Review: HOUSE OF WHISPERS #14
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Nalo Hopkinson and Dan Watters
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Colors: Zac Atkinson
Letters: AndWorld Design
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Last month in the House of Whispers, we met Djuna. She was full of rage. It manifested in the shape of a fire breathing chicken. Seriously. Well, Madame Erzulie was next door, so there was that. This time around, the chicken is on the loose, Djuna’s rage is not quelled and so, the fire breathing chicken is running around New Orleans reacting to her rage with, well…Fire. It is not good.
Stuart, the focus of her rage shows up and well, things get out of hand even more. Gods and humans collide. It is a whole big messy thing. I mean, how could it not be? There are fire breathing chickens in this book
“Humans are so bad at well…Human stuff.” Truer words have not been uttered. This is what happens when Hopkinson and Watters are on top of their game. This book always has moments of magic and clarity. This issue, while not perfect, has some of those. They have once again decided to follow and, root the story in humanity. Yes, there are gods among the humans. Yes, there is an emotional fire running around NOLA in the shape of a chicken. This is the Sandman Universe after all. Still, there is a human at the center. A complex and messed up human to act as our avatar in the House of Whispers series. We need it. It works.
You know how when you watch TV or a movie and there is fire, you can always tell it is fake or real? Well, the nice thing about comics is that it always looks “real” in relationship to the world in which it exists. Artist Matthew Dow Smith gets to draw a lot of fire, some of it actual fire and some of it magical fire. At no point, does it distract from the story at hand. It is really quite eye catching. Colorist Zac Atkinson has a lot to do with that as well. This is really a nice looking book.
Remember what I wrote just a few paragraphs ago about humanity? Well, about halfway through House of Whispers #14, that takes a turn and it just doesn’t work. It is the running theme of this book for the past year. We get invested in the people and then those people are either forgotten or changed.
Once again, House of Whispers is uneven. When it works, it is so good. When it does not work, it is not bad, but it just isn’t as good. It is frustrating when we can see the flashes of greatness that Hopkinson and Watters have in them.