Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Dreaming #15 by Simon Spurrier - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: As the second year of the Sandman Universe begins, the sentient algorithm known as Wan is now the acknowledged lord of Dream’s realm, and unquestioned ruler of all his subjects. So it’s a huge problem that Wan is completely insane, and more than capable of wiping out all life in the Dreaming. The question becomes: What can Abel, the only one who knows Wan’s secret, do about it? And what must he do to poor Matthew the Raven to put his plan into action? A new chapter in the history of the Dreaming begins here-find out why the AV Club says “If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, you need to be reading The Dreaming!”

While recent issues have explored where Daniel is and why he left his realm, as well as Dora's quest to discover just who/what she is, The Dreaming #15 by Simon Spurrier turns it's focus squarely on Matthew the Raven and the changes that have been happening in the Dreaming since the Judge was defeated and the strange AI, now known as Wan, took over as its ruler.

It appears that Wan is keeping his word and has become a benevolent ruler, even beginning to take over the roles of many of his subjects, including Mervyn Pumpkinhead and Lucien. However, this doesn't have quite the effect he imagined it might. Matthew the Raven is on the hunt for something that seems to be decaying or dying, but he can't quite figure it out. Meanwhile, Abel is trying to fulfill both his role as the keeper of Secrets and his missing brother Cain's role as the keeper of Mysteries. What he discovers is something far deeper and more dangerous than anyone realizes.

There were several parts of this story that I found rather interesting. One occurred during Matthew's search; he visited the dreams of several people, some of whom have made appearances in past issues, and one who appears to be John Constantine. I'm really curious as to how this people will tie in to the greater story. The other part of the issue that was intriguing was a revealing conversation between Abel and Matthew that promises to upend the status quo of the Dreaming again once the consequences come to fruition. These two things alone are enough to keep me reading in order to find out how everything turns out.

Finally, it was nice to have a focus on Matthew the Raven. I enjoyed his character during the Sandman series, often finding him a stand-in for the reader with his range of emotion regarding his master/friend. His confusion and reactions to Wan as his master are a great contrast to his relationship with Morpheus and Daniel.

I enjoyed the change in focus in Simon Spurrier's The Dreaming #15. It made for a different type of story while still moving the greater narrative along. This issue makes for a decent starting point for new readers, as it's the beginning of a new story arc, but you will definitely want to search out the previous issues.

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

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