House of Whispers #12 – Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters, Writers; Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Artist; Zac Atkinson, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The second of the Sandman Universe books to wrap up their first year’s storyarc, House of Whispers #12 brings its current storyline to a close with a series of dramatic horror-filled gut-punches. When we last left off, Mistress Erzulie had been consumed by Ananse and reincarnated through the power of her worshippers – but not as herself.
She’s returned as Marinette of the Dry Bones, a revenant filled with rage and determined to wage war on Ananse’s followers. As her own followers try to pull her back from the brink to restore her to her former self, the war spill out into the human world and Latoya and Habibi find themselves pitted against a supernatural dog that’s keeping them from leaving their apartment. One of the best parts of this series has been how it seamlessly fuses the surreal and the mundane with disturbing visuals and fascinating twists.
The menacing nature of this mysterious supernatural dog belies its true nature, and what ensues is less of a pursuit against a monster as an elaborate inhuman game of fetch. There isn’t much room for humor in a series about dying gods and ancient wars, but when it slips in it really works.
The threat of Marinette is resolved a little to easily for my tastes, with the specter being convinced to give herself up to her former self and be restored, but I do like that both she and Ananse remain as potential future threats. There is a loss in the issue, and it’s handled in a subtle way and given the proper weight without dwelling on it – it sounds like it’ll be expanded on in the next arc.
Of course, the bigger threat is still lurking in the background – the Corinthian, who makes a major power play at the end of the issue and introduces a new element into the Dreaming with a disturbing last-page visual. A good first year for a wildly ambitious series.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.