What happens when your dreams are not only real but so are your doppelgangers?
From creators Brittany Matter, Dailen Ogden, Gabriela Downie, and more, DEAD DREAMS challenges us to think about what really happens when we dream. Where do we go? Is it really just nowhere? Or is it somewhere we thought we could only imagine?
If you know me then you know I'm a huge fan of sci-fi thrillers, especially ones that challenge the characters and us as readers on a psychological level. If you're a fan of Orphan Black, Fringe, the limited comic series Bliss, this series is for YOU!
Creators Make All The Difference
When I first heard about this story, I was PSYCHED to hear that this series is done by a predominately woman/non-binary creative team. It's not often you see this in comic books- the industry is still dominated by male creators. Representation matters and, in my opinion, betters the storytelling. In this case, the story is only bettered by this specifically because the main character is a woman, and having mostly women/NB individuals tell her story? Yes. All the yes!
A Woman In A Parallel World
"Looking to live out her dreams of becoming an actress, timid Piña Axletree takes a tonic and wakes up in a parallel world, leading a drug syndicate. Will she run back to the familiar doldrums of her reality or become a more ruthless version of herself to achieve her dreams?"
I absolutely ADORE this premise and Matters' script absolutely delivers. At first, as I was reading this issue, I couldn't figure out which character was our main character from the above synopsis. While I think that was done on purpose to build interest, exploring other characters at the start helps build this world. In any sci-fi thriller, it is absolutely essential to world build ASAP. This is one genre where worldbuilding takes preference over character building, in my opinion. Character building is still a must, but here, how are we supposed to believe there's another world if we don't even know this one yet?
After the early world-building, it's time for the character building, and Piña couldn't be more relatable. She's desperate and yearning for more in life, yet still... innocent. Remember when you were still innocent? She hasn't given in or doesn't understand the brutality of the world she lives in yet. And she definitely doesn't understand the world her doppelganger, Madam Piña, lives in.
That's right folks! When Piña takes the tonic and seemingly begins to hallucinate, we actually learn that she's in a parallel world, and her doppelganger is not as innocent as she is.
And this isn't just any other doppelganger story. This is a very personal story for writer Brittany Matter:
"As a person who grew up in abusive environments, I wanted to examine the seemingly inescapable cycle of the adage ‘hurt people hurt people’ through doppelgängers. Piña and her doppelgänger Matron are two sides of the same coin—they both grew up abused by their parents, which makes Piña the anxious, timid person that she is, while Matron doesn't exactly overcome her traumatic childhood.”
Ten percent of the funds raised for this book will be donated to Kathy’s Legacy Foundation to support children and pets impacted by domestic violence.
Perfectly Set-Up, Leaving Me Wanting More
This first issue gives me the perfect amount of this world. I feel like I just took an energy shot, had a great time, and need MORE immediately! This first issue does not pull any punches with how cruel and how un-fairytale like escaping into our dreams really are.
Ogden's art is the centerpiece of the parallel world. Many panels include mainly scenery of the world around Piña and, to some, this may seem pointless. They couldn't be more wrong though- every single panel of this book is made with the utmost care and significance. I can't wait to see how some of these moments and pieces of scenery connect down the line
And truly, that is the best part about Dead Dreams #1. Throughout this entire issue, I knew that more would be revealed down the line, but it wouldn't happen just yet. I'd have to wait for it- and I'm more than happy to. There's so much more to this story than even I know and I can't wait to see it progress!
If you need any more convincing, check out the trailer below!