Review: House of Whispers #20

Review: House of Whispers #20

House of Whispers #20

 

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

 

Summary

The divine houseboat that is the House of Whispers has always obeyed Erzulie’s commands-but now it has begun its own journey, trapping Erzulie aboard with her ex-husbands…and sailing on a collision course with an entire fleet of ghostly slave ships bound for Guinée, the land of the dead!

House of Whispers #20

Positives

The stars of House of Whispers #20 are Domo Stanton, Matthew Dow Smith and Zac Atkinson. This book is a bounty of visual joys. Even in the simple moments where people just sit and talk, the page is full of beauty. It is almost cinematic. I love each fold in the clothes. I love the way that a grimace, tells us everything we need to know about how that person is feeling. There is nothing like a group of artists who give comic readers’ eyes a big hug. Yep. imagine Domo, Matthew and Zac hugging your eyes. Have it? OK, now, look:

That top panel, without words tells a story that could go on for days. I love everything about it. Seriously, just look at the faces and the placement of all of those characters. Tell a story. It is beautiful.

 

Negatives

House of Whispers #20 starts with some amazing characters whom we begin to care about, but why should we? Up until this point, no human character has spent more than a handful of issues in our sight before he or she dies or just goes away. There is too much going on in too few pages. The slow start is actually delightful, but it all spirals out of control once again.

 

Verdict

There are some major happenings in the House of Watchers. Ananse is back, or never really left. Who knows what is up with Poquita. So many unanswered questions and yet, it is hard to care too much because the stakes in this book are low. The main character died and came back the next issue. It just doesn’t work. I love to look at this book each month, but I have such a hard time caring. I want to, I really do. 

The problem with House of Whispers #20 is the same problem that has been going on for two years now. There is some stunning artwork, some amazing colors and visual storytelling, but it is always punctuated by wandering a bit aimlessly.

 

Two out of Five Bullets

 

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Tony Farina

I am a writing professor at Siena Heights University. I have been reading comics for over 30 years. The first comic I bought was in 1984. Green Lantern 176. First appearance of the Demolition Team. Favorite Robin: Tim Drake Favorite Green Lantern: Jessica Cruz Favorite Flash: Barry Allen Favorite Batgirl: Barbara Gordon Favorite Nightwing outfit: Disco Favorite Batman: Duh, There can be only one