I was privileged to read this in individual issues and as a trade paperback. I wanted to review the trade paperback because most people love collecting the trade paperback nowadays. I get it, I do, but I love both. If I love the writer or a specific artist, I try to get the issues and the TPB. In this case, I got to know Danny Lore, blessed by their presence and honestly, in awe of their amazing talent. More on that later- let’s get to this BRILLIANT storyline. (Honestly, when I first started reading it, I was like, “Danny has seen my damn dreams!”) For those who’ve read my review of issue 1, please refer there. Also, I’m officially demanding a season two of QOBD! (Adrian, consider this my official demand! Dude, we speak Moon Knight, I am demanding this as my female version of sorts!)
So, if you went and read my earlier review, you know this story is not told through the heroine but via the ex-spouse. This story is about Inspector Judge Wei Daher, who handles figments who slip into real life from dreams. Is a figment still a figment once it becomes self-aware? This is truly one of those philosophical things where you’re not sure where to draw the line and Wei isn’t one to judge harshly, for good reason.
When you hear Ava’s story, the figment that Wei is protecting from certain high members’ of society, you really wonder if Ava is a problem or if it’s something more. Something stemming from the Somnic Incident described earlier. Emerson is an ass, using Ava, until she leaves him, taking important information he was hiding in the dream world. Now she’s on the run and Wei is protecting her and that information. (It was at this point, I’m completely Team Danny, Team Wei, and I’m going to kick butt to protect Ava at all costs.) I’ve fallen completely under the colours and artwork that’s been done here. It’s amazing, as you almost feel like you’re living a dream, yet real.
When it goes bad for IJ Daher, thugs are sent after her ex, her daughter, and Ava. Selene, the daughter steps up in a way that is both amazing and terrifying for both parents. Yet, Ava surrenders to the thugs to protect Ava. She knows she risks being terminated because the Chases, the high and mighty people in the world will probably take what they want from her and then discard her. Still, when push comes to shove, mothers and daughter alike align to do what it takes to save everyone involved.
When Selene and Wei end up in the dream realm together, they see things they don’t expect, especially involving Eleanor Chase. When they realise the helmet given to Wei Daher looks extremely like the one that Eleanor is wearing, IJ Daher realises by watching the dream unfold, just how much power Eleanor has wielded in the dream realm and how dangerous she truly is. That the Somnic Incident was caused by an untrained psychic, a young one, who unleashed so much trouble- someone like a young Eleanor- who denies everything, instead blaming it on the scientists who worked with her.
Things go from bad to worse- when Daher and her daughter must fight for their lives in this dream realm that Eleanor controls. They even manage to call to Ava for help. I won’t spoil the ending- just know, it’s intense, what happens at the end will make you go, “Whoa, I wasn’t seeing this happening!” This story will make you think twice about having your dreams come true- not because they don’t deserve to come true, but because there are bits and pieces that aren’t what you think they are. Them coming alive brings new life to our world in new and unique ways we’ve yet to realise, sometimes to our own detriment.
Now, let’s give Danny the kudos they deserve and start demanding a new round of Queen of Bad Dreams. While we’re doing that, we need to start begging Jordi Perez to have pity on us poor unfortunate souls who have no artistic talent and must drool on their creations. Jordi’s work is just beyond compare when you look at this fantastical style. Pair up Jordi with Dearbhla and I’m going to sit right here a while and sigh heavily while enjoying the entire book again. This is why I LOVE Vault. Vault tends to do colours like I tend to colour- palettes that call to my heart and soul, evoking emotions, playing up the feelings while building anticipation every page.
Then there is lettering which just drives home just how easy, how beautiful the story gets told. You literally get halfway through the book before you realised you inhaled the first half. Then you’re like, “How the hel!?” Kim McLean gets kudos for this skilled work and bows for how the placement of everything.
So, if you haven’t read this story—WHY ARE YOU WAITING?! GO GET YOURSELF A COPY NOW!
Queen of Bad Dreams TPB
Writer: Danny Lore Colourist: Dearbhla Kelly
Artist: Jordi Perez Letterer: Kim McLean
Publisher: Vault Comics Editor: Adrian Wassel
Available: Everywhere comics are sold, Comixology.