Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artwork: Werther Dell’Edera
Colours: Miquel Muerto
Letters: Andworld Design
Release Date: 29th January 2020
Something is killing the children of Archer’s Peak, brutally, savagely and leaving no clues as to what it is or where it will strike next. Fear and pain create suspicion and anger as the citizens of Archer’s Creek lash out at anyone they suspect, and the arrival of a mysterious woman who seems to know more about the murders than she should may be the catalyst to tip them over the edge.
Issue five… Erica Slaughter heads into the beast’s lair, only to discover that she has been followed by Tommy, seeking vengeance for his sister Sophie. Unable (literally) to see the real threat, Tommy blames Erica for all the deaths in town but soon discovers that he couldn’t be further from the truth. Erica’s encounter with the creature, however, leads to a much greater threat that may be beyond even her abilities to stop and could mean the death of every man, woman, and child in Archer’s Peak.
This is another series where I find myself late to the game. The upside of this is that I’ve had the opportunity to catch up on the first five episodes of the series in a single sitting. James Tynion IV is someone I’ve always associated with DC, particularly his run on Justice League Dark, and I’m looking forward to catching up on his new Batman run, but this is a series that completely slipped by me until now. I know Tynion can write good horror, and I know he can write good suspense, and this is a good horror series. It’s also worth noting that Something is Killing the Children is not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting quite a contained, isolated world, and a story that focusses solely on a specific event but this is far wider-ranging and gives scope for a whole series of stories past this one. And, from what I’ve seen so far, I’d really like to see more chapters in this story in the future.
What we have been given in these five issues so far is a tense horror story that has taken its time to provide us with some well-structured world building. This has helped to deliver the true sense of fear and loss felt by the townsfolk of Archer’s Peak, but at the same time it has not shied away from presenting us with some truly horrifying scenes throughout. Both the narrative and the artwork invoke characters and themes from the likes of Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash, Scott Snyder’s Wytches and the TV show Supernatural, with there being more than a touch of the legendary Jock in the artwork Werther Dell’Edera & Miquel Muerto have produced here.
The character design in this series is very good. As I’ve said above, there’s more than a hint of the work Jock produced for Wytches in the artwork, and it really does help to convey the emotional strain that our protagonists are under, while delivering the horror effectively without revealing too much detail and spoiling the tension.
While I’m not going to claim this is a perfect series, it does have its flaws, it is a good, tense horror story with a lot of potential, and this issue really ramps up the horror aspects. Now that I’ve had the chance to catch up with the first five issues, this is definitely a series I’m going to be keeping on my pull list going forwards.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek