Something is Killing the Children #30
Erica Slaughter kills monsters visible only to children and members of a secret society. Until recently, she was part of an order that assigned masked hunters to neutralize these horrific creatures. After a complicated mission in Archer’s Peak, Wisconsin, she is now alone and avoiding the Order of St. George at all costs. (Covered in issues 1 - 15.)
The latest shapeshifting monster known as a duplicitype has shown up in New Mexico. One of its victims is the family of Gabi causing her to go to family friend Riqui for help. After Erica appears, they attempt to take on the monster but fail resulting in Erica getting severely hurt. They opt to go to the police, but the psychotic leader of the House of Cutter is waiting to frame Erica. After the attack at the police station by Ms. Cutter, Erica steals the totem from Ms. Cutter putting the odds back in Erica’s favor.
Something is Killing the Children #30 is the jolt this recent arc has been needing. While the series has been spectacular, issue #30 sets the stage for what’s to come and puts fan-favorite Erica Slaughter in a position to take on the demented Ms. Cutter and the new monster.
The New Mexico story arc began with issue #20, and the past ten issues have done an excellent job of weaving several storylines at once. There is the political fallout happening at the House of Slaughter from Erica’s exit, the inclusion of the psychotic Ms. Cutter, and the latest monster terrorizing a small town. While a lot is going on, there, unfortunately, have been several issues where the pacing felt like slowing down, leaving me wondering when the action would pick up.
While issue #30 does not have a lot of action–if any–it has a well-laid board with all of the characters in an excellent position to crash into each other. In the last issue, Erica was framed for the death of several cops; however, she noticed the totem Ms. Cutter keeps is vulnerable. In a quick moment, she stole it, and now there was something they had that Ms. Cutter could not stand to live without.
There are two tracks in which writer James Tynion IV has done a great job. The first is the overarching plot, and the next is the intentional conversations that feel brief but important. Before this issue, several felt more like filler than movement toward a larger story. Issue #30 gives a glimmer of hope that Erica and her new partners, Gabi and Riqui, can win the battle.
The art and colors of this issue are incredibly well done and feel like a return to some of the earlier issues. There are several points within this issue where emotion and anger are expressed, and the art captures this perfectly while showing how menacing it can be for the character displaying it. The rough lines give a consistent textured look, and the almost minimal design feels like a western movie where there are moments of quiet right before the action. Werther Dell’Edera’s style is always consistent, and the work done for the cover is a nice touch to focus on Ms. Cutter. Enhancing the artwork is the color from Miquel Muerto. Muerto’s colors are such a good combination in the entire package, and the deep blacks and reads are beautiful even though they remind the reader this is very much a horror comic.
Issue #30 has me excited for the next five issues. There was a period of time where I felt the pacing was becoming sluggish and almost everything was going wrong for the characters to a point where it felt hopeless. This issue put everyone right back where they needed to be making for an exciting read and getting the series back in the direction it needed to go in.
Something is Killing the Children #30: Survival May be Possible
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10