Within New York, there has been a series of grizzly murders. Each of the cases has similar details. However, there is no connection between the victims, and each murder has a different prime suspect. In each case, the suspect is found at the crime scene covered in the victim’s blood with no memory of what happened.
After being introduced to this world via the latest murder victim, we meet Stenson, a certified dream healer. It is her job to go into your consciousness as you sleep and get rid of whatever is causing your nightmares. Stenson is new to the dream healing world, so she is teamed with a veteran demon to help her. Since Stenson can be a little overzealous, her partner sometimes gets annoyed with Stenson. Despite all the demon’s apprehensions, Stenson is good at her job. Unfortunately, she needs to be to figure out who has been murdering her clients.
Slumber #1 begins as a gritty drama, but it quickly becomes clear that there is much going on as Detective Finch shows up. Finch is officially on suspension for unnamed reasons. Not much about Finch is revealed in the first issue other than he has a quirky style and wants to know about Stenson. While they do not meet in this first issue, it is apparent how the characters will clash in the future. While Finch is laid back and odd, Stenson is angsty and sarcastic.
Slumber #1 reads fast. After the initial crime scene, the book drops right into the middle of the dream world where Stenson works. While the dream world is violent and manic, the cartoonish art style keeps it from being dark. Artist Vanessa Cardinali’s dream world is filled with wonderful little monsters that go from cute and cuddly to menacing within seconds. Because of the art style, the book may look like it’s intended for a younger audiance. The book reads darker than it looks, which could cause some concerns later for some readers.
All in all, Slumber #1 is a fun read. Tyler Burton Smith’s dialogue is quick and witty. From the beginning, the waking and dream worlds stand clearly defined by the art and character designs. This keeps the shifting between the two worlds from becoming too jarring for the reader. The concept of the story allows for plenty of growth and exploration of both Stenson and Finch. Meanwhile, keeping them apart in this first issue leaves something to look forward to in the future. Slumber #1 definitely deserves a spot on your weekly pull list.