Review: THE DREAMING #12
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Bilquis Evely
Colours: Mat Lopes
Letters: Simon Bowland
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Dreaming #12: The search is over. The trail is cold. A crown must be conferred. A great reception is held for the envoys and ambassadors of the outer realms—but who greets them from the throne of tales? And somewhere, out in the world, the man who tore down the King of Dreams looks upon his work…and feels nothing.
In The Dreaming #12, Dora and Matthew’s quest to find dream has come to a conclusion. Their quest fails to find the Dream Lord, but they do find Lucien and return him to the dreaming. We finally find out what became of Dream, but many questions are left unanswered.
The new Dream Lord finally takes on the name ‘Wan’. This name means ‘pale’, ‘weak’, or ‘sickly’. As his narration makes it clear that he has a tenuous grasp on sanity, he has clearly not chosen this name by accident.
He tells the story of Dream’s downfall and how that led him to create a separate new reality to protect himself from his enemies. Wan states that Dream can never come back, but I wonder if Wan could be mistaken about that. Or perhaps he’s not being truthful.
Once again we also see that Wan appears to have a hidden destructive side that even he seems unaware of. This time he destroys the elder god Yastraanoth, deleting him so thoroughly that no one, not even Wan himself remembers him afterwards.
Most chilling is that we see Wan’s dark persona promising to “erase you all”. I am intrigued by the idead that the Dreaming’s biggest threat is its own master. Unfortunately, no one has any idea except for Abel. Who was quick witted enough to write down a warning to himself before he forgot what occurred. But will the words “DARK MOTH DANGEROUS” suffice as a warning?
We also are introduced to a mysterious organization who appear to be responsible for Wan’s introduction into the Dreaming. I am eager to find out more about this group, and what they have planned.
While Lucien has returned to the Dreaming, it appears that he is nearing the end of his exisitence. Wan claims not to be able to stop this. Also, Wan tells us that Dream not only won’t, but can’t ever return. I certainly hope Wan is either wrong or lying, as I would be sorry to see The Dreaming and the Sandman Universe in general continue without those characters.
Out of the Sandman Universe titles, The Dreaming has the most to live up to, being the title that’s a direct sequel to Neil Gaiman’s classic Sandman series. But Spurrier has managed to capture a lot of the original title while giving us a new story that moves the book forward.