The Milkman Murders

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The Milkman Murders
The Milkman Murders #1
Publication information
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited Series
Publication date July 7, 2004 - October 4, 2004
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by Joe Casey
Artist(s) Steve Parkhouse

The Milkman Murders is a four-issue comic book mini-series written by Joe Casey and illustrated by Steve Parkhouse.

Story[edit]

The comic begins with some scenes from a nineteen-fifties sitcom called Leave It To Mother, which depicts a perfect, happy family. The show is being viewed by suburban housewife Barbara Vale as she prepares dinner. Her family comes home and eats dinner, revealing their personal flaws as they eat; Barbara's husband Vincent has an explosive temper, her son Fletcher is rude and prone to outbursts, and her daughter Ruthie is distant and cold towards her family. Barbara attempts to keep some peace among her family as they argue, only to have them leave the table.

As the night goes on, more insight is given into the depth of the family's dysfunction. Vincent is abusive towards Barbara and a drug addict, Fletcher kills local pets and skins them in the basement, and Ruthie has had numerous affairs with her teachers in the past (her current endeavor being her gym teacher). Barbara endures the dysfunction until a milkman breaks into her home and rapes her, which has a profound effect on her mind in the days to follow. Barbara begins to develop an angry personality, even to the point of having outbursts. Eventually she discovers Fletcher's animal skin collection in the basement and attempts to show it to Vincent, but she is attacked by him and nearly killed. Fletcher attempts to call the police, but Vincent convinces the police officer to leave.

The next morning, Barbara, at the end of her rope and alone in the house, smashes the small television she watches in the kitchen as the opening credits of Leave It To Mother roll. To her surprise, the image of Carol White, the mother on the sitcom, appears and begins to comfort Barbara. Carol also encourages Barbara to "discipline" her dysfunctional family. Barbara picks up a knife, and decides to heed Carol's advice.

That night, Barbara snorts all of Vincent's drugs, putting him into a rage violent enough to have him smash Barbara's face into the bathroom mirror. But to his surprise, Barbara fights back. Ruthie, after having an encounter with the gym teacher, walks into the house and finds her father bound and gagged in a dark room. Barbara turns on the lights, revealing her to be holding a knife. She attacks Ruthie, commenting on how she knew of her current affair before delivering a fatal blow to her daughter. Meanwhile, Fletcher is stalking a cat outside. He shoots the cat, which he follows around the corner and right to his waiting mother, who chases him into the basement. Fletcher turns on the light of the darkened basement and, to his horror, finds Ruthie's skin displayed. Barbara enters the basement and, after lecturing Fletcher, kills him. Barbara then approaches Vincent in the living room, telling him about the milkman's attack and her new found, bleak view of the world before killing him with a cleaver to his head.

With her family dead, Barbara sets out for her next target - the milkman who attacked her. With Carol by her side, Barbara travels to the city, killing a group of punks before entering a dilapidated milk plant. She confronts the milkman, who reveals that he was actually expecting her. After the milkman lectures Barbara, she faints and finds herself dangling by her wrists in a vat of spoiled milk. Carol appears, encourages her to continue, and frees her. Barbara confronts the milkman again, this time fatally wounding him. His last words to Barbara are "Now it's your turn". Barbara sees a map of the US with marked locations on them. Barbara dresses up in a milkman uniform and drives off in the milk truck.

The series ends with people shopping at a supermarket, the final shot being Barbara's picture on the side of a milk carton.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

"Joe Casey Delivers "The Milkman Murders" To Image Comics". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2013-03-07.