Advance Review: Shifting The Nature Of Unreality In `Parasomnia: The Dreaming God’ #1

by Tom Smithyman


The series set in two worlds featuring a man with zero names is back for a four-part run, this time changing one setting from the past to the future. Mysteries abound and shift like a dreamscape.


Dreams can morph in the most unexpected ways. Settings change in an instant. Characters appear and disappear. Suddenly you can fly or have some other superpower.

The same is true in the dual dream worlds of Parasomnia. In this new limited series, the nameless hero, who has been on a quest to find his son in the initial tale, shifts from an 18th century horror setting to a cyberpunk future. He’s still looking for his boy, but futuristic cars take the place of horses. The danger, though, is just as present.

Writer Cullen Bunn could not be confined to just two worlds, so he created a third for this four-part tale. In this future world, the protagonist, now a street merc, is hired to steal a data harvester – technology that has the potential to know everything. That everything includes the location of his son. Meanwhile, in the other world (the real one?), the principal figure is a drifter seeking rides from whomever is willing to offer them. It’s clear as mud – and meant to be that way.

Series co-creator and artist Andrea Mutti makes the curious choice to draw the two worlds in a similar style. Perhaps more telling – and unlike the first series – these color palettes of these realities are remarkably similar. Soft yellows, blues and pinks dominate the panels. Is Mutti trying to send a signal of the linkages between the two worlds?

Moving from a quasi-historical setting to a futuristic one helps to give the series new energy and a fresh feel for the reader. It also gives the creative team the opportunity to create new mysteries to keep the audience coming back for more. Eventually, though, readers are going to need some manner of resolution so they aren’t as lost as the series’ characters.

Parasomnia: The Dreaming God #1 will be available for purchase on August 17, 2022.


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