Review: THE DREAMING: WAKING HOURS #10
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Colours: Matheus Lopes, Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Simon Bowland
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Dreaming: Waking Hours #10: The new ruler of the Kingdom of Faerie stands revealed-and it’s…Nuala? She may be one of the most beloved characters in the Sandman mythos, but she sure does seem, uh…how shall we say this…different? And amid this chaos, what secret from Heather After’s past will re-emerge when she needs it most?
In The Dreaming: Waking Hours #10, Ruin and Heather After are brought before the usurper queen, Nuala. I have been wondering how the unassuming Faerie Nuala had managed to depose Auberon and steal his throne. However, it seems clear from the interchange between Nuala and the being acting as her advisor, that she is merely a figurehead. This being suggests the orders he wants her to give. And when she hesitates to give the order, he commands, “Do it now“. Clearly, Nuala is not really the one in charged.
There is an interesting juxtaposition that shows the extent and the limits of Ruin’s power. When Heather is struck by one of the guards, Ruin reveals his true form. But even though he looks fearsome, Nuala’s advisor understands that a nightmare has little power in Faerie.
However, he makes a big mistake by imprisoning Ruin in his own quarters. When he goes to sleep, Ruin is able to enter his dreams, allowing Ruin to face the advisor in the Dreaming, where Ruin is at his full power. This brings to mind how in Sandman #1, Roderick Burgess was careful not to let the imprisoned Morpheus’ guards sleep in the presence of the Lord of Dreams.
Speaking of which, Dream is immediately aware of Ruin’s return to the Dreaming. This seems to disturb him, as he tells Matthew that Ruin is causing “unforeseen ripples in the fabric of the worlds. I fear he may only now begin to comprehend his own nature”. Perhaps there is more to Ruin than has been revealed. Given his name, his nature is not likely to be beneficial to those around him.
Now, this may be a wild guess, but I wonder if Ruin bears some relation to Dream’s missing sibling, Destruction. The names are synonymous, suggesting some connection. Maybe Morpheus created Ruin to be some sort of reflection for the missing member of the Endless. If so, Ruin might be a lot more powerful that he seems.
We also see a touching exchange between a disguised Auberon and his queen, Titania. Titania has been brought low, forced to be a lowly servant to Nuala. Seeing Titania in this sorry state reminds him that he loves her and causes him to regret his treatment of his wife. Perhaps the usurpation of his rule will ultimately beneficial for their marriage.
And what has Puck been up to? We haven’t seen him in a while, but the earlier chapters hinted that he was central to the story. Could he be Nuala’s masked advisor?
I have no complaints. G. Willow Wilson’s story is developing into a worthy addition to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman mythos. And Roble and Perker’s artwork is nothing short of gorgeous.
In The Dreaming: Waking Hours #10, the thread are starting to come together as the story arc nears its conclusion. As exciting as the series has been so far, I expect the next couple issues will be amazing, and I can’t wait to read those final chapters.