Book of Slaughter #1: A World-Building Text Worth Exploring – Comic Watch

Author(s): James Tynion IV
Artist(s): Werther Dell’edera
Colorist(s): Miquel Muerto
Letterer: Andworld Design
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural
Published Date: 12/28/2022
The comic Something is Killing the Children introduced readers to monster hunter Erica Slaughter and expanded the universe in the spin off House of Slaughter. Created by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’edera, this horror title has gained critical acclaim and its lore continues to grow.
In this series, monsters are real and can only be seen by children and members of a secret society known as the Order of St. George. Members are part of different houses and don different color bandanas to signal which faction they are in.
Fans of Something is Killing the Children will appreciate the world-building one-shot Book of Slaughter. While the story feels smaller in scale, this issue shows the potential for different avenues to be explored and characters to be introduced. 
The Book of Slaughter has a purpose of expanding the history of the Order of St. George. The plot follows Maxine, a white masked member, and the role she plays in the House of Slaughter. This question on what type of hunter she wants to be is the plot device that gets Maxine to look into the Book of Slaughter. It’s an arc that may leave readers wanting more as the information presented is fascinating, but the plot itself feels secondary.
This plot felt too short and the exposition heavy page excerpts were similar to reference pages in an epic as opposed to a comic. If a reader has knowledge of the world and is wanting to get more history, this issue is a great addition to the lore. However, should this be a first issue for a new reader, it might be easy to get lost in the mechanics of the organization and the various rites and passages involved.
As a fan of this series, I felt like this issue provided me with more of the history I wanted to learn, however, I could see how it doesn’t fit the typical plot driven mold from the other issues.
The shifting of the art works well for the story. Maxine’s journey sticks with the gritty and excellent art and colors from Werther Dell’edera and Miquel Muerto and the page excerpts from the Book of Slaughter feel different enough. The way the art shifts to an aged piece of paper feels fresh to the series and fits into the aesthetic of this universe.
At $9.99 this issue may feel like a high price point compared to the typical single issues released. However, if you’re a fan of the series, the new information presented signals what could come in the future and serves as a fascinating reference text. This issue expands the universe, and it’s a welcomed addition to the lore of the Order of St. George.

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