House of Whispers #16 – Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters, Writers; Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Artist; Zac Atkinson, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: House of Whispers has been one of the most intriguing of the Sandman Universe books, creating an original cast of characters fusing civilians with ancient gods. With one of Mistress Erzulie’s husbands dead and the others leaving her to resurrect him, the series has shifted to how these dramatic events are affecting the mortal realm. Last issue, we were introduced to a young woman named Poquita, who struggles under the thumb of abusive adoptive parents and finds a friend in an unusual cat. The cat seems normal at first, but when she feeds it the cat begins to change and turn into something dangerous and feral. This is similar to what we saw happen to the odd bird in the last arc, which was a manifestation of the woman’s rage. This is a good way of grounding the title in these very human stories, even as supernatural phenomenon infects the world.
This series makes clever use of a frequent DC figure, Papa Midnite, who is usually seen tormenting John Constantine and is currently one of Circe’s minions in Justice League Dark. Here, he’s an honest broker in the world of the supernatural and is overseeing the Gods’ divorce trial. Despite the tension between them, it’s clear her husbands still love Erzulie and give her one last book before the separation. This sets into motion a series of events that also draw in Poquita and her cat – which is growing and becoming more dangerous by the day. This isn’t one of the best issues of the series, as the two plots don’t exactly mesh and can feel disjointed. But the supernatural visuals are top notch and Erzulie continues to be a compelling lead. It almost feels like an anthology, as these human characters move in and out of the orbit of the Gods of the bayou.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.