Written by W. Maxwell Prince
Art by Martìn Morazzo
Colors by Chris O’Halloran
Lettering by Good Old Neon
Cover A by Morazzo and O’Halloran
Cover B by Fábio Moon
Design by Ashley Walker
In this issue we meet Lucy, a nine-year-old girl who recently lost her best friend to cancer. It’s been a hard time for Lucy. Her parents have watched her cultivate a relationship with an imaginary friend…of sorts. Lucy’s imaginary gal pal is Kayla, her recently deceased BFF. Lucy is the only one who can see or hear her.
The fact that this is not just an average imaginary friend situation, since it involves a dead girl, worries Lucy’s father a great deal. He thinks she may be having a schizophrenic break or something. He reaches his limit when Lucy sets a place for Kayla at dinner and involves Kayla in the dinner conversation. He yells at Lucy and storms out of the room.
That night while she is sleeping, Lucy is woken up by Kayla to go on an adventure into the woods. Although reluctant at first, Lucy believes this is her best friend so, she trusts her, ya know? So, Lucy sneaks out of the house and off into the woods she goes, alone but not alone. While traipsing through the woods Lucy comes upon a trail made of ice cream sprinkles. She decides to follow the rainbow sprinkle road.
Meantime, her parents wake in the morning to find her gone. They are in pieces with panic and are worried sick. Terrified something bad has happened to Lucy they decide to call the police. They are informed that the police can’t get involved until the child has been missing for seventy-two hours. That sends them into an anger filled frenzy.
This is just about the time Lucy finds the end of the sprinkle trail. It’s led her to a cabin. After some taunting from Kayla (who isn’t really there…), Lucy goes inside the cabin. There she finds the Ice Cream Man, torturing and mutilating a live person. He soon notices Lucy is there and turns his attention to her. He ties her up in anticipation of her being his next victim.
Back at the house, her parents are fearful and trying to comfort each other. Her father is crying from his guilt over his last exchange with is little girl being him yelling at her. He is now realizing that it just wasn’t a big enough deal for him to freak out on her like he did.
Meanwhile, at the cabin, Lucy is getting a glimpse of the evil inside the Ice Cream Man. As he continues to play with the man he has skinned alive, a voice comes from the doorway. It’s a tall man in a dark suit. His name is Caleb. He calls the Ice Cream Man “Riccardus”. He also wastes no time cutting Lucy free and she takes off out the door. Caleb has a small chat with Riccardus and then leaves.
When Lucy returns home she finds her parents overcome with joy and relief. Later that night, at dinner, Lucy’s father sets a plate for Kayla with a smile. Lucy and her parents go to Kayla’s grave and leave a rose for the deceased child, letting Lucy conclude her grieving process and start to move on with her life.
This issue made me sad. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lost both my parents recently or if it’s because it involves a grieving child or a child losing the battle to cancer. It just seemed like such a sad issue.
The only good part was when the Ice Cream Man comes in and he is super creepy in this issue. And the appearance of this Caleb character, that must be leading into something. He just makes a quick appearance and then he’s gone. But I have a feeling we will see him again.
The artwork remains good in this series but I’m wondering if the writer is getting off track. The stories are getting more emotional based and less horror based…in my opinion. I’m not seeing the same kind of terror be thrashed across the pages as I did in the first few issues. It’s going to be a choice to make at the end of the series whether or not I want to continue to get it.
Although it’s not a bad issue in any way, I just can’t say that I would recommend this one to anyone, it’s just sad. It left me feeling all bummy. I don’t like that. So, I’m guessing a lot of others don’t dig that too much either. But, if it strikes you, go for it, get the issue.