Writer: Jai Nitz
Artist: Tadd Galusha
Publisher: Dark Horse
WARNING: There are small spoilers in regard to the plot of this issue ahead. You’ve been warned.
Dream Thief: Escape has continued to intrigue me, which is probably why I’m reviewing this book for a third issue. There’s a lot going on when you look at the bigger picture.
We always meet someone new while getting a further look into the lives of the main characters. We’ve seen how John Lincoln comes to own the mask he wears while he sleeps. John has had to repeatedly face the fact that he killed his girlfriend, while trying to hide that fact from everyone around him. Jai Nitz is still giving us glimpses into the past of John Lincoln and his father Ray Ray. This time we see his father making a the choice to leave in order to keep his family safe. Nitz also shows us that Ray Ray wants a different life for John. Abandoning his wife and children may have been his only way to protect his family. When we see Ray Ray with his family after falling asleep he’s violent. I’m not sure if this was the last time his family ever saw him. Eventually he ended up dead and possessing the body of a prisoner, just waiting to get revenge. John may be able to sympathize with his father now that he is a dream thief as well. I just don’t see his sister getting closer. Sure, she’s not one of the main characters. This lifestyle has effected her as a child and as an adult even if she’s unaware of what’s happening.
John’s story was a little unexpected when we got to this issue. It’s finally time to get his father out of jail: well, the man his father’s spirit is inhabiting. Sounds easy enough, except there’s a complication. John fell asleep and the current spirit inhabiting his body is on a mission. Sure, something had to go wrong, but picking up the man your father is possessing while possessed yourself seems a little impractical. Luckily, Reggie was able to help keep things on track. He makes sure that everyone gets what they need in order to move forward. Nitz left us with one more cliff-hanger in regards to Brown Eagle. The next issue should be interesting when it comes to that part of the story. I can’t imagine the interaction between Brown Eagle and Ray Ray being a pleasant one considering the circumstances.
I had to do a double take when looking at the cover of this issue. It’s Greg Smallwood’s art on the cover but a new name was listed for the artist. I knew this was coming, but it still caught me off guard. The interior art is now being done by Tadd Galusha. The art change is due to the fact that Smallwood is now doing the art for Marvel’s Moon Knight. So we’re only seeing covers from him on the next couple of issues. While happy for Smallwood, it’s weird flipping through Dream Thief and seeing someone else’s artwork. The layouts are still what you would expect, but something feels off. The art style wasn’t what I had come to know and love. It’s not bad, it’s just different. It took me a little bit to recognize some of the characters in the first read through. Their appearance had become iconic in a way. The only other time we had seen other artists renditions were on covers in the first story arc and with fan art in the back. The coloring, done by Tamra Bonvillain, fits in with what we’re used to seeing. I’m sure that was due to the influence of Smallwood and Nitz since they are the co-creators of Dream Thief.
I certainly missed seeing Smallwood’s art for the interior, but I’ll get used to seeing Galusha’s eventually. The subtle differences are enough to catch my attention but not put me off from the book. I am looking forward to seeing the cover for the next issue rather than the interior art. All of that aside, it doesn’t change the story that Nitz has written. So in this case, an artist change is not enough for me to stop reading the book.
“Dream Theif: Escape #3” earns 7 / 10