With dreams come nightmares… but where do nightmares come from? That’s the question writer, Nathan Edmondson, and artist, Konstantin Novosadov, set out to answer in the third installment of their Image Comics series, “The Dream Merchant”. Having reached the halfway point in the narrative, Edmondson slowly builds upon previously established plot developments, without offering anything significantly new to the story.
WRITTEN BY: Nathan Edmondson
ART BY: Konstantin Novosadov
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: July 24, 2013
More of a character piece than a plot-driven story, Issue #3 of “The Dream Merchant” focuses on Winslow’s reluctance to deal with his role in the war the ‘regulators’ are waging against humanity. As a weak protagonist, the last two installments had yet to prove his believability as a potential saviour of mankind, but Edmondson develops his character in a way that attempts to rectify that. Through vigorous training provided by the Merchant, to help Winslow control and conquer his dream-states, part 3 follows his journey towards enlightenment and acceptance. Finally, by the end of the issue, readers will get to see Winslow take initiative in the fight to save his world.
In comparison to the previous issues, Edmondson steers away from the heavily dense philosophical material, and delivers just enough buildup to prepare readers for the rising action of the imminent invasion. Issue #3 definitely has that ‘calm before the storm’ vibe going on, and the story will only pick up from here.
The artwork by Novosadov is as consistent and visually expressive as ever; particularly impressive where the story calls for eccentric depictions of sleep states and illustrations of the regulators. It’s still very easy to distinguish between dreams vs. reality on paper, as his colour scheme of pinks and blues effectively allows for differentiation. What’s most interesting about his art in issue #3, is that he confirms that the regulators are corporal beings, as demonstrated through a panel showcasing one of them being physically hit by a truck.
Winslow, Anne, and the Merchant of Dreams will continue to gear up for the regulators’ invasion in the next issue, but their activities have caught the attention of local police and Homeland Security. It’s evident that Edmondson’s building up to something bigger than what readers previously anticipated. Hopefully, he delivers.
Reviewed by – ShadowJayd