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October 23, 2013

BOOM! Studios Review: Imagine Agents #1

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Written by: Jeff Lake
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imageImagine Agents #1
Writer: Brian Joines
Artist: Bachan
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

You know what people say about letting your imagination run wild? Well, seems it’s a teensy bit more dangerous than we’ve been led to believe. Imagine Agents, the newest imprint from BOOM! Studios, blurs the line between reality and fantasy in a fun romp that sees the imaginary become very, very real.

If you’re one to judge a book by its cover, Imagine Agents may be one of the bigger surprises you’ll find on the rack. Agents follows the agents of I.M.A.G.I.N.E. (they of the most amazing acronym in all the land) as they work to keep the peace between ordinary citizens and the not-so-ordinary creations that have sprung from their minds. In this world, imaginary friends aren’t a silly childish notion; they’re real, walking talking creatures capable of a lot more than giving hugs. Tasked to monitor these “figments” are veteran Agent Dave Slatern and loudmouthed rookie Terry Snowgoose. The duo tussles with a wide assortment of fictional heavies over the course of the issue, going head to toe with everything from a giant (though slightly inept) rock monster to a Raggedy Anne doll with some serious anger issues.

Writer Brian Joines delivers a most enjoyable script, his unique premise well plotted and surprisingly layered. He does a great job of making his world instantly immersive, and as someone prone to daydreaming I found myself at once fully invested in his story. And what a story it is! Imagine Agents ran me through the emotional gamut, as Joines tells his tale through many different perspectives. I enjoyed the hilarity of Terry’s rookie bluster, felt warmed by the adorable camaraderie of bear-like Furdlegurr and his kid Elliott, and was genuinely saddened by the loss felt by amorphous Blounder. Joines takes a seemingly simple concept and gives it an added depth, turning a book that from first glance seems aimed for kids into something more. Fair warning to those who DO plan on purchasing the book for the youngins; there are bad guys, and they’re creepy.

Tasked to render this myriad group of characters is artist Bachan, who clearly enjoys mining the depths of his own imagination as he brings these figments and their human counterparts to vivid life. Bachan’s style is tough to describe, as his characters are so wide ranging that it’s hard to nail down any specific look. Some of his creations come off as cartoon simple, while others (like the aforementioned Anne) are loaded with detail and decidedly less cute. Bachan’s work has a nice flow to it, his ability to tell the story through his art a definite plus. Above all, there’s a personality to his work that gels perfectly with the tone Joines puts forth. Any artist that can make a pink blob of jello give me feels definitely has some talent.

Imagine Agents is a book I expected to like and ended up loving. Its unique premise is well thought out and executed, the creative team pulling out all the stops to ensure my return for #2. With only three issues left this story is bound to get nuts, and I firmly recommend it to all my friends both real and imaginary.

Jeff Lake
jefflake@comicattack.net

 

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