BOOM!Studios Story by James Tynion IV Written by Sam Johns Illustrated by Letizia Cadonici Colored by Francesco Segala Lettered by Andworld DesignJames Tynion’s Something Is Killing the Children was intended to be a mini-series. Tremendous popularity dictated otherwise, and the story just celebrated its 25th issue. The ongoing series continues to explore Erica Slaughter’s dark, deadly world of monster hunting, escalating personal tension while naturally building out the world. House of Slaughter’s first arc, telling the story of a younger Aaron Slaughter, managed to take Killing’s success one step further, turning the series into its own multi-title universe. At times, House of Slaughter was stronger than its parent book. But the second House of Slaughter arc has shown symptoms of the narrative-wearing thing. The story has ground to a crawl, mostly concerned with indulging new lore and exotic monster types. Central protagonist Edwin Slaughter, a Scarlet Mask, is too aloof and whimsical to make any impact, especially compared to the effortlessly cool but intensely caring Erica, and two-sweet-for-his-own-good Aaron. The lack of story and character is underscored in House of Slaughter #8, which essentially reads as a bottle issue. The story is confined to the deck of a small boat and takes place over the course of a few minutes. Spending that amount of time with Erica or Aaron could have made for an interesting issue, leaving readers wanting even more of these memorable characters. But with House of Slaughter at the moment, it just makes us want the other book. On a brighter note, Letizia Cadonici and Francesco Segala produce more stellar work, employing a style that is wholly its own, while still functioning as a natural, more refined extension of Werther Delledera’s work on Killing.
House of Slaughter #8
- Stylish, at times stunning artwork.
- Tynion's teasing a dragon.
- The Scarlet arc feels slow and aimless.
- Edwin is boring.