Parasomnia: The Dreaming God continues the story begun in last year’s four part series, Parasomnia. The series tells the story of a family that was broken apart when a young boy was kidnapped from his bedroom one night. This boy had a very special gift, an ability that made him stand out, and whilst that gift seems to be the reason he was targeted, it’s also what will help his father to find him.
The previous series was something of a strange read, a four part story that slowly introduced readers to this world and its conceit in ways that weren’t at first apparent; and in some cases were downright confusing. The first volume of this story definitely works better as a complete volume, and whilst the first issue of this chapter of the tale seems to be working better, you definitely need the foundation of the previous series in order to understand any of what’s happening here.
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This issue drops readers back into the story, with Grover still searching for his missing son, though now he’s gained an ally in the strange dream world that connects him to his son, as well as the cult that stole him. Whilst in the first volume the dream world was a strange, fantasy-like place, this time things have shifted. The dream has changed. And our hero finds himself in some kind of cyber-punk, neo-noir setting instead. This change isn’t commented upon, and none of the characters that go in and out of the dream world, or even Kahnawake, who lives there and seems aware of its ins and outs, make mention of it.
This feels very much in keeping with the series as a whole, where nothing is explained, and readers are left to try and catch up with the small clues that are given to us. That being said, this issue is a lot more forthcoming with information than most of the previous instalments, and we begin to learn more about the dreamworld and the cult via Grover’s adventures there. We also discover that Grover isn’t the only member of his family still connected to his son, as his wife also makes the leap into the dreamworld.
It’s not clear exactly what is going to be happening in this particular volume of the Parasomnia story. Grover seems to be closing in on the cult, he’s gaining more abilities inside the dream world, and the cult has an evil plan. But these were all things that were happening before. Other than the sudden change in genre inside the dreams nothing here feels too different from what came before, and I’m left wondering why the story has been split into separate titles with this being a new issue one, when it could have easily just been issue five of the story.
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One thing that does feel different in this issue is the artwork, provided by Andrea Mutti (who also worked on Cold Bodies). Mutti worked on the first volume, and the art style hasn’t really changed here, but once the dream setting changed to the futuristic location the artwork feels slightly different. It feels more clean and clinical at times, and you could be forgiven for thinking that another artist is working on the book. This really shows off how versatile Mutti’s work is, and how their artwork evokes different feelings depending upon the setting.
If you’re coming to Parasomnia: The Dreaming God as a new reader because you saw that it was an issue one you’re probably going to be having a bad time with this. But if you’ve read the first run and are coming to this for the next chapter in the story you’re probably going to enjoy it. The tale is continuing on at a fairly leisurely pace, giving out net titbits of information as the world expands. It’s not clear yet what Cullen Bunn is intending to do with this particular volume, but it remains intriguing.
Parasomnia: The Dreaming God #1 is out now from Dark Horse.