Series: House of Slaughter
Writer: James Tynion IV, Tate Brombal
Artist: Chris Shehan
Colorist: Miquel Muerto
Letterer: Andworld Designs
Publisher: Boom! Studios
So, House of Slaughter Vol. 1 has been out for a hot minute now, yet I’m just getting around to reading it now. Why?! Why did I wait so long? I adore Something Is Killing the Children, and I’ve read snippets of House of Slaughter – so I knew this would be good.
Before I move on – neither the main series nor the spin-off are for the faint of heart. There are literal monsters in this world; yes, they eat children. The series does not pull punches, so consider yourself warned.
House of Slaughter Vol. 1 is set before the events of Something Is Killing the Children. Something that is immediately clear, as Erica is still a little girl during all this. I wasn’t expecting the story to step back into time – but it works. It’s also worth noting that while Erica is present, she is not the primary perspective of this tale. That honor goes to Aaron, her adoptive brother (you may recognize him from the main series).
Wow. I knew House of Slaughter Vol. 1 would hit hard, but I don’t think I was prepared for how hard it would hit. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Aaron’s during Something Is Killing the Children, but James Tynion IV and Tata Brombal quickly turned him into a likable character here.
The truth is, I now like him a little too much. I’m desperately looking for ways where the future of his story may change. And that’s probably not the best thing for my heart, now is it? Hope can be a brutal thing when reading a horror series.
The ‘mysterious boy’ introduced in this volume had much to do with why I like Aaron more, as did his overall backstory. They did a great job of reminding us how much people can change over time – especially when they have trauma.
All I can say is that I NEED to dive into the second volume asap. That faint little hope is flaring strong, so I need to see where this leads.
As per usual, the artwork within House of Slaughter Vol. 1 is brilliant. I love the use of bold colors and aesthetic choices to help enhance the horror of it all. It’s not just the monsters that are striking in this series – even the foundational elements help to set the tone.
Chris Shehan, Miquel Muerto, and AndWorld Design were the artists involved in House of Slaughter Vol. 1, and I’m in love. It’s every bit as dark as Something Is Killing the Children, if not darker. Why? They leaned heavily into that spark of hope. That little light makes the shadows of the rest of the world so much darker. It’s perfect.
House of Slaughter Vol. 1 is everything I had hoped it would be. I can’t wait to sit down and read House of Slaughter Vol. 2 (which I will be doing shortly). Wish me luck!
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