Wednesday, January 1, 2020
The Dreaming #17 by Simon Spurrier
From the publisher: Wan’s takeover of Dream’s realm is nearly complete. As his identity slips away, Abel only has one secret left in his pocket. And poor, tortured Lucien, lost and without purpose, longs for nothing but release, and to return to the foundations of the Dreaming. So why can’t he go? Does he have a purpose yet to serve? If he wants to die...why must he continue to pay the high cost of living?
With issue 16's reveal about Dora and just what Wan, the new "king" of the Dreaming, is, The Dreaming #17 by Simon Spurrier has a tough act to follow. But Spurrier keeps rolling along, dropping more info and letting this story pick up steam.
Issue #17 has several storylines that happen simultaneously. In one, Lucien the Librarian wants to die, but only Wan can do that for him. However, Wan doesn't want to end Lucien. Matthew the Raven is looking for Cain, using eyes given to him by Abel (so Wan can no longer use Matthew to see what is going on). And Abel tries to tell Wan that what he is doing is destroying the Dreaming, even if Wan is unaware of it. Plus, there is a surprise at the end that I should have seen coming, but clearly didn't. All three stories continue to push the main arc forward, and I can only believe that Spurrier is very close to wrapping up the story he began in The Dreaming #1 (or possibly in the Sandman Universe preview - I can't quite remember). Dream has been missing and everything that has happened since has seemingly been building towards these past several issues and the next few (at least I hope so).
I've really liked this arc and feel like Spurrier is doing a super job. He is definitely putting his own take on the Dreaming mythos, while keeping Gaiman's original feel. One example of that is the Lucien storyline in this issue. As Lucien longs to die and end his misery, the various subjects of the Dreaming gather around him in what is a particularly touching sequence. It was reminiscent of The Wake from the Sandman stories in its feel and the emotions it evokes.
I highly recommend The Dreaming #17. With the second collection about to be released, you can grab it and get caught up if you are new to the series. If you have been reading all along, this issue is vital to read.
I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.