Review: House of Whispers #17
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Nalo Hopkinson and Dan Watters
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith and“Domo” Stanton
Colors: Zac Atkinson
Letters: AndWorld Design
Reviewed by: Tony Farina
House of Whispers #17 begins with Erzulie, who has lost her House, wandering through the Dreaming trying to get it back. She stumbles upon the House of Watchers which has been taken over by The Corinthian from Aesop. Aesop is on Earth doing time as a stand up comic and getting stoned with Papa Midnite. His toking pal wants him to capture Ananse which is not really something Aesop wants to do. Still, after he hears Papa Midnite’s tale he agrees and they wake up the skull of Papa’s sister, who just so happened to be the bong out of which they were smoking. They sleep off the hash and prepare to call the trickster.
Meanwhile, in a different part of Earth our newest human friend Poquita and her Cat-thing turned bull, has been taken over by The Corinthian. Then it catches up with a shadow demon and they bring havoc to pretty much everything they touch. Can Erzulie save the day?
Once again, the strength of House of Whispers falls on the shoulders of the artists, colorist and letterer. This is visually stunning. There is such attention to detail in the backgrounds. I love checking over each panel for an Easter egg or two. There is almost always something there for the hard core Sandman Universe fan. Stanton and Smith are the stars of House of Whispers #17.
I feel like the creative team just keeps throwing stuff at the wall hoping it will stick. We just read a whole story with Ananse the Trickster and that was that, but now, Aesop is there and he is being tasked to bring Ananse back. Constantine was in an issue randomly. The humans keep changing so we have learned not to actually care about them. It is really just a mess. I read each issue twice just to try to see if I can find something I missed that is good. Once in a while I find some nuggets, but overall, I come up empty.
This book is all over the place. Every time I think there will be a thread worth following, it ends. There are new characters this month and I am not sure if I want to care about them. House of Whispers could actually do with a hard reboot. There is so much potential, but it remains untapped. I think maybe if this story was set up as a novel instead of a comic series, it might actually have more weight and there would be an opportunity to tell a better story.