The Dreaming No. 7: The dangers of loving an Endless


Love is hard, but loving an immortal deity is harder in The Dreaming.

Good stories impart lessons. This is perhaps the core tenet of what storytelling is all about. Whether it be a cautionary tale, a fable about kindness, a humorous anecdote, or a parable about ghosts told around a campfire, all stories are telling the listener something, buried underneath the literal words being relayed. Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman was impressively talented at this, and managed to make the reader feel so many things while telling simple tales about a god of dreams, and this latest iteration of The Dreaming.

Written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Abigail Larson, colored by Quinton Winter and lettered by Simon Bowland, with a cover by Jae Lee and June Chung, it carries on in that storied tradition, with a shift from the domination of The Dreaming by a rogue nightmare to the telling of a love story, and a story of love lost.

Vertigo Comics

Sometimes you just babble at people in comas

Last issue showed the birth of a new, possibly insane Endless based off of artificial intelligence, but in the issue before that Dora let Lucien fall between realities, and he ended up on some strange shoreline. It turns out that he’s in Brighton, England, and Rose Walker, who has a long history with The Sandman original series, is the person who found him. Without getting too deep into it, Rose is immortal, the granddaughter of Desire of the Endless, and was once a dream vortex, which raises eyebrows considering what has been happening in The Dreaming‘s sister series, House of Whispers.

Rose’s mother Miranda is wasting away in the hospital, and to take her mind off of that stressful situation, she starts talking to Lucien, who appears catatonic. She recounts how her daughter fell in love, fell out of love, overdosed, and was taken away by Dream of the Endless, which is a lot to unpack.

Vertigo Comics

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A deeper look at a complicated love

Rose was following Dream and her daughter down the beach when she came across Lucien, fortuitously. She can tell Lucien is involved, somehow, and proceeds to tell him about her childhood, touching on more intricate Sandman stuff you’ll have to look up to get a full understanding. She discusses her immortality, how people are inexplicably attracted to her (because her grandparent is the personification of desire: Desire of the Endless), and how she coincidentally ran into the new Dream at her childhood home, whom she agreed to meet later. She went home and decided to let her daughter, Ivy, go on the date instead, without telling her, and of course her daughter fell in love with the god of dreams. They have a whirlwind romance and everything seems great; “seems” being the operative word there.

Vertigo Comics

All things come to an end in The Dreaming

While her daughter and the god of dreams were being all googly-eyed with each other, Rose’s mother got sicker (apparently immortality skips a generation or something), and Rose couldn’t find the courage to ruin her daughter’s good time. Three weeks into their relationship, Dream proposed to Ivy, which seems quick, but what do anthropomorphic personifications of intangible ideas know about haste? Rose gets a haircut, and someone steals the clippings, Rose’s mother goes to the hospital, and Rose has a vision during which she and Desire watch some witchery occurring in the basement of her childhood home, Fawney Rig, and when Rose awakens she can tell that Dream and Ivy have split, which causes her mother and all the other sick people to scream uncontrollably.

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This is a new artist/colorist combination, and it’s pretty good, although perhaps it’s unfair to judge against the previous artist, Bilquis Evely. The panels seem almost noticeably feminine, and maybe that’s intentional, since we’re now watching a love story unfold from a female perspective, but Spurrier is a masterful wordsmith, so who knows? The story is clearly headed in a new direction, and it will be exciting to see where our characters end up, particularly Lucien, who was once human centuries ago, but who hasn’t been back in the waking world in a long, long time. It’s telling that the hospital didn’t say “this man is made of bird feathers and magic”. 8/10, recommended. let us know what you thought in the comments section below.