Story: Simon Spurrier
Art: Marguerite Sauvage
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
At last, Dora stands face-to-face with the man who tried to unmake her…but he’s not what she expected. As it turns out, he’s the architect behind everything that’s happening to the Dreaming-but the true shape of his plan has slipped far out of even his control!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Dreaming has had a lot of things going on since the series started and I wanted to believe that Simon Spurrier had a bigger plan in mind all along. The Dreaming even without Dream is something big and expansive and warrants a strong creative behind it and Spurrier has largely delivered. This installment isn’t exactly a bottle episode but it is set apart, which allowed for Marguerite Sauvage to step in on the art duties for it. I’ve loved her work for years and her interpretation of the cast is great while putting Dora front and center, softening her features just a little and making her look more interesting I think. The pairing is definitely solid and she gets to do a dialogue-heavy episode look meaningful and intriguing.
With Dora now having been brought to where she’s been drawn all this time, to the person who attempted to un-make her all those years ago, we see how it has lead to everything else that has targeted the Dreaming for so long. Through video recordings that are played by an unidentified voice until the very last panel, we’re introduced to a man named Hyperion Keter. Starting at 1994 and going through 2018, we see how he was initially suffering from what he thought was stress but was the original form of Dora, a Night Hag, which ate stress from those it entangled itself with. He worked to rid himself of her and went on to make great things along the way over the years. But those things became part of what little he had learned of the Dreaming, which also included discovering what happened to Morpheus back in the 1920s. That set him on a path to try and do something good with this knowledge and his ability to get inside of the Dreaming, having dealt with Dora.
With a lot – and I mean a lot of narration – we see what went into this through the journals as he created the AI that would eventually upload itself into the Dreaming and to begin rewriting things. Its purpose wasn’t to destroy but redirect, taking people away from religion and superstition in their dreams and pushing them toward science. You can understand where he was coming from with it but finding out he had a mortal illness along the way just made everything more intense, and it lead to what we see now controlling the Dreaming. It’s definitely interesting as it unfold but Dora plays such a small role here overall that it becomes almost all about Keter and then seeing how the AI installed itself into the Dreaming and began reworking things from there.
I’ve had a very uneven relationship with this book as it has had a lot of interesting ideas but hasn’t always gotten them to come across in an engaging way. This issue is a big info dump and it explains a lot of what’s been going on for a while now and how some of the characters fit into it. Spurrier sets us on a path that could definitely go in some interesting directions if it’s going to be explored or if we end up reverting to something more traditional. This issue definitely warranted shaking things up a bit in the art department and putting it with Marguerite Sauvage means we got something that just looks fantastic and connected well so that we had that outside look it needed. I’m really curious to see where things go from here as that’s the deciding factor on whether to stick around or not.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Vertigo Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: December 4th, 2019