[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Stephen Molnar, Quinton Winter
Trapped in the Fearless Forrest at the hands of August, Melba Li must get scared again if she is to save Polly Peachpit. Melba’s fear is all that can revive Peachpit after her violent clash with Charlie Chokecherry in last month’s issue. And Peachpit is all that can save Melba while Agent Crockett is recuperating in a hospital bed following his fight with Fraidy Cat.
One of the better issues of the series, Imaginary Fiends #6 is hard to put down. From start to finish everything works to keep readers on the edge of their seat. The pacing is some of the best, Seeley knows exactly when panels need captions and when they don’t. The panel structure itself on some pages is incredibly interesting, as some feature panels within panels as a way of pushing the reader on. Intentionally or not, Seeley and Molnar have their readers just as August has Melba in this weeks story.
Imaginary Fiends is a joy to read, a truly dark story that at times borders on comedic with its use of gore. The plot itself is becoming surprisingly more complex, with this month’s issue being one of the most complex. The contrasting ideas throughout this issue really play with the reader’s understanding of fear and morality. While there are protagonists and antagonists Imaginary Fiends isn’t so much about good guys and bad guys. Instead leaving readers sitting contemplating what they read until the following month. This engagement with the reader is what sets it apart from some of the other books on offer at the moment.
This issue specifically features more than one moment that leaves the reader in shock and awe. At times reaching the brutally dark moments of last month’s issue. A testament to the series, and Seeley’s writing, is that the comic manages to convey these dark tones without ever branching into just generic edgy violence that offers nothing other than glorification for glorification’s sake.
Something definitely worth noting is that Agent Crockett gets his own ‘style’ of art. This has appeared in each issue preceding #6 but as it occurs in moments of crisis, and issue six is one big crisis for everyone, the art is spectacularly on show. It looks fantastic and really helps make certain panels stand out as well as convey how Crockett’s mental state is.
With such a good issue it’s hard to find faults without a magnifying glass. At times the dialogue has a little too much exposition and it detracts somewhat but not enough to harm the enjoyment of the issue. There’s a lot going on in this series, this issue especially, so it’s understandable that some lines may come across more like exposition than natural dialogue.
On the art mentioned earlier, it stands out to such a degree that it takes a little away from the art of the rest of the issue. It’s clearly a stylistic choice but with such interesting creatures in this series, a more interesting and chaotic art style wouldn’t be a miss. The Agent Crockett sections only serve as a tease since readers know that it’s possible.
Imaginary Fiends #6 is a fantastic comic book. Keeping readers within their grasp, Tim Seeley and Stephen Molnar frighten and shock those who want a little more from their comics. This is an engaging and entertaining issue well worth the read.