Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Dreaming #1 by Simon Spurrier - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: From the upheaval of THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 rises THE DREAMING—a kingdom in chaos.

There is a place where stories are born. Today its walls lie slashed and bleeding. Dream has abandoned his realm, and until he is found, its residents must protect its broken borders alone. But the most senior storysmiths are tormented by invasive secrets, the warden Lucien is doubting his own mind—and beyond the gates something horrific waits with tooth and talon.

 Only Dora, the monstress, finds opportunity in madness, stealing dreams for the highest bidder. But she has no idea how deep the danger lies.

Meanwhile, in Dream’s gallery, something new is growing...

The Dreaming #1 takes us back to the land of Dreams and the mythology of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. Simon Spurrier opens this first issue with Dream aka the Sandman aka Daniel missing from The Dreaming and the protective wards that keep out all manner of creatures failing. Lucien, Dream's trusty librarian, is left in charge but he is slowing forgetting things, both little and important.

While much of this story focuses around Lucien and Matthew the Raven's efforts to discover what is going on, the rest deals with Dora, a mysterious woman with wings coming out of her head. Dora is hurt and angry at Dream for "rescuing" her and then forgetting about her. Unlike most citizens of The Dreaming, Dora still has many fleshly needs and appetites. She also has the ability to step from realm to realm, or dream to dream. In the process of doing this, a demon discovers that the walls surrounding The Dreaming are weakening, and takes action.

I have long been a fan of Dream and his story, having read all of the Sandman series and subsequent graphic novels, etc. I've even read a chunk of the original The Dreaming series. I find this newest contribution to be right in line with the earlier stories. I believe Spurrier is setting up the current storyline, and maybe even future stories, with this opening issue. And while I'm currently as baffled about Dream's whereabouts as Lucien and the others (although Dream did make an appearance in an issue of Dark Nights: Metal, I think, or maybe it was in Doomsday Clock), I trust that all will be explained. There is always so much going on these stories, both above and below the surface.

I highly recommend Simon Spurrier's The Dreaming #1. Longtime Sandman fans will definitely want to pick this up, and it's a nice jumping on point for new readers, if they will be patient. I'm glad to have the chance to revisit these characters and look forward to Spurrier's story slowly rolling out.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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