Lucy is a thirteen year old girl who craves nothing more than to live within a story’s grand adventure. While her classmates play sports or join clubs, she’s more often than not found sitting alone, reading. She generally feels superior to those around her and, unsurprisingly, doesn’t have many friends. As she puts it, she’s “too weak to put down my book and just plunge into the conformity I pretend to despise.” (And if there was ever a truer statement made about adolescent bookish loners, I haven’t heard it.)
After another boring day at school spent learning things she doesn’t need to know, Lucy discovers something odd – her eyes have turned gold! She goes to ask her parents but they’re too busy getting busy to be bothered, so Lucy goes to her room and falls asleep reading. When she dreams, she dreams that she’s the heroine from her book, living out the adventure for herself. But this isn’t a normal dream – it’s not even a dream at all! Lucy’s dreams have become reality, and through them, she’s about to learn more than she ever expected about herself and the world around her.
Lucy Dreaming #1 is an immensely charming first issue, introducing readers to a lead who is a relatable character for anyone who’s ever dreamed of leaving their boring life for one filled with adventure. And really, who hasn’t? So many of our stories center on unlikely heroes plucked from obscurity for some greater calling, and in this series, Lucy explores just how well that turns out when the adventure is real and not just another story.Max Bemis writes Lucy as a real girl who’s unsure of who she is but certain of the kind of woman she wants to be – the “kicking ass, being smart, and hella vengeful” kind. But once it’s her turn to actually become one of those women – taking the place of Princess Eleanor Fadarr in a thinly veiled parody of Star Wars – Lucy learns that even heroes must deal with the messiness of real life. Along with this, Lucy Dreaming finds time to poke holes in some tired tropes, managing to shine a light on the flaws found in even our favorite stories.
Lucy Dreaming is an interesting premise that allows the story to be both a coming-of-age tale and a wild, fantasy adventure. For Michael Dialynus, this presents a unique challenge in that he must illustrate both the humdrum world of high school and the bizarre world of a rip-roaring, space adventure. Luckily for readers, Dialynus shows a knack for the mundane as well as the fantastical, illustrating each with a slightly different style that matches the tone and setting. Lucy has an attitude about her that comes across visually whether she’s herself or Princess Fadarr, and this helps to sell the body-hopping premise of the series. The colors, too, work to distinguish the real world from the dream-but-also-real world, with more muted colors while Lucy’s at school and shifting to a bolder, brighter palette once the adventure kicks in.
Dialynus’ artwork grabs readers’ attention just as much as Bemis’ writing, and together the two make Lucy an engaging character who readers are certain to grow fond of before the end. There’s a mystery surrounding just why it is Lucy’s dreams are now real, and uncovering the truth behind it all promises to be its own adventure. Lucy Dreaming #1 is a wonderful start to this mini-series, setting Lucy off on a journey that’s equally familiar and brand new. After all, haven’t we all dreamed of being the hero in our story?