Artist Greg Smallwood stopped doing the art for Dream Thief: Escape last month (which created an uproar on my review of issue #3), so with that behind us how is the final issue of this story arc? Is it good?
Dream Thief: Escape #4 (Dark Horse Comics)
But, Greg Smallwood did do the cover! Okay, so Tadd Galusha may not have the layout skills of Smallwood (who does, really?), but his work is still good. The movement and characters are fluid with a kinetic smoothness that’s interesting to look at. Sure, it’s a bit jarring to change artists, but it works well and it has some compelling panels to boot. The story unfortunately doesn’t help this jarring nature though, as it reads like it’s in a rush to get to the end.
Why does this remind me of Kirk vs. Spock?
Long story short, writer Jai Nitz writes a story about the protagonist’s father, who was put inside another man’s body after a mask mishap. It’s a cute plot twist and I could easily see this appearing in a three episode story arc if this was ever turned into a TV show, but a compelling story that would last an entire season of a show? No, not really. The plot is not that refreshing as the father was terrible and of course he’s going to somehow bond with his son at the most unconventional of times. This makes the culmination of father and son taking out the guy who killed his father all the less powerful.
It also makes a quick and irresponsible point about revenge being the right thing to do. At least it’s the thing the characters in this comic admit that they do. It doesn’t come off as very heroic and kind of hurts the position of the protagonist that was always a bit ambiguous before.
Back to the art, Galusha is good and reminds me a bit of Frank Quitely. I say this because the characters have a weight to them and a 3D quality that’s unmistakable. That goes a long way in making the characters feel lived in and realistic. The color by Tamra Bonvillain is very 80’s and gives everything a Grand Theft Auto: Vice City feel. You can tell the color was used quite a bit in the later scenes to make the imagery more dramatic and it does that well.
Forgot he had a knife, huh?
Is It Good?
This issue caps of what is an unfortunate sequel to the stellar original series. The story felt rushed, disjointed and missed the point of the original. We want to learn about new crimes and see him gain new powers, not rescue some old man we don’t know!