reflection

An interesting issue, Parasomnia #3 engages in intriguing and well-paced storytelling to build into this supernatural-thriller's final issue.
Writing/Plot
Art
Letters

Review: Sharing Nightmares In PARASOMNIA #3

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Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Andrea Mutti, along with letterer Simon Bowland, bring us the penultimate chapter of their supernatural thriller. Parasomnia #3 is a well-paced and suspenseful comic, even though it’s plot is still a bit fuzzy. With engaging writing and atmospheric, gorgeous visuals, this series still proves to be a slow burn – a bold choice for only a four-issue series.

“In a twisted dream world, a nameless stranger battles nightmares in his hunt for his missing son–while in the waking world, the boy’s parents find their lives falling apart. As the search for his son in his dreams carries on a bizarre plot is uncovered of children being used as bait for monsters.”

Writing & Plot

Cullen Bunn (Harrow County, Bone Parrish) cleans up some of the prior’s issues problems in Parasomnia #3. The dialogue is more focused on the task at hand, opening up only at character’s distinct realizations. The last issue’s blocky pacing and excessive exposition are replaced by much more alluring scripting. The discoveries in this comic are tense and unnerving, just what I’d expect from a Cullen Bunn comic.

As much as I like the idea behind this supernatural thriller, I can’t help but still find it’s plot to still be a bit fuzzy. The distinction between dream and reality is clear. The facts behind the missing children in the story have also been mostly stated. It’s hard to articulate what the problem is without spoiling the story. Essentially, it seems too far in for elements to still be so unclear. This is the second to last issue, and unfortunately I’m having trouble picturing this comic ending satisfactorily. Bunn is a stellar writer though, so I’m optimistic. The ingredients and much of the process thus far have been fascinating to watch come together. I just hope the final script can stick the landing.

Art Direction

The absolute star of Parasomnia #3 is the atmospheric art of Andrea Mutti. His foggy watercolor visuals once again create the perfect nightmare-scape for this comic. Our protagonists remain mysterious and appropriately stoic. The stranger is almost entirely covered in his garments, so his expressions can only come from body language. Fortunately Mutti does a stellar job of demonstrating that emotion through posture. Small details like head tilts and shoulder level tell us where our mysterious lead is at mentally. The less mysterious human characters back in reality are drawn with great animated detail as well. We get our first look at some monsters in this issue, and they are satisfyingly creepy. They give off a slight Mignolaverse-esque feel while still being something uniquely of Mutti’s design.

Mutti’s colors once again perfectly set the tone for this story. Each page is bathed in a light, foggy hue that adds to the unnerving chill in this comic. He abstains from using any sort of traditional coloring, and instead creates entire pages with this singular vision. The lettering from Simon Bowland is solid, but doesn’t do much to stand out or enhance the experience. He uses a standard contemporary font along with some good yet slightly generic SFX lettering. Visually, Parasomnia remains a stellar atmospheric horror comic experience.

Verdict

Parasomnia #3 is an engaging issue that leaves a worrying amount of questions before the final issue. Cullen Bunn’s script is well-paced and offers more answers for this world’s lore, but still leaves some plot elements fuzzy. Andrea Mutti’s art is dense and atmospheric, putting together this supernatural thriller’s atmosphere perfectly. Be sure to grab this penultimate issue when it hits shelves on 9-1!

 

 

 

Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.

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