’

Scarenthood #1 opens up the series with a scene that any of us with kids is intimately familiar with. A bunch of grown folk with nothing in common besides the kiddos, stood around, waiting for the bell to sound that releases the tiny humans for the day. 

There’s a sort of unique bond that forms in these situations. Here’s a group that have seen each other around in the small town that they live in, but haven’t really had a reason to associate, until now. Nick Roche throws in the one new guy and his daughter and a creepy local urban tale, and we have a grown up Irish version of The Losers Club, with kids.

Roche does an excellent job setting up the team dynamic right in the opening sequence. It’s pretty clear where each of these cats is coming from, and what they’ll bring to the team, both positive and negative. Just in that one sequence, we also get one of my favorite humorous bits, when Cormac offhandedly pops off to Flynno and nearly gets his ass handed to him for it. Flynno is probably my favorite first impression in a good long while. Reminds me of someone I know. 

The art, also by Roche, with color by Chris O’Halloran, plays really well with the themes, except for one (small) thing. One of my pet peeves in comics is when kids are drawn exactly like scaled adults. Same proportions, same ambulation, just 60% smaller. That doesn’t happen here. It’s almost the opposite. The kids are so exaggeratedly childish, it almost takes me out of the story. 

Those kiddie heads are enormous. Limbs like little stubs. Long bodies. Don’t look like they should be able to walk three feet without toppling over on their faces. Which is exactly what I ask for in the other cases. It’s just maybe a touch too on the nose? I dunno. I’ll get used to it by the end of the next chapter, I’m sure. 

This is a great opening chapter. All the pieces are there. Introductions made, conflict presented, and we even get just a taste of the monster. Roche set it up brilliantly for the next chapter. 

 

Scarenthood #1, IDW Publishing, 04 November 2020. Story and art by Nick Roche, color by Chris O’Halloran, letters by Shawn Lee, logo by Wayne Daly.

 

 

 

Summary

With their kids away on a field trip, a group of parents disturbs an ancient evil buried beneath the old Church Hall, unearthing a decades-old mystery about a missing child, and inviting something… hungry into their lives. Suddenly, their mornings go from playdates and peanut allergies, to a battle for the souls of one broken family⁠—and one child in particular.

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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