Comics (and movies, and television shows, and other forms of media and art) about dreams are some of the most inventive pieces I’ve ever seen, and it’s largely due in part to the fact that the dream world is so malleable. When writers and artists take on a project involving dreams, they can literally do just about anything their heart desires with it—an infinite sea of possibilities awaits them, because everyone’s dreams are different. Poet Anderson #1-3 combines concepts that we already know about dreaming, such as lucid dreamers and night terrors, with new concepts, two of the most interesting being that 1. dreams are, in a way, sentient, and 2. that all dreams congregate at a place called ‘Genesis’.
Science fiction, fantasy, and terror collide as we fall into the dreamworld with Jonas (the titular Poet) and his brother Alan, where a startling revelation about who their mother actually is leads us to the villain of the series: a foreboding, oozing-with-evil character called REM. It’s apparent from the first issue that there’s something different about Jonas, because he exists in a state where he can rouse himself easily from his dreams, and that’s really where the entire story begins. If there’s anything that we learned from Inception, it’s that shared dreaming is crazy cool (and, on another level, absolutely terrifying). The center of this dreamworld, or Genesis, is depicted as a futuristic setting, a shared space where dreamers and dreams coexist. While this world is filled with beauty and fantastical things, it doesn’t come without its terrors—literally.
The first three issues tie together perfectly, with the first page of #1 coming around full-circle by the time you reach #3. Each issue takes care to be very informational without boring readers to death with dialogue or mind-numbing info dumps—what we need to know is presented to us on a need-to-know basis, and what I particularly enjoyed is that we learn as the characters learn. As Jonas learns about who, about what he is, we too find out these things. Information is delivered in perfect increments at just the right moments.
There’s a level of irony that exists with the idea of the dreamworld, too: when people sleep, the general idea is that people sleep to escape the real world. In Poet this concept is reversed: the characters that exist in the dream world want to escape to the real world, but there’s no easy way to do that. It’s an interesting concept, how it’s done, and a central part of REM’s arc.
Poet Anderson is dark without being filled with hopelessness, the humor of the characters often shining through some of the darkest moments in these first three issues. These are teenage boys who have been met with unparalleled tragedy in a very short amount of time, and yet, it’s just that—they’re teenagers. The undertones of fear are always present, but a little bit of sarcasm goes a long way in diffusing the tension. The world that’s created is deep and intricate, offering plenty of room for exploration, and the ongoing plotline is unique and intriguing. Poet Anderson has exceeded many of my expectations regarding what I look for in a comic—the cohesiveness of its storytelling and art elements—and each panel is beautifully done, with characters who feel real and have very real weaknesses. I look forward to continuing the story and seeing Jonas come into his powers, and hopefully getting some expansion on some of the other characters.
After all, with great power comes great responsibility, and that’s one thing that doesn’t change regardless of what world you’re in.
Source: Sarah at Project-Nerd