by Jai Nitz & Greg Smallwood
A common problem that pops up in the comic industry is sometimes stories are cut off too early before telling their entire story. On the other hand sometimes a limited series gets more attention than anticipated which usually turns a short story into an ongoing series. The latter is the feeling you get after reading the fifth and final (for now) issue of Dream Thief. It felt like we were winding down and that there might even be a definite ending but a few reveals open up this story to a bigger world.
For the most part this issue wraps up a lot of loose ends from previous issues quite well. However, it was a little jarring how most people seemed pretty comfortable with each others dark secrets. Giving John a small group of friends to trust and rely on was a smart move though, because on his own John was starting to lose control. One thing that stuck out this issue though was the absence of the Dream Thief mask. Aside from a quick glimpse of John’s shadowed face where it actually looks like he is wearing the mask, but we know from the surrounding panels he is not. John still has all of his absorbed abilities too, which makes you wonder if the mask has become a part of him now and maybe he doesn’t always need to wear it. Nitz puts some history to the mask and the concept of a Dream Thief which really opens up the world he has built. You almost feel a predictable ending approaching and then by the end the mythos opens even more and leaves you hanging with a bit of a reveal and the words: “(not) The End.”
You have to hand it to Greg Smallwood, as he really sets a tone with this book. There is a heavy darkness that has been consistent in all five issues so far that heighten the dream-like state of this whole ordeal that John has had to go through. Also, kudos to Smallwood for taking on all of the art duties, from colors to lettering; you have to appreciate an artist who really goes all-in. It’s always fun to have panels made of sound effect lettering like, “WHAM” and “SLAM” with hard hitting fight scenes inside the lettering; it helps you feel those hits. I hope Smallwood returns as artist on the series because he really does bring a lot to this book.
So far, so good. Honestly if this series was only five issues long it would have still been a pretty good story. By the end of the book you do get a satisfied feeling but they really leave you wanting the next arc by the end. Where will things go from here? It will be fun to see how this story will play out now. Until Dream Thief returns let’s hope John gets some well deserved sleep without killing anyone.