Kelly Thompson has done a lot of good work with Marvel from her runs on Black Widow and Hawkeye. Matia De Iulis has also been an artist that I’ve enjoyed their work as well. Seeing that Thompson and Iulis are working together was more than enough of a selling point for the new series from Image Comics titled The Cull. Seeing as the solicitation invokes a Goonies-style adventure was just another reason to be excited for this new series. I got the chance to get a advance look at The Cull #1. Find out how it turned out with the review below.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Mattia De Iulis
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
“Something is Killing the Children-horror vibes mix with The Goonies-style adventure as five friends set off to shoot a short film on a forbidden rock near their home the summer before they all go their separate ways. But that’s not really why they’re there. One of them has lied… and it’s a lie that will change their lives forever.” – Image Comics
The Cull #1 is defined by doing a lot without telling us a lot. Throughout this opening chapter Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis go with an approach of showing the bigger picture results then going back in time to place us on the path of how this world got there. Having this sort of “spoiler” thrown at us right out of the gate sets up how while the world, thanks to Iulis art style, is grounded to look like ours there is so much more going on.
Immediately we see the trust Thompson and Iulis share as a creative team. During the flashback that takes up the bulk of The Cull #1 this is showcased with how our five leads parental figure relationships are portrayed. The amount of dialogue they each have gives great context of each of their lives without having to go through their respective history. It helps create a grounded feel to the characters before they go on their Goonies-style adventure.
Building each character as individuals in this way also made the dynamic the five friends share once they meet up to stand out more. You get why each character fits into the typical friend group role as their life experiences have built who they are. This leads to carrying more about the dynamics that are shared as there are certain personal things that can’t be hidden. How those personal moments are handled give a good idea of the friendship that already existed between the five characters.
By establishing our five leads in this way it creates a greater investment in the journey they go on. Both the opening and final pages give us a hint there is so much to discover about why The Cull #1 opened the way it did. That sense of discovery is great to have as a reader because you feel like you are embarking on a journey with these characters.
Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis hit a home run, delivering a captivating opening chapter for their mini-series with The Cull #1. The trust Thompson and Iulis have in each other as the creative team shines as much as the characters. Each of our five leads has their own story that makes their dynamic as a friend group when they meet up to be even more engaging. This makes the larger-than-life adventure the cast begin to be even more captivating. It all comes together for a series that is a must-read.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10