Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Dreaming #7 by Simon Spurrier - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: A pale god has wandered the Earth, banished and bound. For one ill-fated family, he leaves only the wreckage of a cataclysmic romance.

As the Dreaming convalesces after its recent upheavals, at long last it’s time to follow the footsteps of its absent master.

But we must tread lightly. For where Dream walks, heartbreak follows.

Reading The Dreaming #7 gave me serious Neil Gaiman/Sandman flashbacks. After Simon Spurrier wrapped up the first arc of The Dreaming, I liked it but wondered where the story was going; now, I'm thrilled with this next arc. The first chapter in this story seems to capture much of what Gaiman was able to do with Sandman (not saying Spurrier is as good, but the atmosphere is similar). There was a depth and a sense that there was something more than merely a story; something bigger was taking place.

This particular issue focuses on Daniel aka Dream and promises to show the reader why the Dreaming was left without a leader in the previous arc. Rose Walker, who played a prominent role in several Sandman arcs, is the narrator in this particular story. She is in the hospital with her cancer-stricken mother, and a John Doe, who looks a lot like Lucien the Librarian. She proceeds to share the story of her encounter with Daniel, and how she introduced him to her daughter Ivy, who is also in the hospital at the moment. Rose's tale is one of love and hope, and sadness and despair. And, I'm hooked. I'm excited for this arc, and can't wait for the next issue.

My favorite stories from Sandman were ones about Dream, but were told from the perspective of other characters. By making Rose Walker the point of view character, Spurrier has captured the beginnings of that feeling I get when reading Gaiman's stories. That's the highest praise I can give a comic writer (or pretty much any writer), but particularly one playing in the sandbox (no pun intended) that Gaiman created and wrote with such elegance and style. The character of Dream is terrific, and the story of what happened to him has the makings of being a classic tale. As Rose was told, "You gotta focus on the stories, not the ends." Great advice, especially when it comes to the world of the Endless.

I highly recommend The Dreaming #7 by Simon Spurrier. If you were on the fence about this series early on, or were skeptical about anyone filling Gaiman's shoes, this is the issue to read. The start of this new arc is the perfect jumping on point, and is well worth your time.

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

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