Review – Lucy Dreaming #4 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Max Bemis
Artwork: Michael Dialynas
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 27th June 2018

“I hate when boys know what they’re doing.”

As Max Bemis and Michael Dialynas’ series reaches its penultimate issue, the real threat is finally revealed. To this point, each issue has featured a different shocking moment as young Lucy discovers the truth about her parents, her crush Welsey, and herself. It’s been an exciting ride for sure, with her parents’ scientific meddling inadvertently giving Lucy the ability to drift from the world of “things” to the world of “ideas”, but this is the first time she’s actually had a proper non-fictional baddie to work against, and it comes at exactly the right time to steer the story towards what should be a stonking conclusion.

Once again, Dialynas looks to be having an absolute blast, with the story continually giving him ample opportunity to flex his artistic muscle in a variety of tasty environments.  While previous issues have seen him turn his hand to supernatural horror and Halo-esque military sci-fi, this time the Greek artist gets to step out of his wheelhouse just a little with some full-on superheroics. Everything is suitably bright, bold and bonkers, and the muted-yet-striking colour palette really makes the heroes’ assault on their giant unstoppable enemy pop off the page.

However, rather than a straight-up dose of dream world fun, this issue takes a somewhat alarming turn midway through, with Lucy’s mother delivering a stark warning about a threat that promises to not only destroy the world of myth and imagination, but the real world as well.  There’s also fairly emphatic statement about the destructive nature of toxic masculinity attached to this threat, which sits rather well alongside the smart, unapologetically opinionated nature of Lucy herself.

However, after this intriguing set-up which seems to promise an epic ‘showdown’ of sorts, the final pages take things in a jarringly different direction with a cliff-hanger that feels like it veers a little too sharply into the surreal.  Dialynas certainly makes the reveal pop from a visual standpoint, but it just feels a little too silly and cartoony in a series that has – crazy dreamscapes aside – always felt fairly grounded by virtue of its protagonist.

It remains to be seen just how this one will play out, but in spite of how great it’s going to undoubtedly look, I’ll confess that my excitement has been dampened just a little by the way the creators have left things here.  Either way, I’m definitely going to be checking in again next month to see if Bemis and Dialynas stick the landing of what has been a creative, visually striking series.

Rating: 4/5.


ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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