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Something Is Killing the Children’s Order Gains New Life in House of Slaughter #1

House of Slaughter #1 is a character-driven story that focuses on Aaron Slaughter and his journey to becoming a Black Room hunter.

In the world of James Tynion IV’s Something is Killing the Children, monsters are real, and they can only be seen by children on whom these creatures eat. The only thing standing in their way is the Order of St. George, a centuries-old organization sworn to protect the world from the likes of monsters. Something is Killing the Children is a macabre tale that mixes gratuitous violence with chilling horror. Published by Boom! Studios, the horror comic book began in 2019. To broaden the world of the hunters and monsters, writer Tate Brombal scripts a spin-off story that gives more backstory to the world’s Order and its hunters.

House of Slaughter #1 opens with the inner monologue of a hunter named Aaron Slaughter as he tracks down a monster terrorizing a town. While reflecting on his life in the Order of St. George, Aaron’s mind wanders to the distant memories of the House of Slaughter, where he grew up and was trained to be a hunter. Being a Black Room initiate meant constant bullying from the White Room trainees — who held themselves in high regard. As he broods over his shortcomings, his mentor arrives with a new recruit.

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Aaron Slaughter in House of Slaughter #1

Aaron Slaughter’s small cameo in Something is Killing the Children painted him as a by-the-books person whose only aim is to get the job done by any means possible. Tate Brombal expands on the character’s motivations and history by exploring the secrets of the enigmatic House of Slaughter. The tale opens with a flashback depicting a thrilling training session that takes a dramatic turn and returns to a gory crime scene in the present before meandering into a tedious narrative full of exposition. However, the issue’s conversations are well written and offer a lot of insight into the inner workings of the Order and its hierarchy.

Chris Shehan is no stranger to dark, grim comic books, having created artworks for horror-suspense series such as The Autumnal. His framing of the panels makes it easy to follow the story’s actions. Shehan’s clear lines and gritty inking create detailed and emotive expressions that make the book even more appealing. Miquel Muerto, the colorist behind Something is Killing the Children, returns for the spin-off and uses a broad spectrum of colors — from muted tones to bright shades — to give the world of Slaughter House a vibrant look. Muerto’s warm tones add an underlying calmness to the aesthetic of the issue.

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Aaron and Jessica in House of Slaughter #1

House of Slaughter #1 is a character-driven story that follows a non-linear narrative with drama and intrigue sprinkled throughout the issue. With Jace’s backstory still shrouded in mystery, the debut issue appears to lay the groundwork for the events that will transform Aaron into a professional hunter. Even though House of Slaughter #1 takes place in the same universe as Something is Killing the Children, the issue is a strong indicator that the spin-off can be enjoyed by readers as a standalone series as well.

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