Story: Simon Spurrier
Art: Abigail Larson
Colors: Quinton Winter
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
His skin, marked by malignant magics. His spirit, eclipsed. His mind, crushed. Even the Lord of Dreams is powerless against the storm of lost love. When an Endless heart breaks, the world breaks with it…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Dreaming continues to be an interesting series and one whose arcs have left me a little uncertain at times, hoping that in some way that it’ll all come together in the end. I really liked the beginning and end of the last arc and this storyline has been interesting as well, though I feel like I’m missing something critical with it. Simon Spurrier has a very dialogue-heavy installment once again as Rose continues her tale and it’s an intriguing one with lots of little turns along the way. And like the previous issue, Abigail Larson gives it some really great depth and weight with how the characters are portrayed both in movement and the layouts overall to move us through this dreamlike storyline that’s unfolding.
Watching as Rose tells her tale to Lucien as he struggles in the bed, uncertain as to where he is or who anyone else, we see more of what happened between Ivy and Daniel in the past. Once the tattoo had been put on him everything went south, though she couldn’t understand why and could only imagine very human things, such as him cheating or just no longer interested in her. Spurrier has a key line in how once the fire of a love dims or goes out you feel that coldness of the world even more starkly than before. Ivy’s coping with this is not easy and she’s feeling even more alone than ever before since he can’t answer with the truth of it all. And that just makes him even more distant from her, which reinforces everything. It’s a vicious cycle that plays out and seeing it from Rose’s point of view only makes it more so.
But watching as more of it unfolds and Daniel reveals more of himself to her after a period of time, having gained more control over himself and what he is, it doesn’t exactly answer the questions for Rose that she needs. If anything, it sends her life into more of a spiral with what Ivy goes through and how that keeps her alone as well. Seeing her walking through the hallway from person to person in the hospital unable to do anything but talk to them is hard. But we also see that sliver of hope out of Daniel as he talks about how Ivy is simply sleeping and that he can help her. It doesn’t give Rose what she needs, which is compounded by Lucien’s disappearance, but we see more and more of just how tenuous things are here. Rose is fascinating to watch throughout this storyline as she tells the tale with all of its emotion and watching it hit such a crescendo here is heartbreaking.
While I think this arc has been weaker overall compared to where things ended up in the previous one with the Judge and arrival of Daniel, I do like the smaller aspect of it. And, in particular, bringing back Rose after so long and with such a journey that she’s been on in her life. It’s got all the right elements of tragic that it needs as well as the curious and weird aspects. Fleshing out some of what Daniel has been involved in helps a lot too to give us a more lived-in and full aspect of it all. Abigail Larson did some great work here and really delivers some great pages with the layouts and designs to hit that sweet spot that feels completely what a Vertigo/Sandman book would be like. This really does feel like a natural extension of what came before and it has me looking forward to more.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Vertigo Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: April 3rd, 2019