Review: THE DREAMING: WAKING HOURS #7
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Colours: Javier Rodriguez
Letters: Simon Bowland
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Dreaming: Waking Hours #7: Bleeding out in a hospital bed from a magic wound that will not heal, sorceress Heather After must swing open the gates of reality to find herself a protector…but is she prepared for the deal she’ll have to strike once she finds a champion with the dangerous power she needs? And speaking of dangerous power…what happens when Matthew the Raven catches a glimpse of one of the artifacts Heather’s been hiding away?
G. Willow Wilson has been bringing back a number of familiar faces in this story. Now, in The Dreaming: Waking Hours #7, we are re-introduced to Auberon, king of the Faerie. Well, it appears his throne has been usurped by another returning character: Nuala. This is a bit of a surprise, considering that Nuala has been a rather shy and one of the nicest denizens of the Dreaming.
It seems that there is more to the story than what Auberon is telling us. Did something happen to Nuala to maker her turn traitor? Or is Auberon misrepresenting events? Generally, Faerie are not trustworthy folk, so his tale may hold little or no truth. And the deal Heather After strikes with him may end up being a deal with the devil.
I was intrigued by the scene where Heather’s nurse encounters Jophiel and Ruin. She has what Jophiel calls “true sight”, so she sees their true forms. Jophiel is revealed in all his glory as an angel: winged, wearing a crown, and with his features obscured by blinding light. Ruin, on the other hand, is revealed as a Lovecraftian horror – a single huge eyeball set within a mass of writhing snakes. She also refers to Ruin as “one of the Hidden People”. It would be interesting to find out what exactly is the meaning and origin of that appellation.
I also love that Matthew exhibits the typical cranky attitude that we’ve come to expect from him. Wilson clearly understands and knows how to portray the characters from Gaiman’s original epic series. She clearly is respecting the stories that have come before.
And there is the worrying incident of Puck stealing Heather’s medical file from the hospital. Do these records hold the true name that she was born with? Or is there some other knowledge there that Puck can use against her?
While it’s great to see so many classic Sandman characters appear, there is a danger that the story might rely too heavily on this nostalgic element. But Wilson is avoiding that danger so far. She also has included a number of well-defined new characters that are central to her story. While Wilson is paying respect to the original classic stories, these characters serve to advance her story. Thus, their presence is warranted.
G. Willow Wilson’s The Dreaming: Waking Hours is a delightful series that mixes classic Sandman Universe characters with Wilson’s own new characters. Wilson does a fine job of adding to the the mythos created by Neil Gaiman. While it’s great to see some old friends in the story, there’s plenty of new elements to keep the story fresh.