The first panel of that page is police cars. The second is the mouth of the cave. The third is the sheriff shining a flashlight at the pile of dead children. The air is thick with tension, and a great weight is on our backs. When the coroner speaks, we feel like we can breathe again, and that release is pure catharsis. His first words in response to the situation are “I quit”, not “Oh my god” or “Blegghhh” (That’s him throwing up). It’s so unexpected and jarring that it makes for one of the most unusual bits of comic relief I have ever seen.
After the sheriff talks him into staying on, the sheriff exits the cave. This is displayed through an absolutely stunning wideview panel. The mouth of the cave is right behind him, a symbolic black hole of sorrow and despair that he can physically escape yet can never leave behind mentally. The artwork in this series elevates the gripping story and begs the reader to linger on each panel.
Speaking of artwork, Bian (the only child to survive the cave) and Erica have a coloring session together and it may just be the gloomiest and most depressing coloring session of all time. An activity so precious and innocent is poisoned by the dire and horrific nature of the conversation that they share amidst said activity.
Bian seems happy and carefree, and by all accounts, she appears to be genuinely having a good time. She just told Erica that since the bodies were removed from the cave, the babies (monster babies, although she doesn’t ever call them that) would go hungry, and she is bordering on gleeful. That poor, broken child. This moment was so tender, so painful, and so bitterly depressing that I was nearly moved to tears.
The heartbreak is quickly traded out for intrigue, for their coloring session transitions beautifully into our first lengthy look at The House Of Slaughter. If I got your hopes up, I apologize. Allow me to send them crashing back down, because no, your questions about the mysterious organizations are not answered here. In fact, even more questions are raised about Erica’s past and James’ future. I have to imagine that answers are coming soon, for after the biggest twist of the series is revealed on the final page, we are treated with the name of this new arc, “The House Of Slaughter.”
Issue #6 of Something Is Killing The Children ties up some of the loose ends of the previous arc while simultaneously setting up a mystifying new story that, hopefully, provides us with some answers about Erica, Otto, and The House Of Slaughter. The artwork is as always, to die for, and the pacing is phenomenal.
The Illuminerdi highly recommends picking up a copy of Something Is Killing The Children #6 when it hits shelves on Wednesday March 18th, 2020.