BOOM! Studios 2021
Story by James Tynion IV & Tate Brombal
Written by Tate Brombal
Illustrated by Chris Sheehan
Coloured by Miquel Muerto
Lettered by Andworld Design
Erica Slaughter isn't the only member of the House of Slaughter to have made sacrifices in order to become the monster hunter she is today. As a teenager, her handler and rival Aaron finds himself with a new roommate, the mysterious "transfer student" Jace Boucher. To initiate his training, Jace must prove his loyalty to the House of Slaughter through a binding ritual... a ritual that few survive.
I like how we see the present and the past playing off one another as we see what was the boys first meeting and what is presumably their last, though last isn’t something that really tends to happen in comics now does it. While the time they spent in between is a large mystery to either be explored or not, I’d like to see more of their relationship, we already get the sense of what the irony is that one should be sent after the other with orders to kill him. This is a pretty messed up world and with everything we learn and how we learn it just intensifies the desire in me to want to know, see and learn more.
I’m very much enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in fleshing out their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story the more it pulls us in and the desire to see and now more is instilled further.
I am enjoying the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see the layers open up new avenues to be explored. Whether or not these new avenues will be explored or not is not relevant as they all add some wonderful depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how we see it move the story forward are impeccably handled.
The mood, tone and feel of the interiors here are utterly brilliantly demonstrated and brought to life. For different moments you can see how the work changes just enough to create the perfect setting for what we need to see. Even more impressive is that the work all has this great consistency through the linework and its varying weights and techniques that we see utilised to create the detail within the work. How we see the composition within the panels being utilised to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is extremely well achieved. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show an extremely talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a superb understanding of how colour works.
This is a really good solid storytelling story issue and while it manages to maintain those creepy undertones that make the franchise such a success it is nice to see that we can get this level of story and feeling. The writing is superb and the characterisation is stupendous while the interiors are completely bespoke to the story.