The monster of Archer’s Peak is dead, but is that the end of the troubles? Find out in Something is Killing the Children #6 from BOOM! Studios.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Werther Dell’Edera
Colorist: Miquel Muerto
Letterer: Andworld Design
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 18, 2020
Previously in Something is Killing the Children: Erica Slaughter has tracked the monster of Archer’s Peak to its lair. She left James outside to stay safe, but her stuffed octopus starts talking to him, manipulating him into following her. Tommy has also followed her into the cave, gun in hand. As she fights the monster he cannot see, he shoots at her, but injures James. Erica kills the monster and Tommy finds the remains of his sister. They also find a little girl, Bian, who has been surviving in the cave. In order to get Tommy over his shock, Erica has to inject him with something that enables him to see the monster.
THE MYSTERY OF ERICA SLAUGHTER
Something is Killing the Children #6 opens on the fateful night all of this started in Archer’s Peak. The boys at the sleepover are sneaking into the woods with nerves and chatter, and James having a moment to talk to the boy he asked out, which is just so poignant. But it’s all a nightmare, a flashback to the event, as James is still in the hospital.
Tommy is also in the hospital, freshly patched up, and he wants some answers, some explanation from Erica now that he’s seen things. Erica basically breaks his arm to keep him out of the way, and he is stunned when she hints that the trouble isn’t over yet.
The police are left with the awful job of collecting the remains of children and getting them identified. They’re struggling with whether there will be publicity or not, and it comes out that the Sherriff has been assured that there will not be. He cannot confide anything about who told him this, and this adds some distrust on top of everything else.
Back at the police station, Bian is coloring and talking about the monsters. She’s acting fairly normal, at least on the surface, and it’s disquieting to see the scar crossing her face. Gail, who is keeping an eye on her, offers Erica some coffee as she sits down to talk with Bian and draw with her. Bian talks about her pictures and casually mentions “the babies.” The mother monster ate the live kids, and the babies ate the dead ones. She says this in the matter of fact way of a traumatized child, and it is chilling. Not to mention that now we know for sure there are baby monsters on the loose.
Then we cut to an elegant old house in Chicago. There’s a man in a toothy bandanna mask, and a woman in a similar mask. The man, Aaron, is being sent North (i.e., into Wisconsin). Their boss is not pleased, and we also learn that Erica has always been a bit too headstrong and independent for them. Aaron is to send Erica back home and take care of things himself. Could it be that there are other things almost as bad as the monsters? The House of Slaughter fascinates me. The house hints at old money, but what sort of supernatural game are they playing?
As the monster hunter in Something is Killing the Children #6, Erica is as tough as nails. She keeps her feelings hidden and puts on a strong façade. It comes as a shock to see her talking to Bian. First, the genuine offer of coffee comes totally as a surprise, as though she never experiences simple generosity. For a moment she looks like a young woman, and she almost smiles. This is short lasting. She knows how to talk to children, and as she sits on the floor talking with Bian, we can see the faintest hint of dread wash back over her as she tries to keep it hidden.
The House of Slaughter is fascinating. It’s plainly a huge old house, and the artwork scattered about in the background speaks quietly of money. But otherwise the rooms are large and open, not cluttered with much furniture, looking more like a museum than a house. I like the way the art handles the people. With the masks covering so much of their faces, we have to interpret them by their eyes (which are very expressive) and their body language.
BOTTOM LINE: IT ISN’T OVER YET
Something is Killing the Children #6 is a heavy book. The good moments are so small and fleeting compared to everything else. But finally we’re learning more about Erica and maybe we’ll find out why she hunts monsters.
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Something is Killing the Children #6
Life will never be the same in the aftermath of the monsters only children can see.