Something is Killing the Children

Something is Killing the Children volume 1

Something is Killing the Children volume 1
Boom Studios
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Werther Dell’Edera
FC, 128 pgs, $14.99 US

What caught my eye with this series was its title: “Something is Killing the Children.” A co-worker of mine has it on her file and I seem to recall asking her what the story was about. Her reply was something along the lines of “Well, something is killing the children….”

Sometimes you get what is exactly what is being advertised.

Something IS killing children and in the first issue we see a fit, punk-ish blonde go into the woods to track, fight and kill the something. She is bad-ass, of course. When I learned later that her name is Erica Slaughter I thought “come on” and almost quit reading. What kept me going though was the story of the survivors introduced: a young boy whose friends were all horribly torn apart at a slumber party, and a young man whose sister has gone missing. The quiet moments of regret, remorse, and uncertainty were the meat of the story for me. Fighting monsters, well, I can get that in a lot of comics. I stuck with it though and now six issues later I’m still in.

Something is Killing the Children was originally planned as a five-issue miniseries but it was extended based on the strength of its sales. Issue #6 hints at a larger story in the background, involving Erica Slaughter’s origins and the organization / family in which she seems to belong.

Writer James Tynion IV is perhaps most widely known for his successful run on Batman and Detective Comics. He did his time in the advertising business before breaking into comics thanks to Scott Snyder, who asked Tynion to co-write a back-up feature in Batman during the Court of Owls story arc. You might also know Tynion from The Woods, a 36-issue series he did with Boom Studios, which also publishes Something is Killing the Children. Italian artist Werther Dell’Edera provides the interiors. I know his work from the overlooked and too short Briggs Land. In Something is Killing the Children he employs a rough looseness in scenes of action and violence.

Some of the individual parts of this series wouldn’t hold my interest alone, but taken as a whole, Something is Killing the Children is poised to remain on my reading pile. (Chad Boudreau)

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