Dream Police is published by Image Comics under the Joe’s Comics Imprint, written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Sid Kotian. It’s the story of Joe Thursday, a badge-carrying member of the Dream Police. He’s got a cliché cop name, a cliché partner, and a cliché Captain. This book started as something I had read a hundred times before, but ended up pleasantly surprising me.
The Dream Police patrol the Dreamscape, the place we all go when we dream. When the rules get broken, the DP get called in. We get introduced to a few of the citizens, and Sid Kotian does some great design work. The Changelings match their concept in appearance, and the Nightmares, my favorite character design, have a great, simply creepy look.
As with many cop stories, there is a lot of talking and exposition. JMS does a great job of not overcrowding the page with a lot of text, but Kotian really helps break up the dialogue that is there with some great panel layouts. For a book that feels like an old cop show, there are not a lot of traditional layouts, and the way the each panel rolls into the next is great. There is a scene where Joe Thursday is talking with a cat which is a great example of Kotian’s storytelling abilities.
Both creators do a great job of building the Dreamscape. This is a place where the world and the people in it are shaped in part by the dreamers. Kotians adds to his layouts with buildings that twist and turn and characters that change gender and even species on the fly. His line work is really clean and fits well with this story. JMS’ dialog makes it feel like a fresh twist on an old cop show like Dragnet: he’s got the banter between partners, the inner monologues from our hero, and all the police jargon you could want. Both of the creators introduce a lot of cool concepts for the Dreamscape, but not to the point of overwhelming the reader with too much information.
Like most first issues, there is a lot of set up in this story, but it ends with some neat twists to add some mystery to this series. This book reminded me of a lot of other takes on police dramas, like Top 10, and if you are a fan of those types of books I would recommend that you check this out.