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The last time I read anything by author Jai Nitz was back when he did the prequel graphic for the 2010 Disney film TRON:Legacy, called TRON:Betrayal. Since then, he’s gone on to do other film related comic books such as the Green Hornet and KATO:Origins. As a former University of Kansas film student, it’s no wonder he prefers theme’s that lend themselves heavily to the proverbial Hollywood gloss and Dream Thief is another one of his works that fits well within his catalog.

Like a funky blend of Quantum Leap and The Punisher, Dream Thief , illustrated by Greg Smallwood, follows the tumultuous adventures of John Lincoln. A man who steals a mask that unbeknownst to him, allows the dead to posses his mind and wreck havoc on the living. Whether it be for revenge or pleasure, he must adhere to the will of those who control his mind, placing him in constant “life threatening” situations.

Issue # 3 of 5, finds John at a Klan Rally, staring at one of it’s high ranking members dangling from a tree.  As usual, he struggles to put the pieces of the nights events together, while staring at this Grand Wizard swinging from the rope. He soon substitutes reason for anger as he remembers how friends of his were treated by these low life’s and quickly puts a plan in place, not to solve anything mind you, but to exact some instant gratification on the nights proceedings.

It isn’t until he’s back at home that the reality of what he’s done begins when he sees an innocent black man on television being arrested for John’s deeds the night before. In what “seems” like a breakneck pace, the story develops quickly, like that Sidney Poitier movie In “The Heat of the Night“. Sex, racism and revenge is what Jai Nitz is serving up and it’s as intense as any John Grisham novel.

I’m also realizing after reading Dream Thief #3 of 5, when done right, I love inner narratives. It sure helped to move things along in this issue. The south can be a strange place, filled with beauty and backwardness and Jai taps the sweat and tension like a pro…so much so, it almost felt like a period piece, but that is the genius of writing for today and still honing in on your stories relevancy.

I’m not going to give too much away, but before it’s all over John is jettisoned again, only this time he’s handcuffed in the back seat of a car and is strangling the driver with ropes used to bind his feet. In the front passenger seat sits Father Tommy Logan a staple in Dixie Underworld. The car flies off a bridge and into a raging river below. If that’s not a classic cliffhanger… Wham Bam! I really dig the pace of this series, not only as a film buff, but as a comic book fan. Pick up this series.

Your dreams . . . His nightmare!

After stealing an Aboriginal mask from a museum, John Lincoln realizes that the spirits of the vengeful dead are possessing his body and mind while he sleeps! His old problems have been replaced by bloody hands and the disposal of bodies—and now remembering where he spent last night has never been more important!

* Bram Stoker Award winner Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood craft a gritty, fast-paced drama.

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