In the noir/surreal landscape of Dream Police, Detective Joe Thursday and his partner Kate Black maintain order in the vastly imaginative world on the other side of sleep. Upholding law proves to be difficult in a realm where practically anything is allowed. And while the Dreamsacape houses the hopes, fears, and spirits of those at rest, the man responsible for maintaining balance grapples with haunting visions of a man claiming to be his partner. That shows readers that no one is safe in the Dreamscape. Issue 2 sees Joe and Kate deal with a dead wisp and a soul hopped up on enough hallucinogenic drugs to allow his spirit transcendence into the Dreamscape and the power of hyper-lucid dreaming. During these investigations the visions of the man claiming to be his partner plague poor Joe.
This series suffers from a head editor with no vision. Dream Police #2 should have been issue one. In the opening issue as it is now, Straczynski paid credit to all the fans who bought the first iteration of the comic by having characters like the dragon make cameos. Also, explication revealed the nature of nightmares in the Dreamscape. Needless to say, too much time was wasted on cutesy stuff and not enough attention went to the story itself. This issue (2) does more to build the comic’s world and explain the nature of the series, so that would have made a much better first issue. Also, making #2 the debut issue would have heightened the tension and mystery regarding the disappearance of Joe’s partner. A keen editor would have noticed this and switched the issues to allow a greater story to develop.
Dream Police improved since the last issue, but that’s not saying much. Despite the characters getting slightly more depth and the conflicts being finely focused, there needs to be a greater risk driving the plot. The question of his missing partner makes Joe seem in a conundrum but not in mortal danger (or whatever threat level that equates to in a dream). Although I do like the progress, Straczynski seems to be pulling punches and overextending himself right now.
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artist: Sid Kotian Publisher: Image/Joe’s Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 6/4/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital