I Have A Tiger By The Tail
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Stephen Molnar, Quinton Winter and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 25, 2018
**NON-SPOILERS AND SCORE AT BOTTOM**
I love this series. Tim Seeley has crafted an original story that keeps you interested from start to finish. This is the final issue of this arc, and I haven't heard whether or not it's going to come back later on, but I really hope so. This book is my idea of what a Vertigo comic should be: different, fun ideas that tell stories in a mature, interesting way without having to deal with the continuity of a shared universe. This is one of my favorite series being put out right now, and I can't wait to see what this issue has in store.
Instead of picking up right where the last one left off with August under Fraidy Cat's control, we're going to start off with Loretta talking to the police. She says that the doctor wouldn't return her calls, on account of his brains being all over the floor, so she called him instead. She was wondering why she passed out for seemingly no reason until she found a bottle of roofies in the trash. While she is talking to the cop, a bleeding Polly Peachpit is attempting to crawl her way to Melba.
Moving on to Melba, she is strung up in the forest, and August reveals to her that she has known about Polly all along. She tells Melba that Charlie messed Polly up real bad, and that she is best friends with the Fraidy Cat. August tells Melba that when she was younger, she was going deaf and blind at age 5 due to a disease. He made up Fraidy Cat and the Fearless Forest and she helped August get better.
August explains that after 9/11 happened, everyone in the town set fire to the Muslim Center. In order to help them forget their fears, she shared Fraidy Cat with the whole town. Now everyone lives free of that fear, and Fraidy Cat gets to feed on a few kids every year on the anniversary of when she saved the town. Most of the town knows about Fraidy now, and the cops are even okay with what happens.
August gives Melba some of Fraidy's milk so she doesn't fear anything, then gets ready to take her out, but tells her to make a new character for herself to help ease the pain. Melba is transported to "The Falls" where Polly is waiting on her, still bloody and beaten. Polly needs Melba's fear to get her strength back, but Fraidy has made it so Melba isn't afraid. But Polly gets Melba to remember something that she had forced herself to forget. It wasn't because of Polly that Melba stabbed Brinke, it was because some popular girls told her to get rid of Brinke so that she could be popular too. Polly actually told Melba not to do it, but she went with it anyway. The darkness was inside of Melba all along, and Polly was just a reflection of Melba herself.
Melba's fear of the truth about her past empowers Polly, and she springs into action to fight Fraidy Cat. They go back and forth, while Melba and August fight as well. Polly ends up shooting some web into the cut in Fraidy's stomach, and when Fraidy pounces at Melba all of her insides come pouring out. It's pretty disgusting looking, but the art is spectacular as always.
Meanwhile, Agent Crockett has been in a hospital bed with the sheriff. The sheriff injects him with some of Fraidy Cat's milk and tells him the Melba is a danger, and Crockett flips. When Melba gets there, Polly rips the sheriff's head off. She's about to do the same to Crockett because he is hallucinating again and pointing a gun at Melba. But Melba stops her and talks to Crockett. She tells him to stop blaming himself for Mercy's death like she stopped blaming Polly for her attacking Brinke. Eventually, Crockett puts the gun down and breaks down in her arms. The issue ends a few days later with Melba about to go out with Crockett on another assignment. Polly and her have a chat and Melba tells Polly that they're both monsters, and she wants them to save people from monsters like them.
I really, really hope that Tim Seeley is going to come back to this world and tell more stories at some point. This book started off pretty good and has just risen and risen from there. I loved every bit of it. Even though the 9/11 bit seemed a little forced at first, it fit with the rest of the story and helped show how awful the people of the town were. The art is some of my favorite in comics right now, especially Quinton Winter's colors. Chalk this series up as a major win for Vertigo.
Bits and Pieces
A fantastic end to a fantastic series. Tim Seeley took a really cool concept and built it up into a story that was fun, creepy, and kept the interest level up the entire time. The book has always looked incredible, which just adds even more to the overall great storytelling. I highly recommend this book to everyone out there looking for something different.