Vertigo Comics 2017
Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Stephen Molnar
Coloured by Quinton Winter
Lettered by Carlos M. Mangual
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.
There was a lot to live up to after the debut issue that’s for sure. So the short answer version is Yes! However we aren’t here for the short version are we? Nope I hope not but I will say I couldn’t be any happier that DC has decided once again to let the Vertigo line of books go right on to the dark side and let stories that once proliferated the stands come back. With so many different Imprints out there from DC right now it’s nice to see Vertigo emerge with some strong books.
While the premise is strong and Melba has her own fiend which is why she was tagged to be an Agent the real mystery for me is Agent Crockett. If he cannot see the fiends then how can lead a department where they are essential to the work? What would motivate such a man to do this job in the first place? While Tim is short on answers for us he does start to give us some insight and I have to admit he’s a very intriguing man.
Tim has an extremely interesting mind and the way he’s able to structure a book is simply amazing. I love the ebb & flow here from the way we see the detective work and the supernatural stuff woven in makes it feel so natural. It feels like this is being done in the vein of X-Files but without aliens or UFO’s but with the Supernatural instead. That’s a close a comparison as I can get to and that’s mainly because of all the Agent connection.
So the case they are working on is a child abduction case and I’m guessing what will be a temporary stay in this town. Which is kind of shame after meeting Loretta her son Omari and August the maid. Still I do like how the case is unfolding and we see the importance of the roles both Melba and Crockett will be playing. He sees it one way and is very quick to call it an IMP case in a way that’s wrong and this is where Melba comes in to correct him and set them on a different, possibly right, path. Their dynamic is new and in the feeling each other out stage but from what’s being developed it’s incredibly solid.
I am a big fan of Stephen’s work here. The attention to detail that we’re seeing here is spectacular and that we see the rain on the window during the storm is really one of those little touches that make it stand out. There’s a creativity and imagination on display here that’s marvellous to see and the come in the form of the fiends but also in the use of page layouts and the angles and perspective in the panels. There’s such a great eye for storytelling here and it walks a fine line between classic horror and modern day thriller. I cannot believe the attention to detail here I know I'm repeating myself but seriously the backgrounds in play here just can’t get any better.
With the way that the story unfolds delivering the story, plot advancement and yes the all important characterisation that is present here makes this a remarkable series indeed. I think this is the kind and level of storytelling that leaves you with a the best of impressions.