[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
James and his friends are playing a game of truth-or-dare at his house during a sleepover. James chooses truth and tells a story about a horrid creature coming out of the ravine in his yard. The kids go to check out the ravine, and James is the only one to come out alive. Over the next two weeks, nine children die, and no one knows what’s going on. Rumors are spreading that James is killing them. Meanwhile, a strange blonde woman is seeing walking around town covered in blood and wielding machetes.
Something is Killing the Children #1 is a new horror comic from writer James Tynion IV, artist Werther Dell’edera, and color artist Miquel Muerto with letters from Andworld Design and published through Boom! Studios. The name foreshadows the story; something is killing the children in this small town. No one knows for sure what’s doing it. They only know the horrible results.
It’s a very moody comic. The main character being a child adds to the disquieting nature of it all. You get that sense of innate helplessness and confusion as all his friends die in front of him.
You do get to see James’ friends die and how it happens. It’s a very gory scene, and anyone uncomfortable with seeing children die bloody and violently would very understandably be turned off by the comic. It made me a bit queasy.
That said, the comic is very well-written. The pacing is near-perfect, and the aforementioned mood-setting is exquisite. The characters are interesting and believable. The principal at James’ school is even a character in the comic, and he’s not a horrible douchebag like one would expect from that role.
Werther Dell’edera’s artwork is brilliant. It brings the right mixture of clarity, texture, and ominous obfuscation. You can make out the world, but the texturing puts up this filter between you and the comic that contributes to the unnerving otherworldly feeling of it all–like a thick fog that you can still see through. I’m mixing my metaphors here–point being, the artwork looks fantastic. Miquel Muerto’s color work is phenomenal too. Muerto balances the tones just right to maximize the ominous feeling of it all.
Something is Killing the Children #1 is a phenomenal start for this new horror series. The tone, artwork, and characters all come together to give the reader an overwhelming feeling of dread. Horror has had a bit of a boom in mainstream comics over the last couple of years with the likes of Harrow County, Empty Man, Infidel, A Walk Through Hell, and even Big Two titles like Immortal Hulk and Venom/Absolute Carnage, and Something is Killing the Children has the potential to be among those greats. Needless to say, this one gets a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.
Something is Killing the Children #1 comes to us from writer James Tynion IV, artist Werther Dell’edera, color artist Miquel Muerto, letters from Andworld Design, cover artist Werther Dell’edera with Giovanna Niro, and variant cover artists Jae Lee with June Chung; Jenny Frisson; Joseph Schmalke; and Jae Lee.
Final Score: 8.5/10
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]