The Milkman Murders Volume 1
Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Steve Parkhouse
Where to start with this comic? It is a very intense story; think of Law and Order SVU gone haywire. Strong language, murder, and graphic images are throughout this trade, so if you are not fond of these themes I would not recommend this read. I am not the biggest fan of those themes either, but this trade was a very interesting read nonetheless.
The story revolves around Barbara and her far from perfect family: her son, Fletcher, spends his evenings killing the neighbor’s pets and playing doctor, her daughter, Ruthie, is having an affair with her married gym teacher, and her husband, Vincent, is doing drugs with his buddies and is convinced Barbara is trying to ruin his life. The trade is broken down into four chapters. First opening the trade, Barbara seems to have a broken home. She makes dinner, the family cannot even stand to sit and eat for five minutes, and then she is ridiculed by her husband. This is a constant cycle in her life. The television is constantly reminding her of the perfect 1950s family that could have been. She starts to get hints of all the hidden secrets of her family and when she tries to confide in her husband, violence ensues and Vincent’s fits of rage take over the situation. The ending of chapter one, a creepy, grungy milkman breaks into Barbara’s home and violates her.
In chapter two, the reader watches Barbara’s struggle in dealing with her incident. Desperate to find the truth behind her family, she ends up learning all the horrible secrets they have been trying to hide. She ends up snapping at her family and slowly reaches her breaking point. After trying to tell her husband about Fletcher’s late night killings and still not being believed, she shatters. This rage has been building inside of her, and in a fit of anger she smashes her kitchen television on the floor. This reveals a 1950s perfect mother named Carol. For the comic’s sake, I am not sure if this housewife is real or just a strong figment of Barbara’s imagination. Carol convinces Barbara it is her time to show her family discipline, and thus chapter three begins.
Chapters three and four have a lot of violence and aggression in them. Chapter three is all about Barbara getting revenge on her family. She ends up killing all three of her family members using their not-so-well kept secrets against them. I will not go into too much detail, but once the deaths of her family are completed, chapter four goes on for Barbara to get revenge on her rapist. With Carol by her side, Barbara is able to hunt down and kill the grungy milkman. Taking his place, the comic ends with her delivering milk cartons that have her face and the “MISSING” advertisement surrounding it.
I enjoy a good thriller or horror book, and this comic is definitely one of those genres. If you like murder stories and intense plotlines, this comic may just be the one for you. As a fair warning, it can be a bit much with the images and implied scenarios, but it is a good comic to kind of give you the heebie-jeebies. For this story, I thought the artwork was very well done. I am glad that the images were not so detailed or gruesome that I did not want to read it anymore. The writing is strong from the first page to the last, it hits the ground running and this definitely is not a bunnies and unicorns book. I am giving this trade 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.