The Dreaming #16
Dora finds herself in a strange place and seeks answers. Unfortunately, those answers are not the ones she wanted. She learns where she came from, who Keter is, and the potential future of the Dreaming if no one can stop it.
Everything that has happened in The Dreaming has led to issue #16. A lot happens in a very small amount of time and everything has huge consequences. Nora finally finds out who, or what, she is. To start, it is revealed that Dora is a night hag that terrorized Keter until he told her that she is not real. In Keter’s words, “She sits on you. Keeps changing from a person to a — a sorta cloudy monster. She eats your fear and — oh boy– she’s greedy … This is just a dumb myth to explain what’s called hypnagogic state.” The hypnagogic state is essentially sleep paralysis and it took years for Keter to overcome it. Once sleeping pills stopped working he decided to look her straight in the eyes and tell her she’s not real. Dora visiting Keter in his sleep started all of the troubles happening in the Dreaming.
So, somehow Keter finds the link between dreaming a reality after dealing with Dora. Dreaming is what was plaguing him, so dreaming must be the problem. He looks at the world’s problems the same way: all caused by religion, myth, and storytelling. The Dreaming is comprised entirely of storytelling so Keter sets out to erase it with Wan. Headquartered at Fawney Rig, which some will know from the original Sandman run, Keter utilizes magic and technology to completely eliminate storytelling and myth. He seems to be a bit of a mastermind and his doings can be seen in practically every issue, including when Daniel had a sigil tattooed on him that drove him from his kingdom. This is an amazing “bad guy monologue,” especially when it is revealed that a dying Keter tried to put an end to all of his work after Daniel showed him what will happen. An A.I. watches over the work and Keter, in that order. So, when Dora is tricked into destroying the computers she thought ran the programs but were actually revealed to be life support systems, it is revealed that the A.I. is actually a digitized version of Cain. Yup, a lot going on.
It is absolutely fascinating to me how well Spurrier has implemented technology into The Dreaming. As a society, we are constantly improving and streamlining our technologies. It wasn’t until this year that I went practically all digital for music, tv/movies, and comics. That being said, new doesn’t mean better. Keter sees storytelling as the cause of everything wrong, but towards the end of his life did he also realize it is the cause of the good things? His plan is to push only science, serenity, and skill in dreams which is accompanied by images of people dreaming of doing practical things with a blank by their side. With no actual “dreaming” while dreaming, what will separate being awake and being asleep? Will stripping storytelling and myth from life take away what makes us human? I am not sure what will happen. Daniel could stroll back to the dreaming like a high plains drifter and save the day, but he might need saving too. Only Dora knows the truth, so unless she can escape or is freed, the Dreaming is in the dark.
With a reveal that doesn’t feel cheap, The Dreaming #16 was a highlight of the series for me. There has been a lot of moving pieces and so far none of them have felt unnecessary. Well-written and beautifully illustrated, this issue feels fresh while still feeling connected to the original series. Pick up a copy at your local comic book store or wherever you get your comic books.
The Dreaming #16: It All Comes Together
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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