Dream Thief #5

One of the best miniseries of the last year comes to an end this week. But do all your questions get answered? Here’s the official description of Dream Thief #5 from Dark Horse:

When vengeful spirits finally stop possessing John Lincoln, he seizes the opportunity to hunt down the man who first terrorized his girlfriend and kickstarted his endless nightmare. An escaped madman and a determined policewoman push Dream Thief to the very edge in this deadly conclusion!

Jai Nitz has created a complicated story with Dream Thief, and here he wraps most of it up. John feels like he’s actually grown as a character, but nothing is shoved in our face. There’s also a healthy balance here between the action-packed climax and the slower wrapping up of loose story threads. My only complaint is that the complexity of the story really calls for a rereading of the previous four issues, and I didn’t get a chance to do that. The Dream Thief Vol. 1 paperback will solve the problem beautifully, I’m sure, but unfortunately it’s not due until next March.

Greg Smallwood does absolutely brilliant work on the art of this issue, handling everything from pencils and inks to coloring and lettering. The pencil work is incredibly detailed, to the point I almost think I can see the grout between the kitchen tiles. The inks are messy, but in an evocative way that contrast the precision of the pencils. The colors have a clearly defined palette for each scene that still proves to be very versatile. But the aspect of the art I love most is the layouts. The way Smallwood incorporates shapes and sound effects into the layouts is impressive and serves to underline the tone of the scene, but it’s the simple use of white lines as panel dividers, with no black, that gives Dream Thief a unique look. I assume it’s been done before, but here it allows each panel to function both individually and as part of a whole. It also gives the book a 60’s vibe that feels oddly appropriate.

If you haven’t been reading Dream Thief, at the very least be sure to pick up the trade paperback in a few months. I cannot oversell how much you’ll enjoy it.


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