Something Is Killing the Children is not for the faint of heart. It’s badass, but it also doesn’t shy away from hard-to-see moments. Children get killed in some pretty horrible ways. Tynion and Dell’edera don’t want to give you the safety net of being able to look away. This isn’t a news report or a headline you can scroll past on Facebook; they want you right there in the school while the violence is happening. Stories and fiction are usually the safety net, to keep readers at a safe distance while exploring social issues and concerns, but these creators don’t want you to feel safe. They want you present as our heroes stay seemingly one step behind the oncoming series of tragedies.
Erica Slaughter is her name. She’s kind of crazy, but she’s also the only monster fighter to actually care about what happens to the people of this small town that are being attacked by invisible monsters that only kids can see. She’s part of an elite group, The House of Slaughter, who care more about rules and keeping these monsters covered up than they do about actually helping the victims of the monsters. Yes, this book is rich with allegory that hits its target with every issue.
There are a handful of teens also wrapped up in the ongoing struggle. What hands they will be dealt I have no idea. Tynion is keeping the end game pretty well hidden. How he’s doing this is by letting the characters drive the story forward as opposed to the plot. Every decision that’s made is based on how the character would react in that particular situation. It’s part of what makes this such a rich and fulfilling story to read. And because everything feels authentically character driven, every death hits that much harder. It doesn’t hurt that Dell’edera’s and Muerto’s renderings of these situations are pretty terrifying and wrapped up in the raw visual emotions of the characters.
Also considering the design work here, when the title page pops up, it’s like you are being pointedly told that there is a problem and it isn’t going to go away unless we actively do something about it.
Creative Team: James Tynion IV (writer), Werther Dell’edera (artist), Miquel Muerto (colors), Andworld Design (letters), Michelle Ankley (designer), Eric Harburn (editor), Assistant Editor (Gwen Waller)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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