Previously: Dream Police #10
After a three-month break, Dream Police returns with what has been announced to be its penultimate issue and I’m happy to say is one of its best.
It saddens me to say, after this, we only have a single issue of Dream Police remaining. The entire series has been great, despite the multiple months-long delays, but issues #9, #10, and #11 constitute a run that has been simply fantastic. As J. Michael Straczynski’s story has flooded these recent issues with answers to the series’ biggest questions and the chemistry of Joe Thursday, Kate Black, and Frank Stafford has blossomed, Dream Police has put all of its complicated pieces into place to create what can only be described as a must-read. It feels like a crime to have it end while it’s striding so briskly, but I suppose the approaching end is, at least in part, to thank for these issues being as good as they have been.
Anyway, that’s the next issue. In this issue, things certainly are not over yet. You remember those answers I mentioned? Well, it turns out the ones we got in Dream Police #10 were… a little incomplete, to say the least. In the process of getting a bit more context for Joe’s career with the Dream Police, we meet a Supervisor, we learn what it is Nightmares fear, and we get our fix of the great charm this series has farmed wonderfully: Joe and Kate, mid-peril, are cracking jokes with Captain Ross.
Beyond the compelling plot development and witty dialogue, this series also trades liberally on beautiful art and coloring from Sid Kotian and HiFi, respectively, and this issue provides the team with ample opportunity to not only dazzle and terrify, but to also amuse.
Maybe that’s the biggest factor in why these last three issues have been so enjoyable: Straczynski, Kotian, and HiFi have found the sweet spot for this story where the stakes can be deathly serious in one panel and then hilariously irreverent in the next. A large part of that seems to have come about when the threesome of Joe, Kate, and Frank was finally forged in issue #9. Plus, dinosaurs.
Penultimate installments of anything are usually very good; whether it’s a season of Game of Thrones, a riveting miniseries like The Night Of, or a sci-fi/noir/crime comic book series, setting up the ending will almost always deliver. Ultimately, Dream Police #11 nearly does its job too well, as I finished its final page and felt an instant sadness at the remembrance that it is going to end in just one more issue.
Dream Police #11
With foreknowledge this issue is to be the penultimate outing for Dream Police, I was expecting it to be good, but its charming humor, beautiful artwork, and surprising answers to questions we thought we no longer had help it outperform even the loftiest of expectations and become one of the series’ best issues.