Writer: Sarah Vaughn / Artists: Leila Del Duca, Alissa Sallah/ Image Comics
I’ve enjoyed the first few issues of Sleepless as it has been building up as this brilliant drama of folks dancing around in court attempting to say all the right words and all the dastardly actions that take place outside of it: attempted assassinations and the like. We find ourselves on the trail of just who wants our Lady Poppy dead and gone; it gets hot and cold, and it has been a thrilling ride. Last issue, we get a name of a suspect who just may be one of the persons behind this madness. But in true Game of Thrones fashion, a girl needs a name, and it may not go over well when presented to the King who demands proof.
Seeing Cyrenic nearly unhinged is a startling sight especially when we know from previous issues he’s processing the enteral sleep of his mentor Sir Gert, one of the oldest in the Sleepless Order. It doesn’t smooth things over since the King made a scene about it, and Cy is starting to fall victim to the effects of the symptoms of what Sir Gert was experiencing. Gone is his normally calm as a cucumber disposition and in place is someone more frantic and a bit more fool hardy as he suggest a terrible and sudden course of action. We get this great parallel of both Poppy and Cyrenic being tired–both looking physically drained on the page which looks fantastic as the creative team knows how to work facial expressions, the lettering, and the coloring to a T here.
Wants, Needs & Desires
There is so much to love from this comic that many may gloss over that I believe truly enhance the theme of the book and the overall reading experience. Two of these elements would be the variety and diversity of the secondary cast of characters that make appearances and the gorgeous landscapes we find folks staged upon. After such a distressing clamor in the King’s court where Poppy feels further ostracized, she gazes up to see Lady Nnende from her mother’s homeland out stargazing.
It is a scene that hits our girl hard because, for a moment, she thinks of her Mother and is all kinds of feels as she just wants something or someone familiar as a comfort. A star reading done for her reveals a grave image described but…if we have an open mind and offer it up to interpretation…nope. Nope. It is just unsettling and further cast a darker cloud over things. This creative team has never been one to skim on the smaller details and intricate findings of the surrounding area, and this issue continues the good work–the star gazing scene is awe worthy and wraps up in mystique as we ponder what could be next with dread and hope in our hearts.
The final sequence of this issue is artfully done: a desperate act by one person who toed the line with another that had me gasp and cry and scream almost all in one breathe.
The things people do for those they love and the consequences people dismiss or choose to accept further down the line, all become more threads in this tangled and intriguing story that ends its first arc here. Brilliant job! Sleepless will return fall 2018. Until then, we’re left to ponder on the fate of certain dedicated individuals, and the price of their actions.
8.9 Troubling Star Readings On Clear Nights Out Of 10