The narrative begins to fray in Dream Police #4 as Joe’s world begins to fall apart. He is certain there is something wrong, but not what it is or even quite how to investigate it. Kate Black claims to have always been his partner, but he has been getting brief flashes of a former partner. Now, he is given a start in his investigation.
The ideas behind Dream Police, the blend of noir and fantasy, the multiple creatures inhabiting the dream world, and the notion of something gone wrong, have been intriguing from the start. The three cases leading up to this issue have given everyone a chance to see the world. Now, it is good to see that, having raised the central mystery, Straczynski is now bringing it into the foreground. Ideally, the three earlier cases will turn out to have provided clues all along.
Kotian and HIFI continue to create a world that blends the things we see in waking reality with the feel of dreams. The skewed angle and too-bright colors of the first page convey Joe’s confusion. Meanwhile, in their regular work, Joe and Kate continue to stride along square-jawed and trench coat-clad through dark, rainy streets and on into the peculiar, brightly colored, diner of the first issue.
Dream Police is not a particularly fast-moving comic; I find myself wishing sometimes that Straczynski would give his readers a little more credit when it comes to accepting strange new worlds. It remains an interesting concept, is picking up speed, and has art that makes the series worthwhile on its own. Lovers of noir and dreamscapes should give it a try.
Dream Police #4 is available August 27th from Image Comics.
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Sid Kotian
Color Artist: HIFI
Cover: Sid Kotian & Bill Farmer
Letters: Troy Peteri