[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Nalo Hopkinson and Dan Watters
Artist: Dominike “DOMO” Stanton
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Deron Bennett
Dream logic is in full effect for Madame Erzulie and her band of misfit toys lost on a river in the dreaming. People are angry and forgetful and confused. Imagine being stuck in a dream for months on end. Now pretend that you are a pretty powerful voodoo priestess who has no control. You can imagine how things go. Not well.
Meanwhile, in New Orleans, LaToya and Maggie (who is by far the best character in this whole book, so it it always good to see her in action), are still trying to solve the mystery of the sleeping/death sickness they spread all around town. They find their way to Erzulie’s lair and who do you think they find in action there? Shakpana of course. That guy really is a giant pain. The lost souls who are trapped both in the dreaming and on earth realize (finally) that Maggie and LaToya can see them.
Shakpana flees and finds himself a host body that is equally as evil as he is. That will certainly be terrible in issues to come.
Holy crap! The Corinthian is in this issue. Seriously and in Domo’s hands, he is creepy A.F. Wow. I did not see that coming. Also, Anansi the spider god shows up so that something terrible to look forward to. This issue benefits from all the heavy lifting this team has been doing for six issues. Domo is still a rock star and the work he does in this issue is spectacular. In this issue, Hopkinson and Watters take the reader on some seriously depraved nightmares. They set them up as splash pages and they all begin with the phrase, “You wake from a nightmare…” Each of these little vignettes are stand alone stories and they are terrifying and in Stanton’s capable pen, they are nightmares. Check it out below.
The stories have worked best in this series when we care a bit more about the characters. When the story is so heavy on the plot and the mythology, the readers get distracted. Each panel in this issue really works hard to focus on characters and that is excellent.
I know this is Erzulie’s book and so, she has to be in it, but honestly, we need to get her out of The Dreaming and back into the world so that everyone is literally on the same plane. Seeing her and LaToya and Maggie in the same panel was as step in the right direction, but honestly, she is just hard to care about. If you think back to the source material here, Dream was never really a hero. You don’t “like” him that much. You like the people around him. You like or hate his siblings or Hob or whomever. You care about how he interacted with those folks. Having your principals apart for so long just hurts this book.
This looks like a step in the right direction. This is the beginning of a new story arc and I think I can see where it is going. Bringing in Anansi and The Corinthian works. Having a human host for Shakpana who is just as evil as he is excellent. I feel better about this. Having a bit more Maggie there is a good move because a voice of reason in a book with dream logic is smart. The reader can connect to her and she can be our avatar.