Advance Review: Where’s The Action In `Something Is Killing The Children’ #27?
by Tom Smithyman
Has Erica Slaughter lost her mojo?
After 25+ issues and more awards that writer James Tynion IV and artist Werther Dell’Edera could possibly hope to carry, Something Is Killing the Children seems to have hit a creative rut. This most recent issues, along with the last, have the series stuck in slow motion. The creative team is clearly building to something big – a showdown between Slaughter, the monster she is hunting and the assassin who is coming after her.
It should make for a pulse-pounding page-turner, or at least a slow burn leading to a boiling point. But this is at least the second issue now where little seemingly happens. It’s like those 12-part maxi-series that could have gotten the point across more effectively in half the time.
The issue starts with a five-page flashback featuring a character we really don’t care that much about. That’s followed by some hand-writing about whether the characters should go to the police or hunt down the monster that has been terrorizing the small town. Things pick up a bit in the back half of the book, with the return of the evil Cutter, who is hunting Erica. Cutter will stop at nothing to get her woman, including sacrificing small children and transforming the monster into a familiar character. It’s a strong ending, and hopefully points to something better ahead.
All of that exposition and flashbacks doesn’t leave much for Dell’Edera to chew on. He does make the most of what he has with the terrified kid, the monster and its transformation. And frankly, any chance to have Dell’Edera draw Erica and her oversized eye is a good one.
All of that may be a little harsh – and Tynion and Dell’Edera have earned our trust up to this point. SIKTC has been a modern horror masterpiece, and the creative team have developed Erica and the House of Slaughter into cultural touchpoints. So readers are likely to give them the benefit of the doubt for now. But their patience is running thin.
Something Is Killing The Children #27 will be available for purchase on December 21, 2022.
Something Is Killing the Children has been one of the best horror comics – one of the best comics period – in at least the last decade. Lately though, the stories have been taking too long to develop with not enough payoff. While this issue shows signs of life at the end, some more work is needed to regain readers’ excitement.