‘Something Is Killing the Children: Volume 1’ - Trade Paperback Review

This is not your typical murder-in-a-small-town-type of story. I mean, sure, there is murder, and, yes, it happens in a seemingly typical small town, but there is so much more to Something Is Killing the Children. Children all over Archer’s Peak are disappearing and dying. Young James is the sole survivor of a sleepover gone bad, where something killed his best friends. Now an outcast, James comes across a mysterious stranger who shows up asking him detailed questions about that fearful night. Her name is Erica Slaughter, and she kills monsters.

First off, I really hope they adapt this to screen; it has serious Stranger Things vibes and is a savory horror tale. Second, if they do, I hope they cast Emma Stone (circa Birdman) as Erica Slaughter. She is a great female lead with platinum blonde hair, large, green kohl-rimmed eyes, and a really blunt attitude. I love seeing female characters like this. She is not physically intimidating, which most women feel like they aren’t, yet her brain and mindset pack a punch. She also has a soft spot for kids, which again, is very relatable. She is a good person, trying to do the right thing, and happens to be a badass in the process. Oh, and she talks to a stuffed octopus, but, don’t worry, she has a good reason.

I also find the character of James very endearing. After becoming a social outcast and accused by some of murdering his friends, James tries to find the truth. He does everything he can to help Erica on her mission, and does it all while wearing giant glasses and superhero logo shirts (slightly changed so as not to tempt with copyright infringement). He is all of the sweet, nerdy boys that I called friends growing up. Of course, we also have the townie who gets the wrong idea in his head and goes after the wrong villain, so that our heroes mission isn’t too easy, but it is a realistic character addition that is necessary for the smal- town vibe and overall story. In fact, every character, even the school principal, is written in a very realistic and full way with their own voice.

Sometimes in comics, you get that great marriage between art and words, and there is nothing like it. When I read the first few pages of Sandman Overture, I felt Neil Gaiman's words reflected perfectly in J.H. Williams III’s art. Dell’Edera does that here. Dell’Edera brings the perfect blend of imagination and grit to Tynion’s story. There is a surprising amount of imagination in this book, outside of the traditional horror sense. I don’t want to give too much away, but the story has some unexpected twists and turns that set it apart from more common monster tales.

As a fan of comic book horror and supernatural stories, this first volume pulled me in ruthlessly and didn’t let go. Every moment I was hungry for more, thirsty for the next imaginative twist. If you are a fan of Scott Snyder’s Wytches and Kirkman’s Outcast, pick up this soon-to-be-a-modern-classic at your local comic book shop.


Creative Team:  James Tynion IV (writer), Werther Dell’Edera (artist)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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