It takes Gabi’s help for Erica to set a trap for the duplicitype. Will they be able to lure the monster in before Cutter becomes a problem? Find out in Something is Killing the Children #33 from BOOM! Studios.
SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #33
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: September 20, 2023
Previously in Something is Killing the Children: Erica comes face to face with an unexpected Cecilia. Cecilia is in line to become the next Dragon, and she is here out of responsibility, not out of any fondness for Erica. She offers Erica a chance to return and rebuild the Black Masks. The Order does not condone free agents, so House Cutter sent one of their agents to deal with House Slaughter’s problem. But Cutter killed Gary, so Cecilia is here. She brings books that Gary had pulled and also a poison designed to kill duplicitypes. She also gives Erica a warning. It only took Cecelia an hour to find her.
SETTING THE TRAPS
Something is Killing the Children #33 opens with Gabi and Riqui at a pool. Gabi is getting impatient and does not want to go through with talking about everything yet again. Riqui calmly agrees that it sucks, but this is the last place on their list. Gabi asks if this is what therapy is like and declares it to be dumb. Talking through things will not help her get past watching her sister be eaten by a monster. She then asks Riqui for the knife, cuts her hand, and drips some blood into the pool. Riqui gives her a hug. The scene is raw, and I like that it does not show Gabi blithely getting past her trauma, but instead, she is starting to be able to cope with it. They get in the truck to return to the ranch, but Gabi has an odd feeling. As well she should. Cutter stows away in the back.
The Sheriff talks to another young witness to the scary lady. He shows her a sketch of Erica, but scarier. The little girl says her teeth were really big, and that the scary lady was coming to eat her. But then she smelled something and roared. We get the benefit of seeing the duplicitype, looking roughly like Erica but much toothier, roaring. Later, the Sheriff investigates more things in town, like a fence broken as though something huge had run through it. He has not heard from Bill lately, nor has he heard from Cutter. Then he has an idea and radios back to the station and asks someone to pull him some maps.
At the ranch, Erica practices archery, badly. She is still recovering from her arm injury. The horse watches her. Gabi returns and tells her that she is never again doing what Erica asked her to do. Then she sees the horse. There is a rustle in the back of the truck and Riqui tucks the tarpaulin back in. Did she ever know that Cutter was there? Erica cautions them not to touch any of the explosives. “Everything is deadly around here,” she says as Cutter, now in one of the outbuildings, hears her. There is more truth to that statement than Erica realizes.
Cutter finds Dolly and gestures for her to be quiet. Then she spots Octo. She tells him that her bond with Dolly is special, but she is sure that Octo would like to be rid of Erica. Will he keep quiet? She claims that she knows how to set him free again, free to feed, and even to kill Erica.
As Erica comes in, Cutter hides. Erica suggests that Gabi take a nap – they have a long night in front of them. Gabi does not want to. Then Erica spots Octo on the floor. She asks him about the view, and if he can feel the duplicitype coming. Instead, he says he thinks they will all be killed very soon.
Something is Killing the Children #33 does such a wonderful job of portraying characters, especially the children. Gabi’s task is a lonely one, and it seems odd to see a community swimming pool empty but for the one girl. She goes through what she must do bravely, but that doesn’t mean she hides her emotions. She is frustrated and angry, lashing out at the world, courageously bringing all her feelings to bear. Then we see her determination as she uses the knife herself to draw blood. When she is done, she looks young and vulnerable, yet a little more grown up from her pain and loss.
Cutter is in her full persona as a hunter. No longer does she look like a professional from some outside agency. Her mask covers the upper part of her face, not the lower part. Her top leaves her shoulders and arms bare. Those arms are muscular and have scars. She picks Octo up and talks to him almost seductively, then casually drops him back onto the floor. We do not see her eyes, but her red lips curl up in a hint of a smile as she ducks into hiding, her quarry only feet away from her.
BOTTOM LINE: PREDATORS AND PREY
Something is Killing the Children #33 deftly treads the line between sheer horror and the portrayal of the effects of trauma, which is something I respect from the creative team. I think it makes the story that much richer – and increases the stakes for the characters.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
Something is Killing the Children #33
As Erica works to finish setting and baiting the trap, what could go wrong?