Dream Thief has been a consistently good read largely because it embodies the classic first person narrated film noir detective film. Our hero is confused by what is going on, but sharp witted and just trying to do the right thing. He works out what is going on while it happens to him, only in this case there are magical aboriginal powers at work which allow him to pull details from a ghosts memories. While the series has worked to pull the reader in, there must be a poorly written single issue in there somewhere, right? It can’t be that good? Is it good?
Dream Thief #3 (Dark Horse)
Comics like this don’t come along very often, which is one reason the series as a whole has been so damn entertaining. The internal monologue of our protagonist, as he sifts through memories of those recently dead, is quite an inspired storytelling technique. It’s so fresh and invigorating that I could see some producer snatching up the rights for this series. It’d make for great TV. You see, the protagonist’s ability to use the knowledge and techniques of the dead helps quickly tell multiple stories at once, which further allows for a quick-cutting and always changing plot. It keeps the reader on their toes and makes all the reading in this book worthwhile. So often books are crammed with writing and seem to be making up for a disconnect between artist and writer, or simply a mistrust. Here though it makes sense, because there’s just too much information to convey quickly with the drawings, so the writing has to make up for it with lots of information.
Badass on the loose.
This story began with our protagonist getting high in a museum showcasing Australian artifacts and waking up with an aboriginal mask attached to his face. He was in a new location and was up to enacting justice while he was asleep. He ended up killing his girlfriend, as the mask relayed to him she murdered someone she thought attacked her. It seems the mask seeks out justice by somehow connecting with the dead. Since that first issue we’ve seen it take out gay porn movie producers and now a KKK member. Our protagonist, once freaked out, is now accepting his fate and rolling with the opportunity to give the dead some peace.
How the mask works.
Because the mask zips our hero off on new adventures only to awake with blood on his hands the protagonist is figuring things out at the same time we are. That calls for some interesting opportunities to add a bit of mystery into the crime stories unfolding and writer Jai Nitz should be given kudos for inventing such a neat way to tell a story. Each issue rewards the reader because we feel as if we’re uncovering the mystery along with the protagonist. It’s a fun time and a neat way to keep your interest levels up.
That dude loves punching!
The art by Greg Smallwood is incredibly clear and poignant panel to panel. There are flourishes of inventive layouts here and there, but generally it’s solid in telling the story first. There’s always an appropriate closeup or medium shot when needed and the flashbacks to the dead’s memories always work. The art never seems to be self-indulgent or pretty for pretty’s sake, which always makes it a no-nonsense read.
Love the emoticon.
- Solid premise and solid storytelling mechanism at work
- Episodic single issues work well to tell done in one stories
- You may need to read the first two issues to follow along
This series has set up quite an original take on the detective story and with any luck will continue on in a gritty TV show or at the very least more issues once the first story arc is complete. The nature of the series does require reading of previous issues to understand what is going on, but that said each single issue is like an episode in a TV show. Think of this series as a crime level X-Files and you can get the idea. Overall it’s good reading and a very unique and worthwhile read.
Is It Good?
Yes. Inventive and unique story at work. Don’t pass this up.