House of Slaughter Vol. 2: Scarlet



House of Slaughter Vol. 2: Scarlet
James Tynion IV, series development; Sam Johns, writer; Letizia Cadonici, illustrator; Francesco Segala, colorist
BOOM! Studios, 2022

Edwin Slaughter is a member of the Scarlet Masks, the scribes of the Order of St. George. He prides himself on keeping the history of hunters of the past, but has no desire to become a hunter himself. Then he is assigned to report on an incident at an overnight camp off Lake Michigan. It is a solo assignment, because hunters have become hard to spare since Erica went AWOL (back in the main Something is Killing the Children series). Campers have been reporting various eye problems, and the Order is concerned that a monster might be born out of their speculation and fear. Arriving at the campground, Edwin talks to the camper who lost an eye to see if he sees a monster (we also learn that Edwin's monster totem is his paintbrush, named Hermes). Things get strange from here. Edwin stays on the boat in Lake Michigan, unable to get back to shore. His history with Hermes goes back to his mother's traumatic death at the hands of the monster. Out on the lake he confronts the huge dragon who lives under the water. The boat is lost, and he somehow makes it back to the House of Slaughter–where he retires his brush and asks for reassignment to morgue duty. His handlers fear that something even worse is coming. It is unusual for a monster story to be so abstract, which makes it hard to follow at times. I can't blame the art team. They created an impressionist world that mirrors Edwin's painting style: evocative and moody, with flashes of violence.

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