Image’s Dream Police is simply that. A noir-ish cop story rolled up into a fantasy world– or worlds– where those that serve to protect do so in the realm of the dreamscape, where all dreams live until the dreamer awakens. It’s a pretty cool idea and even though my first reaction to the noir set-up could be summed up with an “ugh“, the story played out much better than I expected. It actually worked. Well.
The main cop, Joe Thursday (see how noir-cliche it is?), and his partner Frank are two cops that keep the peace in the dream world. Whether it’s a little kid’s fantasy about a dragon that gets a bit out of hand or it’s a full blown (in-the-flesh) nightmare, Joe and Frank are two of the department’s finest to set things right and keep things in line when things get strange. Or, at least stranger than normal. See, even in the dream world there are limitations and with this first issue, and J Michael Straczynski (writer) and Sid Kotian (artist) are just starting to set up some of the ground rules for us, the readers. So we get a nice little tutorial on a few of the police codes as well as a great beginner tale that involves a lucid dreamer.
The story was energetic (guns & sex), inventive (dragons & shape-shifters), and smart, Smart, SMART. And really, there are absolutely no limitations here– I mean, it’s a comic about dreams for goodness sake! The writing seemed a bit dated and cold, particularly when the main character (Joe) speaks, but it fits with the genre (that crime thing I mentioned earlier) that Straczynski starts up with from page one. Between the details, the environments, and the character voices, you definitely get the feeling he’s building something big here. Kotian’s art illustrates it well, which I’m sure is especially hard– yet entirely fun– seeing as how anything can be thrown at him, given this material. Issue one alone had a cat change into a woman, face-removing nightmare men (in dapper top hats nonetheless), and dwarfling contractors building and re-building dream sets as needed. He does it all so effortlessly it’s plain to see these two artists are enjoying their run on this title. It totally shows. This intro issue has great art and a well executed story that lays a strong foundation for the title as an ongoing series.
Image has been consistent in rolling out top-notch titles in the past few years and in 2014 it does not look like this powerhouse is going to pull the brakes anytime soon. With new upcoming works teased every month, it seems like a comic should miss every once in a while, but Image has got their sh*t together! They take risks and invest in great stories, ideas, and the talent to see them through successfully. Dream Police is one of these said titles and if issue one is any indication of how this comic will proceed, it will hold up well to Image’s current and future line-up. So here’s to it!
And what dreams may come!
Rating – 7.5/10