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REVIEW: Boom! Studios’ Something is Killing the Children #24

James Tynion IV’s Something Is Killing The Children #24 starts on a sinister note, meanders on a somber tune, and ends on a suspenseful cliffhanger.

In Something Is Killing The Children, the sleepy town of Tribulation is facing an unprecedented crisis as a string of gruesome murders has everyone on their toes. Disavowed member of the Order of St. George Erica Slaughter is here to hunt the monster, a creature of the dark whom only children can see. But with no backup from the Order or local law enforcement and uncooperative witnesses giving her the slip, it is an uphill battle for Erica. Unbeknownst to her, a black mask from the House of Cutter is out to assassinate her, further complicating matters. Written by James Tynion IV with artwork from Werther Dell’Edera and Miquel Muerto, lettering by Andworld Design, and published by Boom! Studios, Something Is Killing The Children #24 ever inches closer to the pressing suspense.

Something Is Killing The Children #24 brings a new monster into the spotlight. A family vacationing in the town becomes its latest victim, leaving the children horrified at its very sight. The story then transitions back to the present day, where Gabi returns to her home, now the site of a murder scene to gather her belongings. On her way out, she finally breaks down before a chalked-out pool of blood when a strange, talking doll answers her, and things get weirder from there.

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The opening sequence of Something Is Killing The Children #24 shows the ugly side of relationships. In the context of the series, it is the human-killing monsters that are attracted to the negative feelings, but on a deeper level, they are nothing more than allegories for the darkness that engulfs even the children raised in a tormented household. For the most part, the story meanders through events without much progress, allowing the narratives to run their natural course. Writer James Tynion IV lets the characters show their emotions and motivations freely and without any hindrance, adding layers that were not present before. However, somewhere between the tonal shifts from grieving pain to thrilling suspense, the issue’s pacing feels a bit awkward.

Artist Werther Dell’Edera brings life to the abominable creature haunting the people of Tribulation, a creatively haunting and wickedly grotesque design that looks sincerely alarming without being offputting. His lines are simple, but his gristly crosshatching creates a macabre atmosphere that has a dramatic effect. One of the most striking moments in the book follows Gabi around her house, moving like a ghost floating around in an empty loft. Using just his pencils, Dell’Edera soaks the pages in her bottled-up emotions. Colorist Miquel Muerto continues using striking colors over a base coat of muted shades to give the pages more volume.

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Something Is Killing The Children #24 teases the audience with its huge storytelling potential, but for the time being, it seems like the story is focusing on building the individual plotlines before merging them. While the narratives each follow one of the central characters, including the monster in question, it does little to push the story forward, leaving fans wanting more once again. However, it casts a much-needed spotlight on the newly introduced characters, giving readers a better grasp of them and adding new dimensions to their personalities. Something Is Killing The Children #24 ends on another cliffhanger as Erica finally finds a speck of hope.

Sayantan is a comic book fan based in India who loves good storytelling more than anything else. His power to bore people to death with Kaiju lore is only rivaled by his love for books and movies. He has a master’s degree in Energy Tech and loves to watch soccer. You can take a gander at his artworks here: @kenichikyuro

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