House of Slaughter #15 – Boom! Studios & James Tynion and Designs and Development: Werther Dell’edera
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 to the ODPH Podcast via Nerd Initiative!
For this entry, we have arrived at the conclusion of the third arc of the spin-off series based on the award-winning series from Boom! Studios: “Something Is Killing The Children.” Since its’ debut, House Of Slaughter has provided fantastic reads in short arcs involving characters based in the Order of St. George universe.
The latest tale featured a character who made waves in the inaugural start of the series: “The Butcher” Jace Boucher. Now featured in his own solo story, things have drastically changed since we last saw the Butcher. His current life as guardian over some orphans has been impacted by ghosts from his past returning. When one he’s watching over goes missing, Jace’s worst nightmares appear to become real.
House of Slaughter #15 by Tate Brombal, Antonio Fuso, Miguel Muerto and Andworld Design (Series Development: James Tynion and Designs and Development: Werther Dell’edera) brings a finale to the current story run.
Before we get started, some of the imagery might be too intense for younger readers. Reader discretion is advised. That said, let’s see how the fate of The Butcher plays out, shall we?
**GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING AHEAD. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED**
*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***
Before this story began, readers witnessed the tragic love story involving Jace and Aaron Slaughter. In its wake, Jace has become a protector to a group of orphans waiting for Aaron to come back to him. Unfortunately, that day will not come as Aaron was killed after returning to the Order to protect Jace. Without this knowledge, Jace is trying to start life post St. George and adjusting to losing a hand. During this time, a young orphan named Sunny has taken upon himself to try and follow in Jace’s footsteps.
His endeavors brought him into contact with someone who Jace never thought he would see again: Jolie Boucher. Jolie has welcomed Sunny into the lifestyle and her family with open arms. Once Jace becomes aware of who is influencing Sunny, he makes a desperate attempt to save the boy from the fate he knows comes with this lifestyle. This leads to a confrontation between Jace and Jolie, who have some unsettled business from when they last saw each other.
The conversation starts friendly but true motives are shown as Jolie winds up capturing Jace, settling some payback for “leaving her” to die in a fire many years prior. All the while, Sunny faced his first monster to become a member of Jolie’s hunting family, losing his eye in the process.
The Slaughter Continues
This issue opens up with a flashback to where Jace first found Sunny. Readers remember this school bus as it was the setting shown at the beginning of this arc. Readers have nothing held back as the emotional impact is felt from the scene.
It leads to the present day where Jace is tied up in a meat locker. Vionette and Cassius Boucher are watching over and taunting Jace. It is during this moment that Jace finds out news that the readers have been dreading he would. It is upon this revelation that Jace has a vision that proves to be the park for something else entirely. Jolie’s actions have woken up …. The Butcher.
Will Jace save Sunny in time? And what of the other orphans who make an attempt to help? Readers get this answered along with seeing first hand what Jace is capable of. It leads to a final confrontation that no one is expecting things to play out as they do. It is a fitting end to a story that has pushed its protagonists to their threshold before they can’t hold back who they truly are.
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Brombal sends the Butcher out with a very solid conclusion. The entire arc has been about redefining who he is post-hunting. Jace’s life seems to be at peace until Sunny tries taking his “hero worship” too far. Brombal sets up Jace to be a complex character, wrestling with the demons of his past.
The back-story with Jolie fits perfectly as someone who mirrors what Sunny is doing now in their young age. The showdown doesn’t falter as readers see first hand what Jace can do when fully unleashed. Seeing the face-off with Jolie plays right into the boiling point of this story. Once it commences, it delivers on what fans are expecting…until the conclusion.
Brombal shifts gears and throws in some twists that some may not be ready for. It caps off what readers should expect from this universe and know it brings drama and tension every time.
Fuso and Muerto paint a vivid picture of how dangerous Jace can be. Seeing him angry and unhinged is an intense visual for the reader. These panels do not shy away from what he can do and leaves readers knowing exactly why he has the nickname that he does. They set it up nicely with Jace taking cover in a tree, ready to strike at a given notice.
The art really elevates the final stand-off between Jace and Jolie to another level. Readers can sense the feeling involved with this confrontation. Fuso and Muerto also present the shocking moments near the final act with well-timed reactions to the events transpiring. It all ties together with the final visuals bringing a close to this chapter and having fans discuss what happens now with what they have just witnessed.
FINAL POINT: 8 OUT OF 10
The conclusion of “The Butcher’s return” is a complete send-off for Jace Boucher and his life post Aaron Slaughter. Brombal, Fuso, Muerto and the team create a finale filled with solid writing and strong art that leaves no question to the readers about why Jace has the nickname of “The Butcher.” You’ll want to keep an eye out for this issue and series at the local comic book shop this week.
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