Wednesday, November 14, 2018

House of Whispers #3 Review and **SPOILERS**

Anger Management

Written By: Nalo Hopkinson 
Illustrated By: Dominike “DOMO” Stanton 
Colors By: John Rauch 
Letters By: Deron Bennett 
Cover By: Sean Andrew Murray 
Edited By: Molly Mahan 
Associate Editor: Amedeo Turturro 
Assistant Editor: Maggie Howell 
Executive Editor: Mark Doyle 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: November 14, 2018


Last we saw Madame Ezrulie and her houseboat, it smashed back into the Dreaming and didn’t look to be seaworthy anymore. Maybe someone dreamed up a ship builder to take care of the dents? Find out in House of Whispers #3, which I’ve reviewed right here!

Explain It!

I know that when I am hanging around someone’s place for too many days in a row, I can get a little antsy. I think I’m reacting to what I perceive as the frustrations my hosts must feel about my lingering. As Ben Franklin said: “Fish and house guests spoil after three days.” So Madame Ezrulie is starting to get a little testy herself. She’s playing cards and smoking cheroots with…some pirate-looking lady, while Abel attends to her every whim and Cain reconstructs her houseboat by himself. After a rude exchange with Mervyn, Ezrulie lunges at her pal and jams a shard of her magic mirror into her hand! Tumbling into the bayou, Ezrulie composes herself—and even picks up a little mojo from her Alter Boi, still searching from the tangible world. But the Dreaming is affecting all the newcomers adversely—even Uncle Monday and Shakpana had to be cooled by the bayou before they become inadvertent murderers. 
What the cause for this angry trend? It’s tough to say: the Dreaming has become a crueler, harder place of late. And the rage isn’t exclusive to the newcomers; even Goldie the cartoonish baby gargoyle is in a snit. All of this tough talking causes Ezrulie Dahomey to turn into her warrior sister, Ezrulie Dantor. Dantor is slimmer and looks a little more fashionable than her more bayou-derived sibling. She gets to work ordering people around, and forces Goldie to bathe in the soothing bayou water, which calms the little refuge from a Pogo comic strip. 
While their spirits dispense ethereal advice in the Dreaming, back on our dimension Latoya and Maggie are still dead. You wouldn’t know it to look at them, but they are finding life rather bland and clammy to the touch. The two of them go for a walk, first through a spooky graveyard for effect, then down to Bourbon Street, where tourists are carrying on per the usual. The ghosts of Madame Ezrulie’s husbands sniff out the two women and can tell they’re involved with wifey’s disappearance somehow, and they watch Latoya run from person to person, touching them into oblivion—which seems temporary for some, but permanent for others! 
This is a really strange story, I don’t know what to make of it. I love the characters introduced for this series, from Madame Ezrulie to King Monday to Shakpana, but I end up taking so much of what they say and do at face value. Like, King Monday turned into a crocodile with a top hat on in this issue. We’ve seen this before, but we don’t know why it happens, or why he becomes a mindless croc when this happens—especially when his attendant lizards seemed to have prescience of mind to calm him down. There’s tons of stuff like this: Madame Ezrulie turning into her sister, that new person playing cards and smoking cheroots, everything surrounding Maggie and Toya pretty much…I hope we get some more explanation down the road. I also wonder if it would make any difference to the overall story, which is still somehow perfectly coherent. I’m enjoying this book a lot, but if pressed to describe what is happening, I might need to gather my thoughts and prepare a presentation first.

Bits and Pieces:

This story raises a lot of questions, but the narrative is clear and shouldn't confuse patient readers. Looks like Mistress Dahomey has more tricks up her sleeve––and more sleeves!


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