Comics, Reviews

Something is Killing the Children #32 Review: Calm Before the Storm

Find out what Cecilia has to say to Erica in this emotionally-charged issue of one of the best comics coming out today!

Something is Killing the Children #32 Review Cover
Image: BOOM! Studios
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:07 AM

Something is Killing the Children #32

Review
Rating
8
Good
Something is Killing the Children #32 Full Cover

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artist: Werther Dell'Edera

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Release Date: August 15, 2023

Format: Single-issue

While this issue is purely dialogue-driven, the emotionally-charged conversations add plenty of depth to Cecilia and Erica's characters. I'd go as far as saying this issue is a subtle turning point for the series.

One of comics’ hottest titles continues with an issue that changes things up from its usual formula. Instead of chilling horror or fast-paced action, this issue focuses on exposing both the tenderness and torment within the characters through a pair of emotionally-charged conversations. James Tynion IV and Werther Dell'Edera weave a compelling chapter that doesn’t need big moments to make significant impacts on the story. Where does Erica Slaughter go from here? Let’s dive into my review and find out!

Erica and Cecilia have a chat

Overview

Picking up right where the previous issue left off, Erica and Cecilia chat about the dicey situation going on in Tribulation. Not only is the Duplicitype still at large, but also Cutter is on a bloodthirsty rampage. To Erica’s surprise, Cecilia extends a helping hand. As much as she hates Erica to her core, she hates Cutter even more. It’s through that hatred we see how sick in the head Cecilia can really be. The repercussions of Cecilia’s aid leave Erica with plenty to think about the mission and what comes after.

In a moment of calm before the storm, Erica remembers Gary, the man who essentially raised her with Jessica. She remembers some words of wisdom he gave her at a time when life was less complicated than it is currently.

Erica gets emotional

Review

While the most attention-grabbing aspects of “Something is Killing the Children” as a series are its thrilling action scenes and supernatural horror aesthetics, it's Tynion’s strong character writing that drives the whole ship forward. This issue is a reminder of that, as it’s probably one the most dialogue-heavy chapters in the series. All that happens in this issue are two conversations that add plenty of depth to some of the most compelling characters in the cast. Much of what's talked about will carry plenty of weight for the story, making it a subtle turning point for the series, especially for Erica and Cecilia.

In my review of the previous issue, I gushed about Cutter’s characterization. In this issue, the clear stand out is Cecilia. It feels like it’s been a long time since Erica and Cecilia interacted with each other face-to-face. The latter carried much of the conversation that served as the focal point of this issue. Cecilia makes the clear distinction that her actions are coming from the perspective of possibly becoming the next Dragon of the House of Slaughter. Through words alone, Cecilia comes off as more terrifying than the current Dragon himself. As much as the series has shown Cecilia to be one ruthless lady, this issue puts it in full force. Werther Dell'Edera does a stellar job of showing flashes of Cecilia’s more demented side through his fantastic art.

Once that conversation ends, the comic puts you straight into a flashback sequence that’s both touching and heartbreaking. It’s a brief scene that gives a more intimate glimpse at Gary and Erica’s relationship during the girl’s teenage years. The heartfelt conversation drives home how much of a father figure Gary was to Erica. That touching moment immediately gets juxtaposed with a tragic final page that hits like a truck. While Cecilia was the driving force behind most of this issue, these somber moments with Erica show her being more vulnerable than she puts on. It’s great for the character and great for the series overall.

Erica remembers touching moment with Gary

Final Thoughts

This being the early part of a new story arc, nothing too earth-shattering or adrenaline-pumping needs to happen just yet. But this issue still delivers plenty of solid character-building moments that will surely play out big time down the line. Despite not having the comic’s usual serving of horror or action, there was still plenty of compelling tension between characters throughout the issue. Its final page leaves me excited to see how the trouble in Tribulation plays out from here.

Why You Should Read Something is Killing the Children

  • This issue is dialogue heavy but packs an emotional punch.
  • There’s strong character development in this issue from top to bottom.
  • The next part of the story is sure to be big after two solid issues of build-up.
TAGGED: BOOM! Studios
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