House Of Slaughter #13 – Boom! Studios
Creative Team: Tate Brombal, Antonio Fuso, Miguel Muerto and Andworld Design
Welcome to a brand new edition of Parlay Points, the comic book review blog for the ODPH Podcast by way of Nerd Initiative!
For this entry, we’re continuing to follow the latest installment of the spin-off series from BOOM! Studios’ hugely successful comic: Something is Killing The Children. HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #13 by Tate Brombal, Antonio Fuso, Miguel Muerto and Andworld Design (Series Development: James Tynion and Designs and Development: Werther Dell’edera) continues onward the story of Jace Boucher aka The Butcher. With more eyes swinging over to the SIKTC franchise due to the Netflix adaptation announcement, this series is heating up at just the right time. Let’s take a deeper dive about the latest chapter, shall we?
***POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING***
What Is ‘House Of Slaughter’?
House of Slaughter is an anthology series, having self-contained stories involving characters set in the SIKTC universe. In this recent arc, Jace Boucher’s life post monster hunting hasn’t gone exactly the way he envisioned. As seen in the first HoS arc, Jace’s doomed love with Aaron Slaughter still weighs heavy on his mind (even without knowing Aaron’s fate). Jace has assumed the role of protector for orphans and is laying low off the radar, hoping to escape his past.
This proves to be a lost cause when Sunny, one of the orphans, wants to follow in the hunter footsteps of Jace. When he’s told not to, Sunny becomes rebellious and leaves the camp set up for Jace and the orphans. When a monster comes across Sunny, he is rescued by a person Jace knows well: Jolie Boucher.
Conflict From The Offset
During the rescue, Jolie is trying to sell Sunny on the dream of being a hunter. Jolie mentions that the monster they encountered has more baby creatures lying around. She takes Sunny under her wing and brings him along for a hunt with her house. Sunny becomes mesmerized by what he sees and is invited for dinner at her mansion home, “The Butcher Shop”. All the while, Jace is tying to track Sunny down while dealing with some unsettling visions and dreams. Once he sees Sunny leave with Jolie, Jace realizes the stakes have become much higher.
This issue kicks off with a flashback sequence as Jace prepares to return to New Orleans in search of Jolie and Sunny. The moment switches to when Sunny walks into the mansion (due to Jolie manipulating the young boy). Once inside, Sunny sees some of the house residents such as Rene and Vionette Boucher. SIKTC readers will recognize a certain hunter roaming the halls as well, Maxine Slaughter!
Familiar Face In A New Place
The last time readers had seen Maxine, she was making a big move in the pages of the “Book Of Slaughter” one-shot, which is a great reference point for new readers to the SIKTC world. With Sunny invested in meeting the people of the house, Jolie convinces him that she will take him back to Jace’s camp in the morning.
Meanwhile, Jace is making his way through New Orleans when he has a flashback to a childhood moment with Jolie. This has been an ongoing plot point since the story arc began. This recent memory is interrupted by a raven, which Jace recognizes and quickly runs toward. The bird leads him to a mysterious character named Maven, who warns Jace of what’s ahead.
Will the warning be enough? Is Jace ready for what he is about to encounter? Readers will get some clarity on those questions, but will have to brace for what is in store for Sunny. A strong final act in this issue to will leave readers wanting more.
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Brombal keeps readers guessing as to what Jolie’s overall plan is for Sunny. Considering their history, it makes perfect sense to hurt Jace by stealing away one of his children, and having them join the life he has been so desperate to escape. The influence of giving the young boy his dream is easy for Jolie to use to her advantage. Jace knows this and risks everything to try and stop it. Seeing Maven and their conversation adds more drama to the upcoming events.
It’s subtle, but readers can sense the doubt in Jace’s voice heading in to the inevitable confrontation. The pacing worked well, giving enough time to set up the stage for the final act. The flashback/dream sequences were used less than the previous issues, but this method helped keep things moving without taking away from Jolie and Sunny’s spotlight. The final moments will be interesting to see the fallout from in the next issue, but left a satisfying conclusion for this chapter.
Fuso focused on displaying “The Butcher Shop” as a warm and friendly place, while hiding most of its secrets. This plays well into Jolie’s schemes as her subtle smirks conceal what she has in store for Sunny. Seeing the interactions with the other residents especially, with the cameo from Maxine, helps to break up some tension before shifting back to Jolie and Jace.
Jace’s flashbacks and ultimate interruption set things up nicely for his portion of the issue. There is an excellent full-page panel to cap off the Maven sequence. The final act moved quickly with Sunny, but illustrated the situation he’s in and what lies ahead. It eluded to the scheming of Jolie, giving fans much to be excited for as the story continues in the next issue.
House Of Slaughter #13 sets Jolie’s plans into full motion while keeping The Butcher on the defense with time slipping away. Brombal, Fuso and the team give us a slow burn drama with solid art and writing to please fans waiting to see how this story moves onward.
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