Welcome to what may be Erica Slaughter’s last day on Earth. Erica has found the cave where the unforeseen monster dwells — will she slay the beast and restore normalcy to the kind folks of Archer’s Peak, Wisconsin? Your guess as good as mine as we dive deeper into writer James Tynion IV and artist Werther Dell’Edera’s intensely interesting horror comic in Something is Killing the Children #4.
If you’ve been along for the ride thus far, you know that in the town of Archer’s Peak mysterious creatures are killing off kids (Plus, I mean…it’s literally the title of the book). Erica Slaughter barged into town a few issues ago like those two bounty hunters in the 1986 film Critters, with the know-how to stop them. The latest issue sees our heroine gathering up weapons in the forest with James (the kid who saw his friends get murdered) in preparation for perhaps finally ridding the town of their monster infestation problem. The only person who may get in her way is Tommy Mahoney, who suspects Erica is the one behind the killings and is following her during her journey unbeknownst to her.
The issue serves mostly as another plot thickener much like issue #3, and it still leaves the reader wondering: seriously, what the hell is killing the children? We do learn some things, like only children can see the monsters and how to make yourself see it. In addition, we get a glimpse of the individual that Erica was talking to on the phone in previous issues. The best way to describe him is Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget, as we only get to see his hands, legs, and a dragon cane he’s holding with a dragon tattoo on his hand. I think the biggest takeaway from issues #4 and #4 is that something big is on the horizon that Tynion and Dell’Edera are leading us to.
Dell’Edra’s pencil work remains solid and reads as three different stories that intertwine with one another. He does a fantastic job of transitioning from Erica and James in the woods, to puzzled police officer investigations, to Tommy Mahoney. I think it’s also a great treat that Dell’Edra has taken the Ridley Scott approach in only showing us subtle glimpses of the monsters in this series in the same manner as the Alien franchise — perhaps it’s even a homage to it.
Something is Killing the Children #4 is just a really fun read that I believe is going to lead to an even bigger payoff. Tynion and Dell’Edera work very well together and haven’t lost steam at all since the first issue. This issue ends with a major cliffhanger, and the action looks like it’s gearing up going into the next issue — I can’t wait to read it. Make sure to check out the series if you’re not already doing so.
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