House of Whispers #19 – Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters; Writers; Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Artist; Zac Atkinson, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The twistiest member of the Sandman Universe line continues to deliver compelling long-form properties of Gods and Men. House of Whispers #19 features stories taking place in the House of Whispers, House of Watchers, and the afterlife itself.
The latter involves longtime Constantine rogue Papa Midnite and the immortal Aesop, as they take a deadly journey into the underworld assisted by Midnite’s long-deceased sister. This gives us a unique look at how Midnite’s immortality began, and how he might actually be the victim of his family rather than the other way around. It’s rare for a comic to twist the narrative so much that a long-time villain may be the most likable character in the book, but Hopkinson and Watters pull it off. This is probably the most compelling part of House of Whispers #19, bringing back the terrifying spider-villain Anansi, for any arachnophobes reading this review.
The plots in the House of Watchers are a little more jumbled, as normal teenagers Rafe and Poquito – who turned out to be anything but normal in the last few issues – find themselves in a supernatural realm where it turns out one of them is actually the heir to the mysterious mansion. Corinthian continues to be a creepy wild card who heads on his own way to a new purpose. But the next big plot seems to involve Erzulie and her ex-husbands, who are on a quest to save the spirit of their last partner – the deceased Agwe. A new villain is looming, possibly one more powerful even than Anansi, and the cliffhanger looks to take the world of this book into a strange new realm. It’s ambitious enough that it’s unpredictable every issue, although it’s balancing so many narratives that I think it can sometimes get overwhelming. But it’s easily one of the most intriguing books in the DC stable.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.