Overview

Deep Sleeper

Review

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Deep Sleeper

Credits

  • Words: Phil Hester
  • Art: Mike Huddleston
  • Inks: Mike Huddleston
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: Deep Sleeper
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $12.95
  • Release Date: May 25, 2005

Phil Hester and Mike Huddleston have proven that lightning strikes twice. Deep Sleeper is every bit as strong as The Coffin, and perhaps even better.

Cole is an author struggling to find any work. He is also an extremely powerful being, unaware of his importance in a war fought on the plane of dreams. Warriors from an ancient order described in Cole=s own writing clash with an evil, powerful guru searching for absolute power. Mix in with all that a few disembodied spirits and a powerful demon-like creature called The Dervish and you have the at once terrifying and trippy Deep Sleeper.

The name Phil Hester is well-recognized in the comic book industry. You most likely know him for his rather long stint on DC=s Green Arrow. If his previous writing accomplishments (The Wretch, The Coffin) haven=t convinced you that he=s just as talented a scribe as he is an artist, Deep Sleeper will do the trick. Hester successfully touches on several subject matters, from the down-to-earth concerns of fatherhood to rather existential worries about the purity of one=s dreams. Thankfully, his discussions of dreams manage to be intriguing without going too far Aout there.@ Further, Hester=s plot here has a great potential for confusion, but he keeps it very easy to follow. Mixing that clarity with Hester=s wonderful ideas, the result is one of the most engrossing stories of the past year.

Cole Gibson, the lead character in Deep Sleeper, won me over almost immediately. A reasonable, caring man with real-life concerns, Cole works perfectly to share in the reader=s awe at the events unfolding in the story. All of Hester=s characters, in fact, seem to work perfectly. Ramman is an intriguing villain certain to make readers question some things about the story, while the other supporting characters bounce perfectly off of Cole. His wife shares his realistic worries while Perry tries to teach him the ways of the dream world where Cole has found himself.

Ever since his work first appeared in the pages of Harley Quinn, Mike Huddleston has been a favorite of mine. His angular, stylized work was always very aesthetically pleasing. Here, that style remains pleasing, but it also fits the story nicely. Further, Huddleston adds very nice touches into the story, like his differentiation between Cole in the real world and dream world. His visions of the monsters and warriors that Hester devises are suitably terrifying and majestic, depending on the situation. Huddleston is one of those rare artists that make a book worth it just for his art, regardless of story.

All in all, Deep Sleeper should prove to be one of the best stories collected in 2005. Hester=s imaginative characters, setting and story come to life here in his words and Huddleston=s pencils. Any fan of comic books should have this book. It=s excellent.

-Eliot Johnson

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