Review - Dream Thief #1

What would you do if you woke up in a strange room and you didn’t know where you were, or what you’d done the night before to get there? Not everyone is lucky enough to have some suaveness to them that they can piece the previous night together. Some have a problem of not being able to piece the present together. Enter Dream Thief #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

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The issue is written by Jai Nitz, with interiors and letters by Greg Smallwood.

John Lincoln is a stage magician, movie director, broseph, bad boyfriend and pothead. None of those things present him as anyone capable of killing without abandon, but that's just what sort of situation he finds himself in throughout the first issue. He does so via possession by the dead around him, a newfound power that gives him very unique abilities when it comes to violence.

Nitz's story is strange. John is a loser more or less, drifting rather aimlessly through life at the expense of everyone and everything other than his best friend Reggie Harrison. The circumstances of his power is something of an odd coincidence. Nitz presents it almost like a Freaky Friday type thing, except John doesn't switch bodies with anyone; he just inhabits a mask. There's also a connection with his father that's similar to Dexter and his father Harry. In Dexter, Harry is trying to teach his son a code for killing, but in Dream Thief #1, John is guided by his father in a roundabout way.

Smallwood's art is full of splash panels, cutaway panels and moving insets. It's a lot to take in for the reader, but the effect is one of a story whose art seems to move around as much as the words do. There's a fairly minimal color palette and the changing colors help keep the reader abreast of the mood. Smallwood doesn't rely too heavily on character detail; instead, he let's the scenery do the talking. It's a fast-moving type of art that really works well with the story.

Dream Thief #1 is an interesting whodunnit of sorts, blending the concept of speaking to the dead and acting on their behalf. There are some obvious references as far as the story goes which does hurt it slightly, but overall, John Lincoln seems like an interesting enough character that he'll be able to carry the story wherever it goes.

Dream Thief #1 hits stores May 15 with interiors below.