Imaginary Fiends is about a world where little boys and girls sometimes have imaginary friends who are actually real. Some kind of alternate-dimension creature only they can see; a creature that sometimes does terrible things like murder. This new series from Tim Seeley and Stephen Molnar explores a world we never knew existed.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Melba is assigned to her first case, investigating a series of child disappearances in rural Georgia. As Melba and Agent Crockett uncover clues about the horror gripping the residents, Melba must resist both the temptation to escape into the real world after spending seven years locked up and the terrible appetite of the newly unleashed Polly Peachpit, Melba’s own personal psychic parasite–a massive spider-human only Melba can see, but is far from imaginary.
Why does this matter?
The first issue introduced a compelling world that hasn’t to my knowledge been explored before. The idea of imaginary friends not only being real, but also not very friendly is a crazy idea. I could easily see this becoming a TV series.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Detectives on the scene.
This issue expands on the imaginary fiend/friend concept by introducing new ones and further complicating the detective work Melba and Crockett are doing. Seeley introduces an element found at the crime scene with ends up being a major clue and leads to a majorly shocking cliffhanger page. This issue also fleshes out some side characters like the woman who runs a hotel Melba and Crockett are staying at, her child, and a doctor character. There’s also a fantastic scene with Melba at a bar and a bartender who Seeley plays off Melba well. She’s been locked up for so long she’s bound to have awkward conversations and not understand certain things.
Melba’s fiend Polly Peachpit gets some fleshing out of her own too. There’s an interesting element introduced as Melba isn’t being completely honest with her and there’s clearly a personality underneath the monster visage. You’d think a black and red beastie like her who can turn into a spider would be an evil monster, but there’s a personality worth saving underneath.
Molnar draws some solid character acting moments and you can tell the dialogue holds up in part because of the facial expressions. There’s a wicked full page montage with Crockett seeing the acts of a manchild killer that’s a highlight of the issue. The final full page splash is also incredible as it’s realistic, unnerving, and a visual that might stick with you.
Rain, waterfall, same thing.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There isn’t a lot of urgency in this issue, which hurts the pace and overall push to find the killer. Clearly character work is the aim of this issue, but without an immediate threat or any conflict it sort of floats on like a ship in the night. There’s also a confusing scene with Crocket that reveals his powers, but I’m not fully understanding what they are or why he has to dance around to use them.
Is It Good?
Aside from a slower pace and lack of immediate conflict, this is a good issue. If you like character work and the premise interests you, you’ll enjoy this issue.