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The Cull #1

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 18 critic ratings.


Eisner-winning writer KELLY THOMPSON (BLACK CLOAK) and superstar artist MATTIA DE IULIS (Captain America) team up for their first creator-owned work together!

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 that lie will change their lives forever.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
36 pages
Amazon ASIN

18 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    You Don't Read Comics

    The Cull is completely unlike anything else on the comics rack right now. It flawlessly engages the emotions on a level that’s kind of difficult to manage with most traditional comics. Thompson approaches the story with a steady and patient hand as the reality of the terror begins to bleed in around the edges of the panel. The richly textured mood of a thoughtfully-rendered ensemble horror story begins to assemble itself in a promising first issue for Thompson and De Iulis.

  • 100

    Nerd Initiative

    If you want something with horror, mystery and adventure all wrapped up in one gorgeous package then look no further. The Cull #1 from Image Comics is sure to be another hit on comic store shelves this week and many weeks to come.

  • 100

    Capes & Tights

    The Cull #1 by Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis is a phenomenal start to a new comic book series. It’s an engaging and thrilling read that combines horror, mystery, and coming-of-age themes in a unique way. The artwork is breathtaking, the lettering is superb, and the writing is top-notch.

  • 100


    Debut issues have a lot of work to do, and some make it look easier than others, which is what The Cull #1 accomplishes with a pitch-perfect first issue of this horror-adventure series. A trio of creators with such distinct and powerful styles that are able to bring them together seamlessly to create something engaging, deep, and fun.

  • 100


    Look, we all read Kelly Thompson’s Eisner-winning Hawkeye series. We read her West Coast Avengers (2018) and we were sad when it was cancelled. We read her Captain Marvel and her Deadpool issues. We were thrilled by her amazing Black Widow (2020) and so we’re pretty confident that the story is going to hold up here, but only 5 issues?

  • 95


    ‘The Cull’ is haunting, honest, and unrelentingly gorgeous in its debut issue. Full of humanity and cosmic horror in equal measure, this creative team has already crafted a compelling mystery and a friend group that I want to learn more about.

  • 95

    Multiversity Comics

    “The Cull” shows what three creators working in beautiful harmony can create when pointed in the right direction. It may be mostly introduction but what an engrossing intro it is.

  • 94

    Comic Watch

    As a mystery comic series that is (currently) slated to be five issues long, the timing could not be more perfect as summer winds down and the Halloween season begins to get closer. There is enough tension and “unknown” that is on par with an episode of the Twilight Zone making for an exciting series to follow.

  • 92

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Thompson crafts a fantastic story in this first issue. All of the characters are interesting and their circumstances are compelling both together and individually. Thompson is crafting an interesting mystery in this first issue and layering it with some great human drama. I was immediately hooked with the story and look forward to seeing more of the world being created within it.

    The Art: The art in this issue is absolutely gorgeous. I love the style and the way it beautifully progresses the story along with a sense of visual grace and glorious detail.

  • 90

    The Convention Collective

    First off, I have to say the art in this book is amazing! Right from the future glimpse in the beginning of the issue all the way to the end. Everything down to the crisp details, bright colors, lettering, and layout were carefully handled and it shows! The way the characters emote and react to each other feels very organic and it’s easy to forget there are even panels on the page as you’re reading. Thompson’s dialogue adds a natural flow to the conversation and her characters feel both grounded and real. There is an added element of attachment amongst the group that helps the reader connect. It definitely reminds me of The Goonies a bit and the innocence of that child-like curiosity we had before video games and streaming. I picked-up on some Stranger Things like vibes as well. The story of course transitions into something much more elaborate and grand as we near the end of the first issue. That’s when we realize there is a lot more to this story than simple friendly fun and hijinks. It’s impossible to know what we are in for just yet exactly but it’s clear we are in for a wild ride.

  • 90

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    The Cull #1 is a deeply intriguing first issue. Kelly Thompson focuses on building the backstories and personal struggles of this group of young adults ahead of the big sci-fi genre twist we know is coming in future issues. Mattia De Iulis’s visual work is a brilliant blend of stylized photo-realism and pseudo-cinematic sequential direction that perfectly creates the tone and pacing for this opening chapter.

  • 90

    Big Comic Page

    This could probably be called a slow-burner of a first issue, but Thomson and De Iulis don’t waste a single panel along the way, introducing us to a relatable group of friends, each with their own drama, quirks and trauma, and slotting them into a shockingly unexpected situation. With Thompson continuing to go from strength to strength as a writer and De Iulis delivering a striking visual style, The Cull has the potential to be the next big hit from Image Comics, and is a new series you really owe it to yourself to pick up.

  • 90


    For there to be a cull, one would expect some sort of commonality. With a cast of characters that come from different ethnicities and even identities, the writer chooses another category. With each coming from something of a “broken” home, The Cull indicates that whatever is taking place preys on things no one notices or appreciates.

    Which is the total opposite of what one would want in a friend. That may be the reason Wade, Will and even Lux don’t want to be late to meet up with Cleo. Even if there are some details she left out. Image Comics The Cull #1 ends with Cleo looking to answer the question what are friends for.

    Will they turn their back on you?

  • 90

    Geek'd Out

    For all its strengths, the book has a few minor weaknesses. The biggest offender is that it’s over far too quickly! All kidding aside, an early scene that introduces the character of Kaite, alludes to her own family struggle but rather than build some type of mystery, it just comes off as vague with dialogue that lacks the authenticity prevalent throughout the rest of the book. It’s a minor quibble, easily forgotten once the story gets going. And while it may be too soon to tell what kind of story Thompson and De Iulis are telling here or where The Cull will ultimately lead (or what it even is) but this issue is certainly unlike anything on the shelves and will likely be surprising readers up to the very end. I suggest getting in on the ground floor now!

  • 90

    Comic Book Revolution

    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.

  • 85

    Graphic Policy

    The Cull #1 is a really solid start. There’s the quibble that there wasn’t much more pushback about what the individuals do at the end, but where’s the fun in that? It’s a debut that gives us some adventure but also emotional heart as well.

  • 80

    The first issue of The Cull does a lot to introduce the characters, providing the smallest possible hook for the massive sci-fi adventure that awaits in the rest of the series. Kelly Thompson does an excellent job setting up all the major players and getting you invested, even through an issue of mostly exposition. Mattia De Iulis’ art has an ultra-realistic feel that may not be up your alley, but by the end of this first issue you can see how well these characters are going to play against the otherworldly backdrops teased for the coming issues. There’s a lot to be excited about going forward.

  • 70

    Derby Comics

    The issue is HEAVY on (really good) character development without any real plot movement beyond some clues here and there. It’s mostly a flashback story that is laying the foundation for the present-day we see for a brief second. Throughout the flashbacks, a character named Lux gets some brilliant character building, one driven completely by the art and the other through a dialogue where we learn she’s dealing with an abusive adult male figure and an alcoholic mother. Other characters are also given complex backstories that help to introduce them all.

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