Published on June 4th, 2014 | by JCDoyle2
Dream Police #2 – Comic Review
If Raymond Chandler wrote a Sandman story for Vertigo comics, it would probably be something like Dream Police. Detectives Joe Thursday and partner keep the peace in the Dreamscape, protecting the entities who work there and the dreamers who pass through. The second issue of the series introduces the denizens of the Dreamscape; some in passing to set the scene; others take a major role in the case. And this month sees the two central detectives deal with a drug induced dreamer as he wreaks havoc and spouts enlightenment.
The ‘case of the week’ narrative style gives J. Michael Straczynski a chance to expand the characters and the setting while still having a story that starts and ends in a single issue. The voice over may appear clichéd if taken at face value however the tongue in cheek narration is just comical and ham fisted enough for the reader to see it for the joke it is. The story itself is a clever blend of TV cop show and existentialist philosophy, with the former steaming into the later like a runaway train. The outcome is satisfying for the case at hand but it also alludes to greater things to come. There are also hints at the greater story in other parts of the comic and the fact Joe’s partner suddenly changes at the end of issue one has not been forgotten, although there are no definitive answers here.
Don’t expect anything ground breaking in the art work, its bright when it needs to be and butch when it needs to be. This is not a negative however as the entire feel is a definite homage to detective tales of by gone era’s in the same way that the narrative structure is. The two main detectives have been smartly designed and illustrated so that they look like they’ve stepped out of a good buddy cop movie and a lot of work has gone into the developing the various inhabitants of the Dreamscape.
If you buy this expecting an introspective, personal detective story similar to the work of Ed Brubaker then you may be disappointed. Straczynski’s work in more along the lines of a summer blockbuster movie, rather than a small black and white indie film, but that’s not an insult to the work. It is an exciting read and one that does not rely on reading the first issue, which is becoming a rarity these days. If you were a fan of X-Files or The Dresden Files then you’ll probably like this comic, it has a comfortable blend of police procedural and fantasy.
Title: Dream Police
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Sid Kotian