House of Slaughter #1 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by James Tynion IV and Tate Brombal, art by Chris Shehan, colors by Miquel Muerto, and letters by Andworld Design. Taking place in the world of Something is Killing the Children, this story introduces readers to Aaron. Aaron is trying to earn his teeth at the House of Slaughter. But, unfortunately, it isn’t going well.
So, when I decided to check out this book to review, I didn’t realize it was connected to Something is Killing the Children, a series that, while it’s been on my “to read” list forever, I haven’t picked up yet. And since I get the distinct impression from this story that the writer assumes the reader knows the world this story takes place in, I felt I should clarify that I don’t have that knowledge. And if you are considering picking this book up without that knowledge, I’d say you should probably hit the core material first. So now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about this story.
Our story opens with a grown Aaron helping a trapped deer out of a bear trap. This introduction creates a soft opening for this book. It eases the reader into House of Slaughter #1 while much of the rest of the book is a bit colder than the opening pages. Once he has freed the helpless creature, Aaron is prepared to continue the task that has brought him to these woods. But when he sees a familiar triple slash mark on a nearby tree, his mind wanders back to the past where writers Tynion and Brobbal deliver the bulk of this book’s story.
Once in the past, House of Slaughter #1 focuses on a teenage Aaron as he struggles to earn his teeth. Not only does he struggle with the task assigned to him, but few at the house seem to be particularly fond of him. Most view him as nothing more than a liability in the struggles the house is preparing them to partake. Aaron is set up perfectly as a sympathetic protagonist between his clear outsider status at the house and his earlier kindness toward the deer.
Once the training exercise is complete, the rest of the book spends its time introducing characters and fleshing out Aaron’s relationships with those around him. There is little subtlety with most of the characters we meet in this issue—where they stand, and their opinions of Aaron are generally crystal clear. This allows the book to cover a fair amount of ground in a short amount of time.
The art in House of Slaughter #1 does a solid job of delivering the story’s visuals. Both the linework and the colors combine to create a look that feels appropriate for the story. In addition, the often simple, one-color backgrounds utilized throughout the story allow the reader’s eyes to focus on the characters easily.
Rounding out our look at this book is the lettering. Andworld Design does a good job with the placement of text bubbles and thought boxes, allowing the reader to follow along with the story easily.
So, when all is said and done, House of Slaughter #1 does a good job of introducing readers to a sympathetic protagonist and establishing the situation he currently finds himself in.
House of Slaughter #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
House of Slaughter #1
House of Slaughter #1 does a good job of introducing readers to a sympathetic protagonist and establishing the situation he currently finds himself in.