Review – American Dreams #2 (Short Fuse Media)

  • Writing - 8.6/10
  • Art - 7.8/10
  • Overall - 8.2/10
User Review
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American Dreams #2

Writer/Creator: Daniel Kalban
Pencils: Dody Eka
Inks: Tebe Andry
Colorist: Warnia K. Sahadewa
Letterer: Matt Bowers
Publisher: Short Fuse Media
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: Available Now

Jake Gold has powers; why was he chosen and what will he do with them is up to him. Just an immigrant sweatshop worker in early American 1900s New York City. Why was such a man chosen for great power?


The Dream Continues in American Dreams #2

Previously when we left off in American Dreams, early-1900s America was burgeoning with hope. New and exciting things were happening in invention and industry. But all was not easy; people suffered and times were hard for immigrants and lower class citizens. We saw many thrilling and sad things in that first issue. Emerging heroes, villains with wild powers, and people struggling to survive. In American Dreams #2 we follow Jake Gold a little more closely. We learn more about why he was chosen to wield his powers and what they mean to him. The world also continues to expand as Jake Gold may learn he is not the only “special” person in this burgeoning melting-pot of a land.


American Dreams #2 (Short Fuse Media) cover by Netho Diaz
American Dreams #2 (Short Fuse Media) cover by Netho Diaz

American Dreams #2 was the issue this series needed. Though it has been a while since my review of American Dreams #1, I remember it feeling a little jumbled and lacked a little focus. This issue did a fantastic job of focusing on the character of Jake Gold while still building up the world around him. I think that focus by Daniel Kalban really helped the story feel a little more “grounded” and easier to digest without going too far in-depth with the multiple worlds thing.

Kalban does a fantastic job of digging into the character of Jake Gold and fleshing him out. There is an exuberance to him when he realizes that he has this great power. But you can also feel the weight on him as he realizes what it means and the decisions he has to make with it. American Dreams #2 does some great character-building for him.

Kalban also does an excellent job of playing around with this alternate-history early-1900s America setting. He uses real-world setting and people to his advantage. It is a lot of fun to see different historical figures and what Kalban does with them. He also uses the setting well to weave in some political topics while not overtly hitting you on the head with them, too much.


I feel the art is a bit more on point in American Dreams #2 as well. Now the art was solid in the first issue, but, again, this issue feels a little more focused and detailed than the previous. Dody Eka catches this 1900s America setting exceptionally well, from the clothing to the buildings and structures. Eka does a delightful job of bringing you into this era in time. While there are a few sequences and facial expressions that feel a little off, overall, I dig the layouts of the issue. Eka does some very good sequential work throughout the issue. The sequence of Jake jumping out of a burning building is beautifully done.

Tebe Andry‘s thinner ink lines are wonderful as well. Andry catches all the details in clothing and building structures wonderfully and really makes them stand out in American Dreams #2. I also like that Andry gives the issue and characters a rougher type texture; I personally just like the look, but it also helps accentuate the rough times the characters are in.

The coloring work by Warnia K. Sahadewa is a perfect fit for the series. Sahadewa, again, catches this 1900s America with a flatter color palette. Is a little darker and even digital gives the issue that “paper” like feel to it.


American Dreams #2 is, again, what this series needed. It slows down the story a bit and lets us focus on one singular character. What is does best, though, is while slowing down the story a bit, it still builds the world and other characters up behind it. The first issue seems to jump around trying to explain maybe a little too much. American Dreams #2 attaches us to a character, while also getting us acclimated to what is happening around him.

Daniel Kalban is a writer for Word of the Nerd, but this in no way affected this review. If you would like to pick up American Dreams #2 you can buy it here.

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