Something Is Killing The Children #4 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 getting picked up by the Archer’s Peak Police Department for questioning in issue number three, Monster Hunter Erica Slaughter readies herself for battle. As Erica gathers her tools, Applebean manager Tommy prepares himself for his own battle with darkness.
You know that feeling you get when the comic you’re reading feels like a thrill ride? If you’ve been reading Something Is Killing The Children, you should. Issue number four keep the ride alive, feeling like the final buildup on a roller coaster. You know it, that slow climb that seems to crawl before making it all the way to the edge of an impossibly steep drop. Something Is Killing The Children #4 does that. The issue slows Archer’s Peak down for a spell dialing back the series’ escalating intensity with a series of seemingly minor scenes. The raw human drama of the past several issues takes a backseat to low key moments of mundane errands. Characters stop by hardware stores, take phone calls and pick up supplies.
Compared with the electric dread of Something Is Killing The Children #1-3, this issue of minor chores seems almost laughably out of place. There’s more than a little humor on display when the unflappable Erica Slaughter goes chainsaw shopping. Something Is Killing The Children #4 is closer in tone to issue #2 that regard. Like when Erica’s attempted Applebeans basecamp went sideways, there’s an undeniable comedy at the intersection of the mundane and the horrific.
While this switch up in tone was jarring, I have to say I quite like the results. Despite its monsters, Archer’s Peak is supposed to feel like a real place. In this mundane world, heroes buy dodgy chainsaws just like everyone else, while villains find guns as easily as they do in real life. This grounds Archer’s Peak further, even as Erica readies herself to enter a monster’s lair. It’s a great approach for our real-world Grimm fairy tale, the antithesis to the gearing up sequence in other stories.
Speaking of monsters, Something Is Killing The Children #4 sheds light on Archer’s Peak resident boogeyman. We’ve known since the first issue that only kids and teens can see monsters. But we’ve never known why. In Something Is Killing The Children #4, Erica offers a somewhat scientific explanation; Adults can’t see monsters because their adult brains KNOW that monsters aren’t real. Children’s brains, on the other hand, don’t. Instead, as Erica puts it, children’s brains aren’t “fully cooked”, which enables them to see the monsters they fear might be real after all.
Something Is Killing The Children #4 takes a step back from slaughter and mayhem to give its characters and readers a chance to breathe. With Erica firmly in the monster’s lair by issue 4’s end, I can hardly wait to see what happens to the angel of Archer’s Peak. Hop on the Something is Killing The Children roller coaster before the drop!
Something Is Killing The Children #4 is available now wherever comic books are sold and through our ComiXology affiliate link.
Rating: 5/5 Bargain Bin Chainsaws.
Something is Killing The Children #4
Something Is Killing The Children #4 takes a step back from slaughter and mayhem to give its characters and readers a chance to breathe