Welcome one and all to another MDM Projects comic review. In keeping with the recent theme, I’m continuing with Dreamkeepers and going with Dreamkeepers Volume 3: Intentions Intwined.
Background: While still covering three chapters (in this case 7 – 9), this volume sees an increase in the page count for the book, jumping from the 104 of volume 2 to 144 this time around. As always, the book is in full colour. This time around, the book also includes some lyrics from KMFDM’s ‘Looking for Strange’. As if including industrial rock lyrics isn’t cool enough, they are used with the express consent of the band’s frontman Kapt’n K. Should all people get permission to use lyrics? Absolutely. I still think it’s cool that the permissions were acknowledged though.
The story here continues on from the climax to volume two, meaning that Mace, Lilith, Namah and Whip are on the run and Igrath and his team are in hiding.
The Good: Once again, I want to start by mentioning the quality of the art on display here. The nature of the story means that we find ourselves switching locations (and focal characters) quite quickly, and this provides a marvellous opportunity to show off a variety of different settings. Now, the production notes at the back of the book confirm that this volume upped the ante for David and Liz with regards to both variety and detail in settings. Did they pull this off? Absolutely! Each location is treated with the utmost attention to detail, both in terms of ensuring that there are no wasted background pieces and in showing the effects of different types of lighting. The differences between each place can really be quite startling too. What this ends up doing is add a little visual cue to show when the mood of each section is changing.
The writing in Dreamkeepers has been strong throughout volumes One and Two, and Volume Three is no different in that regard. It is worth noting though that if you felt that there was any weakness at all in the first two collections, then you’ll notice the difference here. With the key plot points all in place, Intentions Entwined is free to push things forward a little more than its predecessors, and I can only assume that that is why we get the extra pages and locations this time around. What that means is that not only do we get some further progression for the main character’s arcs, but we get to start moving characters like Bast, Ravat, and the trio of palace guards. This is marvellous because, while I can understand the need to flesh out the key players first, the Dreamkeepers cast is so large that it always seems a shame when they don’t all get ample panel time.
Speaking of characters, we get a few new ones again here. In terms of design, I really can’t knock the creativity here. Both Vi and Vanth stand out as being interesting concepts, with Vanth in particular shining thanks to her wing and foot design. Oh, and Wisp continues to become a fun villain that’s hard not to like. While we’re on the subject of villains too, after my slight criticism of the scariness of the nightmare in Volume Two, we’re back on track here. From the frankly creepy obsession with speaking in verse that this volume’s nightmare displays to Ravat’s assault on Mace, there’s a definite feeling of peril here.
The Bad: I absolutely love the anime series, Digimon Tamers. Why do I mention that? Because in that particular series, there were two scenes that saw Digimon pulling weapons on the lead kids. While these scenes aired in Japan, they were cut from the Western release as having children in that direct level of peril can be a sticking point for some. Here, Ravat pulls a knife on Mace. Not only that, but he gives some details about what exactly happened to Paige at the end of Volume one. While all important to the story and certainly not anything that I’d like to see cut, it is worth being forewarned about the content in case such scenes are something that you’re sensitive about.
Final View: Dreamkeepers continues the upward trend with Volume Three, pushing the universe forward at a remarkable rate without losing anything in quality. You’ll likely know by this point whether this series is for you or not. From my own standpoint, it’s an absolute marvel though, and one that I always get excited to pick up. Regardless though, this is easily the strongest of the first three books, and well worth a look-in.
Final Score: 5 / 5
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