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House of Whispers #1 Review

by Olivier Roth on September 12, 2018

Written by: Nalo Hopkinson

Illustrated by: Dominike “Domo” Stanton

Colors by: John Rauch

Letters by: Deron Bennett

Published by: Vertigo (Sandman Universe)


The “house” concept within the Sandman Universe wayback when, was always a concept I really enjoyed and I’m really glad that with the advent of this new collection of books, that we get to be introduced to a new one. And what a fun introduction it is.

The concept of the House of Whispers, at first glance, seems quite simple: run by Maîtresse Erzulie, we quickly learn a couple of things:

 
  • Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, there will be a clear influence from Voodoo and more than likely there will be quite a bit of Loa that will be hanging around;

  • The house seems to work on stories that have a more “gossip” side to them;

  • It quickly establishes itself within the wider Sandman Universe right on the last page;

  • And finally, the House of Whispers is a houseboat… how awesome is that?

 

Having been a fan of Sandman in the past, and especially the House of Mystery series from Vertigo back in 2008, getting to explore a completely new world makes me incredibly happy. The fact that Hopkinson, a writer I am not familiar with at all, has crafted a first issue story that has caught my attention? Icing on the cake. You can tell that she brings a lot of her own within this story and I’m definitely along for the ride.

 

Another unknown to me, Domo (if you add a cool moniker in your name, you know I’ll be using it), brings Hopkinson’s word to life. Every character gets a nice, distinctive look, the facial expressions are wonderfully done, and what little action we get in the issue is really well framed. Add to that, some interesting paneling throughout, and I’m definitely sold on seeing more from Domo.

 

Bringing all this together is Rauch on colors. The color palette use throughout is well planned out. In the scenes revolving around the House itself, Rauch makes sure to use bright and vibrant colors that encapsulate the party atmosphere that Domo showcases. But he also makes sure to use muted colors in the scenes within the “real” world. It’s very well done.

 

In the end, this was a fantastic debut issue and gives me hope for a very strong new imprint within Vertigo Comics and DC as a whole. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside