Something is Killing the Children #1 // Review
Boom! Studios new horror title, Something is Killing the Children, was off to an auspicious start before the first issue hit the stands. Its first printing sold out before publication, and Boom has already upgraded it from the originally-announced mini to an ongoing series. Does the first issue, out this week, live up to the hype?
In short, yes. This compelling first issue is delightfully creepy, and emotionally devastating. The story follows a young boy named James, the sole survivor of a horrific and mysterious attack, and a teenage monster hunter who has come to town to avenge his friends’ deaths. The book starts before the attack and then immediately jumps to the aftermath, smartly withholding the gory main event until the end of the issue.
Writer James Tynion IV previously excelled on The Woods and the Rebirth-era of Detective Comics, so it’s not a surprise that he makes his teen and pre-teen characters compelling and realistic. Still, his characters are heartbreakingly truthful, and the reader is immediately invested in what’s going to happen to them.
From the very first page, artist Werther Dell’edera and colorist Miquel Muerto create a strong feeling of dread. Dell’edera’s design of the so-far-nameless teenage monster hunter is deliciously creepy, as is our first bizarre sighting of whatever is killing the children. More impressive than that, though, is Dell’edera’s character acting; James’ grief and rage come right off the page. The lettering by Andworld Design is excellent as well.
Something is Killing the Children #1 is not Stranger Things. It is not cute, it is not tongue-in-cheek. Instead, it’s bleak and horrific, and immediately compelling.