Comics, Reviews

Something Epic #5 Review: Confronting Dreams and Nightmares

Witness Danny as he steps into the heart of imagination itself where he faces both his greatest potential and fears.

Something Epic #5 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:12 AM

Something Epic #5

Review
Rating
7
Solid
Something Epic #5 Full Cover

Writer: Szymon Kudranski

Artist: Szymon Kudranski

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: September 12, 2023

Format: Single-issue

Now that Danny's journey has him deep within the world of imagination, "Something Epic" is primed to grow its imaginative and emotional story.

When Something Epic first debuted, I bought into the spectacle of seeing different characters mish-mashing on the pages of a comic book. It reminded me of opening a toy box and seeing my Power Ranger action figures mixed with Dragon Ball figurines. It’s chaotic but oh-so fun to see. The comic has since unfolded into something more “epic” than simply being a playground for the imagination to run wild. Amidst the craziness of clashing characters and art styles is an emotionally gripping story of a man’s journey to conquer his darkest fears and most painful memories.

But after five issues, has the story lived up to the potential of its imaginative premise? Even if some of the momentum from the incredible debut has faded, this latest issue shaped up to be a step in the right direction.

Danny summons a tiger

Overview

After beating the game created by an Epic that came before him, Danny steps into the Kingdom of Dreams and Nightmares with the guidance of Alter. It’s where he meets a bustling civilization made up of all kinds of ideas and characters imaginable. As Danny unpacks the reality of his situation, Alter puts together what’s needed to unlock the young man’s full potential. The next big step in Danny's journey is to venture into the Temple of Dreams and Nightmares and meet with the source of imagination itself.

But Danny’s presence in the realm causes a strange ripple effect amongst the residents. Some welcome Danny as a friend, while others fear what his power holds. Then there are the few who revere him as some sort of messiah. Regardless of which side made the right call, the influence of Danny’s powers as an Epic cannot be overlooked. It all comes to a head when even the dark side of imagination takes notice.

Danny steps into the Kingdom of Dreams and Nightmares

Review

In my review of Something Epic #3, I walked away with mixed feelings about the comic. I love everything about what creator Szymon Kudranski is doing with the art. The mixture of styles and characters is captivating and reminiscent of one of my favorite movies, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” My problem with the title lies in the writing. Each issue packs plenty of exposition to the point where the art sometimes suffers because of the flood of dialogue boxes. While I gave leeway to the first issue for establishing the world and its mythos, the heavy narration got increasingly frustrating as the series progressed.

Despite my grievances with previous issues, this latest installment has a lot of great things going for it. The dialogue is still heavier than I’d like, but now there’s at least some proper justification for why characters ramble on a tad bit. With Danny being steeped in the Kingdom of Dreams and Nightmares, he’s the odd man out in a world filled with oddballs and superheroes. Having characters like Dalia and Alter as Danny’s guides in such a strange world helps in piecing together everything that’s going on. These intimate character interactions were what was sorely missing in the earlier parts of the story. Not only do they breathe more life into the characters and their relationships, but they also help the monologues feel natural to the story.

Danny has a nightmare

Final Thoughts

While I still have some gripes about the writing, I admire how much Kudranski puts his heart and soul into this comic. Whether it is through the quirky character designs or even the drawn-out speeches, the passion for the story and world created is palpable on each page. After, admittedly, losing some interest, I’m back to feeling excited about where the comic goes from here. I still believe in the potential this has to be a much crazier story than I could have imagined.

Why You Should Read Something Epic

  • Szymon Kudranski’s art throughout the comic continues to be charming and terrifying.
  • Tensions are rising in the story as it builds up to it’s big story arc finale.
  • The story is finally fully leaning into the potential of its inventive premise.
TAGGED: Image Comics
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