REVIEW: ‘Something is Killing The Children,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Something Is Killing The Children

Something Is Killing The Children #3 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by James Tynion IV, with art by Werther Dell’Edera, colors by Miguel Muerto, and lettering from Andworld Design. After last issue’s ill fated visit to Applebean’s, Monster Hunter Erica Slaughter finds herself on the wrong end of a police interrogation table. Now that she’s in custody, the townsfolk talk amongst themselves about the strange girl with the strange eyes. With more children’s bodies turning up by the day, will Erica take the fall?

There’s a time and a place for everything. Even viscerally intense slumber party monster attacks. Tynion and Dell’Edera understand this. In Something Is Killing The Children #3, Werther draws the series’ mysterious creatures into the spotlight. After two issues of buildup, this issue opens with a grisly look at one of Archer’s Peak’s boogeymen mid hunt. Be warned, kids may die in it, but it’s one of the strongest scenes in the issue, as well as one of my favorites in the series so far. That’s thanks in part to Werther’s kinetic double page spreads.

Something Is Killing The Children #3

Most of Something Is Killing The Children #3 takes the form of those double-page spreads. And I can see why, as when given room to breathe, Werther uses the extra canvas to maximize the issue’s all-pervasive sense of unease. He has a way of offsetting long horizontal panels with tiers of uniform square panels that give Something Is Killing The Children #3 a cinematic widescreen appeal. Even though they take up more space on the page, Dell’Edera uses wide panels here for dutch closeups of characters’ shifting reactions. Combined with Muerto’s muted chalky colors, these pages dial up the series stakes.

The other source of Something Is Killing The Children #3 ‘s uncomfortable atmosphere is Tynion’s writing. In this issue, Tynion reveals how high tensions are in Archer’s Peak since the last killing. As with the previous issues,  Something Is Killing The Children #3 introduces us to another of the town’s lost souls. However, it does so in a markedly different style, bringing the anguish of Archer’s Peak out into the open. Before now, we’ve encountered bereaved family members of slain kids at their most vulnerable. They sit in their homes or interrogation rooms, each struggling to explain the pain tearing them apart. In these scenes, you get the sense that Tynion peeled back Archer’s Peak surface to show the town’s secret heartaches. As honest as these snapshots are, they still feel jarringly private. Emotionally gut-wrenching, sure. But private.

Subtly but surely, Something Is Killing The Children #3 changes the game. With its cast set and its setting firmly established, this issue brings Archer’s Peak ever closer to a boiling point.

Nowhere To Run

In contrast, Something Is Killing The Children #3 bring shows what happens when that deep private pain breaks through to the surface. Faced with a future full of more dead kids, folks in Archer’s Peak aren’t doing too well. From open paranoia to binge drinking, people’s coping methods grow more hostile by the day. How long will it be before Archer’s Peak hits critical mass?

Something is Killing the Children #3
5

TL;DR

Subtly but surely, Something Is Killing The Children #3 changes the game. With its cast set and its setting firmly established, this issue brings Archer’s Peak ever closer to a boiling point.