The Dreaming #3
Merv has brought Judge Gallows into the Dreaming, releasing him from the confines of the Black Box. Merv is upset over how Lucien has been running things and is desperate for some strong leadership and order. Readers are given the history and nature of Gallows and what he brings to the Dreaming. Gallows takes a survey of the Dreaming in order to assess the situation. It quickly becomes apparent that while he says he is there to simply observe he’s got more drastic measures on his mind.
Gallows isn’t content on remaining judge and moves quickly to jury and executioner. This issue also sees the return of a few of the old guard characters from the original Sandman series. The Dreaming survived the absence and imprisonment of the former Dream, but Daniel’s absence is quickly becoming a full-on disaster for the entire realm. Will anyone be able to restore it, or will Gallows establish a totalitarian nightmare-scape?
The writing continues to be an interesting blend of common themes told in an interesting way and combined to give unique surprises along the way.
Judge Gallows pretty much delivers on the impression his appearance at the end of issue #2 gives — an aspect of the frontier justice that runs through the history of the American Old West. He is part of the new mythology that sprang up with the New World, in a nightmarish form. Much of the issue feels like an exercise in the callous nature of the apathetic to ignore things that do not directly affect them, and the dangers of allowing extremism by grades. Spurrier does a nice job of tying together the negative aspects of American history into a macabre backdrop for nightmares and for a living embodiment of ruthless judgment and twisting of the law.
We learn a bit more about Dora, in this case about her weakness, and a few hints regarding her nature. At this point her nature is even more of a mystery than three issues ago, although the next issue may give more clues about the truth of things if her encounter with Gallows is to be resolved from its current state. As expected the actions of Gallows do not spell good things for Lucien, and I am genuinely curious how far Merv is willing to follow this.
Artistically this book also continues to be top-notch. Simple when it needs to be, elaborate other times, the composition and flow of the visuals continue to deliver an etherial quality of the book. Even when the scenes could easily be from the waking world, there is still as sense that the reader is in the Dreaming and that things are not quite….real. The art and the story combine together in all the right ways resulting in a highly enjoyable read.
Even though it’s only the third issue this series is setting itself up to be a highly entertaining read. If you haven't been reading, do yourself a favor and pick this book up. Don't make the Judge come find you.
The Dreaming #3: The Gallows Pole
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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