In the Parasomnia series, Cullen Bunn and Andrea Mutti dreamt a world split in two: reality and dreams. The worlds are connected by Grover and the unnamed hero, both searching for a missing child. Grover and Annette’s son disappeared a year ago, while the unnamed hero isn’t sure why he’s searching for a child. In both worlds, evil abounds. Reality contains a dangerous cult, while the dreamworld has the Faceless Queen leading her subjects. What originally was to be contained within four issues quickly overgrew itself with its ambitious story; therefore, after Parasomnia #1-4, the creators embarked on the next part of the story in Parasomnia: The Dreaming God, another four-issue series.
SPOILERS for Parasomnia #1-4 and Parasomnia: The Dreaming God #1 below
Whereas Parasomnia #1-4’s dreamworld takes place in a long-gone era, Parasomnia: The Dreaming God leads readers into a cyberpunk world. The hero and his companion, Kahnawake, don’t miss a beat, though, as if the sudden switch between worlds in Grover’s dreams doesn’t register with them. It is a wonderful nod to how our dreams can change on a whim, but our dreaming selves don’t realize it. The two continue their journey of searching for the boy while killing agents of the Faceless Queen who come after them. In this cyberpunk land, they also learn of a computer – one who dared to dream to become a god. On the other hand, the real world with Grover and Annette’s search for their son becomes less and less part of the story. It’s as if Kahnawake’s warning of trying to shape a dream too much is coming to pass.
In Parasomnia: The Dreaming God #2, more about the computer is revealed, along with a new question: “Can a dream… dream?” It’s an interesting question to lump on top of all of the others during what’s quickly becoming a full exploration of dreaming. As a lucid dreamer from childhood, one who can control her dreams, Parasomnia fascinates me to no end. There are many reasons to re-read each issue of both series, and I have a feeling I’ll keep on re-reading them for years to come, contemplating these questions.
This is all a credit to Bunn’s writing. His imagination in Parasomnia has surpassed anything he’s done before – which is saying a lot. There seems to be no limit to what’s possible in this series, and waiting for the final two issues will continue to be suspenseful. As with the first four issues, I wonder how Bunn will manage to wrap up the story. Who is the Faceless Queen, this mysterious cult, and will we ever find out where the children (in both worlds) are? Will we ever get a name for our hero? And how will it all come together in the end?
Andrea Mutti’s art continues to impress like no other. He seamlessly makes the transitions from reality to dream world, as well as helps our hero take up residence in this new cyberpunk land without a hitch. The dream world starts to feel more real with every passing issue and each page turned, which is the beauty of this series. There’s something about his artistic ability and the way this series is handled that makes me want to remain in this dream world forever, even with all of the death and destruction.
If we’ve learned anything about Cullen Bunn over the years, it’s that the future is not what we think. It will be unexpected, with possibly several more twists before we find his predetermined ending. With the amount of questions still out there, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find another four-issue series once The Dreaming God is done. One can only hope.
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (Script), Andrea Mutti (Art and Colors, Standard Cover Artist), Simon Bowland (Letters), Vanesa Del Rey (Cover B Artist), Cullen Bunn & Andrea Mutti (Creators)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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