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Dream Thief: Escape #1 Review

3 min read

Dream Thief
Dream Thief
Dream a little dream for me.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jai Nitz
Art and Letters: Greg Smallwood

What They Say:
Like his father before him, John Lincoln is a Dream Thief, possessed by vengeful spirits while he sleeps—a deadly instrument of revenge! Now he must defend the felon possessed by his father’s ghost . . . and get revenge against his killer! Continuing the supernatural drama of last summer’s acclaimed miniseries.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Dream Thief: Escape is the second series starring everyone’s favorite somnambulant agent of vengeance. The first Dream Thief series ran for five issues and introduced us to John Lincoln—a good-for-nothing film buff who just drifted through life, living off his girlfriend and sister. His life changed when he woke up after attending a gallery show for Aboriginal art. He awoke face-down on the bathroom floor, wearing a mask from the gallery, his girlfriend dead in the bedroom. From that point on, whenever John went to sleep, he would wake up someplace else, wearing the mask, and next to the body of a person he just killed.

John discovers that he is a Dream Thief: when he goes to sleep, he is possessed by the ghost of a murder victim. He retains the memory and skills of each ghost that possesses him and he uses those to exact revenge on the ghost’s behalf. However, what exactly a Dream Thief is, why he’s one, and what it has to do with his father is unknown. But it appears that some of those questions will be answered in this four issue series.

The previous series was a masterpiece of plotting: the story hit the ground running and never let up for five issues. Where other writers would pause for exposition, Nitz managed to find a way to weave it naturally into the narrative, giving the readers a rip-roarin’ adventure as well as a deeper mystery. The story also works as a bildungsroman, as becoming a Dream Thief forces John to examine his life and start taking responsibility for his actions. He’s not exactly a likable character at the moment, but he’s on the road to becoming one.

Escape picks up right where the first series left off and it looks like it will continue the same breathless pace. The plot is rock-solid and even though this is a continuation, it is very new reader friendly. It starts off in media res, but it quickly fills in the necessary details to catch up first time readers.

And if that isn’t enough, the art is gorgeous. Smallwood handles the pencils, inks, color, and letters and this is a beautiful, moody, atmospheric work that makes liberal use of heavy, black lines, shadows, and muted colors. At times the comic takes on a surreal, dreamlike quality that suits the story perfectly.

In Summary:
Dream Thief: Escape picks up where the first Dream Thief series left off. The quality of the art and the writing is superb and manages not only to continue the story, but serve as a jumping-on point for new readers. This is a great story told by two people who understand the medium. Highly recommended.

Grade: A+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse
Release Date: June 25, 2014
MSRP: $3.99

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