Review – Lucy Dreaming #5 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Max Bemis
Artwork: Michael Dialynas
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 25th July 2018

The final issue of Max Bemis and Michael Dialynas’ LUCY DREAMING is finally here, and opens with Lucy having a discussion with the rather unusual character she met at the end of the previous chapter about how best to proceed with the whole Welsey situation.  It perhaps feel a little jarring to have so much new information being delivered at this point, but the way Lucy pricks the pomposity of what is a fairly hefty exposition dump with her one-liners is pure gold.

Throughout it all, Lucy continues to be an incredibly likeable protagonist, and the grounded way she continues to deal with this extraordinary situation makes her even more relatable.  There are some great lines of dialogue along the way here, even though this is very much a visual conclusion to the story, with Dialynas continuing to do the bulk of the heavy lifting with his typically stellar artwork.

For my taste, Bemis leans a little too heavily into his “toxic masculinity is awful” narrative, and while, y’know, it definitely is, the heavy-handed approach does sideline the story somewhat, making certain sections feel more like a sermon than a narrative.  Don’t get me wrong, the sentiment is a valid one, and the way it plays into the conclusion of the story is brilliantly executed, it just all feels a little on-the-nose after what has been some fairly nuanced delivery to this point.

That said, the final showdown in the Dreamworld (Storyscape?) is pure class, with Dialynas pulling out all the stops as Lucy tries to bring down the giant robot version of Welsey.  Unfortunately though, in spite of this epic smackdown, the aftermath is a little underwhelming, with a surprising lack of consequence and a fairly by-the-numbers wrap-up.  The epilogue (sorry, “epic-logue”) is a neat touch, but doesn’t really do enough to undo the “wait, that’s it?” feeling I had about the way things ended up.

This feels like a three-star comic, but I’m slapping on another half point because of just how much effort Dialynas clearly poured into the issue.  As I mentioned above, the showdown between Lucy and Welsey is absolutely bloody fantastic, allowing the Greek artist to showcase every skill in his toolbox with some brilliantly inventive panel layouts and one air-punchingly awesome double page spread.  The colours are suitably dynamic and add a real sense of energy to the proceedings, and the overall visual package only further cements Dialynas’ reputation as an artist you really need to be keeping an eye on.

At the end of the day, and while there may be some peaks and troughs along the way, LUCY DREAMING is still a series that’s well worth a look, featuring some creative ideas about the power of imagination, some smile-raising humour, and some cracking artwork from one of the best kept secrets in the business today (for my money, at least). Definitely worth picking up once the collected edition goes on sale.

Rating: 3.5/5.


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