The Dreaming 7
The last issue saw the end of Judge Gallows and a new power in the Dreaming that looks something like a giant anime Dora. Rather than jumping to immediately resolving that development, this issue switches gears and looks in on some old friends. The first familiar face is Rose Walker, wandering around her mother’s hospital in the waking world. She is introduced (or re-introduced for long-time readers) as we find out what happened to Lucien. I won’t go too much into Rose’s Sandman history, because I think it will be revealed as Spurrier tells his tale and I don’t want to spoil things, but for one reason or another Rose appears to be immortal and intimately (but unknowingly) tied to the Endless.
In the past, one of the Endless tried to use Rose against Dream, and it looks like this is turning out to be another long game of love and war. Rose recounts the tale of her life to her audience since she was seen in the Sandman, and the life of her daughter, Ivy. As she tells her story, we get an inkling of what has happened to Daniel and what might have driven him away, and what broke the Dreaming, and how hard it will be to heal the wounds of love.
This is a complete shift from last issue, but clearly intimately connected to the story we’ve been reading and to Daniel’s disappearance. The thread connecting these two tales will likely be Dora, though how isn’t entirely clear since Dora was found by the previous Dream and this story starts with Daniel.
Rose Walker’s tale is one of the oldest in the Sandman universe, beginning with the story of her grandmother. Unity Kincaid, who fell asleep during Dream’s imprisonment in the very first issue. This story is a continuation of sorts of that tale that wove through the entire series, but without requiring the audience to remember or even be aware of the previous details. Spurrier expertly weaves a new tale through the fabric of the old one without making it feel like a rehash.
Abigail Larson’s work on this issue is beautifully rendered. It’s definitely a change from recent issues, but still has that ethereal, dreamlike quality that keeps everything from feeling too real. I particularly liked the use of pillows of steam and smoke to frame the panels and in some cases lead into transitions. I always appreciate an artist that makes full use of the page with creative panel layouts and framing, and her work is nothing short of beautiful. Everything has a feel of looking simultaneously young and old, dreamy but dark, it’s a wonderful effect that adds to the feel of the story.
This issue at first glance may appear to be a confusing turn after the climax of the previous issue, but it quickly becomes clear that we’re seeing the same story from a different angle. This book has been a joy to read so far, and this issue is more of the same — a beautiful story tinged with both hope and sadness.
The Dreaming #7: A Tale of Rose and Ivy
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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