When a figment of your imagination escapes from your dreams, the Morphean Annex are responsible for tracking them down, and reaching a verdict on what should happen to them. These figments can either be reinserted into the dreams they emerged from, terminated, or given permanent residence in the real world.
Tasked with hunting down the escapee Ava from the dreams of Emerson Chase (a politician’s son), Inspector Judge Daher Wei must do everything she can to find the missing figment before this case becomes public knowledge. But why did it take Emerson a full week to report Ava missing? Why are tensions so high between his mother Councilwoman Chase and Daher? And what was the somnic incident?
Like all good detective stories, Queen of Bad Dreams is filled with intrigue, establishing a narrative built on an array of questions that you’re never sure you’ll get answers to. While this serves as a starting point, a lot of other aspects of the world are never really explained, and the state of the world in Queen of Bad Dreams is very much left open to speculation. As far as we know, figments have always been able to escape from dreams, with the Annex always there to investigate them.
Aside from the unusual landscape of nightmares and dream hunters, Queen of Bad Dreams serves as a way for Danny Lore and Jordi Perez to explore a range of themes you might not expect from your standard detective tale. Ultimately, the figments remaining in the real world provide a glimpse into a wide variety of topics such as family, adoption and immigration.
Jordi Perez’ art presents a great blend between traditional science fiction and otherworldly dreamscapes, merging nightmare creatures and futuristic detectives to create an engaging and varied world. A world that’s excellently brought to life by Dearbhla Kelly’s coloring.
Narratively, I have few complaints about Queen of Bad Dreams, perhaps most prominent is that in a world that feels intelligent and thought provoking, resolutions are still found in the form of a fist fight. In contrast, I feel that this is a series with no shortage of positive representation in its unique cast of characters, which is a welcome change within the industry and something frequently at the heart of Vault’s titles.
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