Previously, “Issue #3”
J. Michael Straczynski’s mobius strip of a comic book, Dream Police, continues its winding path down a mindbending rabbit hole this month, as the inevitable intersection of detective Joe Thursday’s double life finally comes to a shocking junction. Joe knows there’s something terribly wrong, and the events of issue #4 only raise more questions for the troubled detective.
With its cover bringing to mind the impossible realities of M.C. Escher, this issue focuses entirely on the distorted perspective of Joe Thursday that has been so carefully crafted in the previous three issues. Straczynski’s weaving of Joe’s noir-style, almost mundane police work with the chimerical visions of the Dreamscape have not only given the series a unique environment within which to work, but it has also laid the framework for a dichotomous tightrope of a story upon which Joe Thursday is allowed to precarious balance, with each panel having him lean further into each direction. Is he a cop who should just do his job, or is there something more to him that can only be discovered within the Dreamscape?
What this bipolar existence for Thursday does is allow for the mystery of who his real partner is (Kate Black or Frank Stafford?) to perfectly meld the reality of the detective with the fantasy of the dreamer; it represents the convergence of these two opposing worlds. All Joe knows is his job, and now this mystery has him questioning even that. Straczynski has put together one hell of an intriguing series, with the art of Sid Kotian and HiFi excellently complementing it with an artistic mixture of trenchcoats and fantastical creatures.
This series’ mystery has me fully invested, and I’m really loving Straczynski’s treatment of the value of a strong partnership. I’ve never been a police officer, but everything I know about it says the partner relationships shown in Dream Police are completely accurate. This issue featured partnership very heavily, with good reason, and with that, it was very lighthearted and could even be described as touching. The next issue, however, brings a trip to the Verge, a very dangerous area in this universe, so I’m guessing it’ll trade the warm heart for some spine chills.