And now, please enjoy our feature length presentation! [Spoilers]
Issue #6 of Something Is Killing The Children opens with a new look into what happened the night that James witnessed the butchery of his closest friends. This return to the past provides new readers with a bit of backstory, making this a decent jumping on point. The relationship between James and Karl is explored further, showcasing two LGBTQ+ characters in a casual and authentic light. This is the kind of healthy representation that the entertainment industry needs.
After tumbling to the bottom of the ravine and hearing the screams of his friends, we cut back to the hospital, where it is revealed that this flashback is simply a dream James is experiencing in the hospital. The series differentiates between night and day, by alternating the color of the gutters from black to white respectively. It’s a subtle touch, but it’s the small details like this that makes Something Is Killing The Children standout.
Erica and Tommy are watching over James, hoping for the best. Tommy says “He looks peaceful.” and Erica effectively tells him to shut up, since he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Tommy’s use of a phrase generally reserved for speaking about the dead to describe the sleeping child he just shot characterizes him as a bumbling fool that’s in way over his head.
Conversations like these are what make the characters of Archer’s Peak feel so relatable and authentic. Every single person is flawed, and by showcasing their issues and they’re shortcomings, Tynion IV allows the reader to see themselves in these broken individuals. We’ve all said the wrong thing when trying to smooth over our mistakes and been chewed out for it, at least once.
Tommy gets upset with Erica, proclaiming that he needs to understand the horrors that he has just witnessed, and in response, she breaks his arm and tells him that he doesn’t truly want that. “Typical Erica” was my initial thought when reading that panel. Despite knowing almost nothing about her origin and backstory, the expectations for how she should act are already present. If that isn’t a testament to how iconic her character has become in only five issues, I don’t know what is.
After Erica’s casual assault and battery, we return to the cave where the monster stockpiled dead children for it’s babies to consume. The sheriff and his brother, the coroner, silently gaze at the abomination in front of them for one panel, and in the next, the coroner says “I quit.” This was certainly the funniest moment in this issue, and I know that sounds sick, but hear me out.