The latest comic from prolific creator J. Michael Straczynski’s imprint Joe’s Comics with Image Comics is Dream Police, a revival of a one-shot Straczynski previously published in 2005 under Marvel’s Icon imprint.
J. Michael Straczynski has cultivated a long and fruitful career in the comics industry, creating such titles as Rising Stars and The Twelve, while offering his talents to the writing of iconic titles like Thor, Fantastic Four, and some of the most notable issues of The Amazing Spider-Man of the past 15 years; but it’s likely most will know him as the creator of the successful 1990s sci-fi series Babylon 5.
What you may not know is that Straczynski also put in significant time working on television crime dramas like Jake and the Fatman and Murder, She Wrote. This experience, as well as Straczynski’s work on The New Twilight Zone, seems to permeate the storytelling of Dream Police and marry well with the inherent sci-fi environment therein.
Dream Police #1–written by Straczynski, with art by Sid Kotian and Bill Farmer–introduces Detective Joe Thursday and his partner Detective Frank Stafford and thrusts us right into the day-to-day monotony of their police work, except it’s not monotonous at all; not to us, because we’re not used to walking nightmares, shapeshifting changelings, and mustachioed dream architects. These detectives are dealing with supernatural beings that populate the surreal Dreamscape, and they’re doing it with a familiar mix of fantasy and gritty realism that you’ve likely come to love from titles like Fables and Rest in Peace Department. What makes Dream Police stand out, other than the fact that it’s set within a world of dreams, is its heavy noir style. As Straczynski has called it in the past, “Dragnet in the Dreamscape” (hence the Joe Friday homage), Dream Police #1 firmly establishes this mobius world of fantastical creatures intermingling with those who would seem like ordinary, run of the mill police officers.
This issue terrifically begins what could grow into an awesome comic series. I definitely recommend picking up Dream Police #1, especially for those of you who may be mourning Fox’s cancellation of Almost Human; this could help fill that sci-fi, cop drama void that has now opened up inside of you. I will be back next month to review Dream Police #2.