The Dreaming #2
The story is told from the perspective of Merv, caretaker of the Dreaming. He and his crew have been having to clean more and more messes, causing him to suspect things weren't quite right for some time. Now as he recounts his tale of how his fears were confirmed, we get a glimpse of the effects of Dream's departure. This issue uses Merv's perspective to convey the mounting uncertainty and desperation of the denizens of the Dreaming to the point that some of the most stable fixtures have (literally) given up the ghost, surrendering the realm to invaders.
We're introduced to some new players and mysteries, like the Black Chest and Merv's mysterious audience. As he tells his would-be benefactor about the woes of the land, we also see the increasingly extreme actions of Lucien and that Dora seems to be the only one thriving in the chaos. (I'm beginning to wonder if Dora doesn't have some connection to the Furies of old. As you may remember Daniel is the child of the Modern Age Fury, who inherited the power of the blood of the ancient avengers).
At the end of the story we see a broken Merv, bereft of hope and willing to turn to whoever will listen. And so he does, but will this help or make things much, much worse?
I enjoyed the writing in this issue and the art. This is really a quality book in terms of presentation and composition. The story itself seems to be dancing around itself, showing a realm deconstructing in slow motion, so that as fast as something appears it disappears. I think this is partially by design, as Spurrier and Evely have the particular task of unfolding the story in a way that immerses new readers in an established realm without overwhelming them, but also without dragging their heels with an extensive introduction that would seem tedious to returning readers. I have to keep reminding myself that this is only the second issue of this book because the story itself started in a state of advanced narrative. Overall I think the book strikes a good balance between the two, though I am eager for action over maintenance. Which I guess puts the reader in the same boat as the inhabitants of the Dreaming. Well done, creative team.
I liked the focus on Merv, he’s often written so gruffly and mundanely that it’s easy to forget he’s is a mythical creature tied closely to a magical realm, and himself the stuff of Dreams. The longing with which he speaks in this issue shows a side to him rarely expressed, elevating his sense of loss and despair to a deeply spiritual level.
Merv is the rock of the Dreaming, so for him to crumble is a huge turning point for the state of the realm. It's heartbreaking to see, which makes it enjoyable to read. Merv has always been on my secret favorites, and as we move around the Dreaming getting to know it again, this was a nice spotlight on him and his perspective.
The Dreaming #2: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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