Dream Police #1 (Image)

Dream Police1
CREDIT: Image Comics

Rating: 3.5/5 – A strong premise for a world full of untapped potential.
by ComicSpectrum Reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

There’s potential here. In fact there’s a lot of potential, but this first issue of Dream Police barely scratches the surface of a world that can ultimately be something special. Writer J. Michael Straczynski releases his fifth book in the Joe’s Comics imprint at Image Comics. Ten Grand, Sidekick, Apocalypse Al, and Protectors Inc. have all come out according to  plan, so Straczynski has consistently met his goal of releasing these five titles that were announced when he returned to the imprint last year. Each book has it’s own unique feel to it and Dream Police is no different.

The Dreamscape is where everyone comes to live out their dreams. In fact, one hundred million dreamers per hour visit the Dreamscape. There’s laws and regulations to the world and when those laws are broken, that’s where Dream Police detectives Joe Thursday and Frank Stafford come in. Just hearing the name Joe Thursday, you automatically get a Dragnet-like vibe. That’s what Straczynski was going for with this book. As he writes in the letters page at the end of this issue, sixties cop shows like Dragnet or Adam 12 were inspirations for this series, and you definitely get that feel while reading this. The dialogue and narration can feel a bit forced at times, but Straczynski admits to it, as that’s the tone he was going for.

There’s a lot of creative and original ideas presented here, but at the same time, for a city that’s made up solely of dreams you’d almost expect a bit more. While the “Nightmares” in the book are creepy and mysterious, the world as a whole doesn’t seem creative enough. Artist Sid Kotian does a great job of telling the story through his panel work and designs, but I wish he’d take it further. The Dreamscape resembles a real city far too often. While there are glimpses of something more surreal and unearthly to the backgrounds, it just doesn’t feel as though it’s enough. It’s only the first issue though and like I said at the beginning, there’s a lot of potential for this world. I trust Straczynski has a plan for this series and I’m looking forward to seeing more. And with the last page twist, it seems as though there’s a lot more story to tell.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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