So often superheroes have powers that are visually interesting. Superheroes need to look awesome to sell books (save for maybe Jubilee), but what if your power was knowledge based? You’d have a trickier time making things interesting I’m sure. Well, it just so happens a new comic by Dark Horse Comics has just such a power on display, so without further ado, is it good?
Dream Thief #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
Check out our review of Dream Thief #1 if you missed it.
Last issue, our protagonist woke up with an aboriginal mask and his girlfriend dead by his own hands. It seems while he was asleep the mask took over and killed his girlfriend because justice needed to be served. She killed a man and was feeling really bad about it, but the mask decided the only right thing to do was end her. Dang, that’s deep. Anyhoo, last issue ended with our “hero” waking up in a room filled with dead bodies. This issue catches us up on who these murdered folks are.
Once he’s serving the justice our protagonist becomes conscious of what is going on. It’s at this point that the interesting powers kick in. It seems he can borrow the knowledge and experience of anyone he’s nearby (or maybe fighting; it’s not clear yet). To showcase this there’s a lot of narration going on in this issue to explain how or why he can suddenly do something he never could have before. Muscle memory to disarm a person, knowledge in how to wipe down a crime scene and the like are important aspects when murdering bad guys.
This composition should make you giddy.
You’d think this type of storytelling would be overbearing and boring, but writer Jai Nitz doesn’t skimp on a fast paced and interesting delivery. The words come at you in a crisp manner that any crime buff should love. The superpower doesn’t look flashy, but with Nitz detailing the powers at work it sure sounds flashy. It helps that there is an elaborate backstory to why these baddies are so bad. Like a scene in CSI where the characters break down what is going on, Nitz has an interesting and original crime going on so every detail keeps you reading. Sort of like a mystery, only it’s taking place due to supernatural powers.
I. See. You.
Artist Greg Smallwood continues a very controlled yet elaborate composition heavy style in this book. It’s much appreciated, because how often have we seen people shooting and punching each other in a simple way? The composition of the page keeps you interested and the flow of the story always moving forward.
- Strong storytelling at work
- Great composition on every page
- Narration heavy, even done well, is still telling rather than showing
In a lot of ways this series reminds me of Ed Brubaker’s Sleeper, only it’s not an espionage story but the seedy side of crime. The powers are original enough and more importantly told in an original way. Anyone interested in crime comics with a touch of something special shouldn’t pass this one up. Hell, anyone interested in crime comics in general shouldn’t pass this one up. There’s really nothing else like it on the shelves.
Is It Good?
Yes. You’re going to need an interest in crime comics to love this, but anyone should like how strong the storytelling is.