Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Dreaming #16 by Simon Spurrier - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: At last, Dora stands face-to-face with the man who tried to unmake her...but he’s not what she expected. As it turns out, he’s the architect behind everything that’s happening to the Dreaming-but the true shape of his plan has slipped far out of even his control!

With The Dreaming #16, Simon Spurrier FINALLY clues us in to what has been going on in the Dreaming and with Dream himself. And I've got to say, I didn't see this coming.

The issue focuses on Dora confronting the man (Hyperion "Perry" Ketter) who broke her spirit and discovering just what manner of creature she is. As she considers killing Ketter, who is bedridden and near death due to cancer, an AI begins to speak with her. It begins to reveal the story of just who Ketter is and what he accomplished, mostly told through Ketter's own video diary entries. Ketter's plan, his backstory, his relationship to Dora, and what is currently happening to the Dreaming is all touched on and revealed. Everything is interconnected, including Wan, the blanks, what happened to Daniel/Dream, why mythical beings are disappearing, where Cain is, and what caused Dora to break down. It all relates to belief, something that Ketter is realizing as he mysteriously begs Dora to stop "it".

This is the issue I've been waiting for! I've been wondering where Spurrier was taking this story, and I was curious how each story/arc related to the others. Well, I'm wondering no longer. With echoes of Gaiman's original introduction of Dream in Sandman #1, Spurrier has taken the Sandman mythos and expanded on them in a very satisfying manner. While I was initially afraid of a retread of Gaiman's previous stories, Spurrier's tale is more of an homage to what came before and could end up taking the series in some interesting new directions. And much like Gaiman's best stories always seemed to be about so much more than just the story, Spurrier has been writing about the nature and importance of belief this whole time. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all turns out and where he takes these characters in the future.

I highly recommend The Dreaming #16 by Simon Spurrier. It is definitely a pay-off story for readers who've been reading since the beginning, but it is not a good starting spot for new readers. I'm anxious to read the next issue, and find out how Spurrier resolves this arc.

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

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