The Dreaming No. 8 review: A terrible tale continues


Things get even more complicated in the latest issue of The Dreaming

What is love? This is a question thousands of stories and poems have tried to answer, and millions have dreamed about. Whatever it is, losing it might be even more emotionally fraught than finding it, and that topic has been equally pondered by a great many artists over the last couple thousand years. Vertigo Comics resurrected the famously insightful Sandman universe after Dark Knights: Metal, and currently has four Sandman titles running: Lucifer, House of Whispers, Books of Magic and The Dreaming, the last of which has recently delved into the trials and tribulations of seeking love, and what losing it means.

Writer Simon Spurrier, artist Abigail Larson, colorist Quinton Winter and letterer Simon Bowland, with a cover from Tiffany Turrill give a heart-wrenching glimpse into what it’s like when a god gets heart-broken.

Vertigo Comics

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The Dreaming continues to showcase the terrible things Rose has gone though

In the last issue of The Dreaming, Rose Walker witnessed her daughter Ivy fall in love with Daniel, the new anthropomorphic personification of Dream, and saw the beginning of the fall from grace as the issue ended. This issue picks up with her continuing to sit by Lucien as he recuperates in the same hospital Rose’s mother and daughter are in, telling him the story of her daughter and Dream. Rose recounts finally telling Ivy about her grandmother’s failing health, and when they go to the hospital Ivy tells her mother that the relationship feels different ever since she gave him a tattoo. The tattoo is linked to some dark magic that Rose was shown (by Desire, Dream’s sibling and Rose’s grandparent) in the basement of Fawney Rig, the house she was born in and the previous incarnation of Dream was originally incarcerated in at the beginning of Neil Gaiman’s run on the Sandman.

Vertigo Comics

To poison a god, The Dreaming takes drastic steps

That dark magic Rose saw was to create a toxic beverage meant to be delivered to Dream from Ivy, acting under the magic orders of the basement-dwellers during what would look like a reconciliation between the two feuding lovers. Rose rushes to find her daughter and the lord of Dreams and gets there in time to swipe both teas from their hands, but not before the tiniest taste of it passed Dream’s lips.

The poison is shown affecting him in one of the loveliest panels in the entire run thus far; with rainbows exploding out of him, flaming eyes, and vermin-filled vomit, it’s clear that Dream is suffering, right before he pulls it together and blames Ivy for ruining everything, ending their affair. Rose tells him about Fawney Rig and Dream vanishes, presumably to investigate that lead. When Rose arrives, he is torturing the magic-weavers with their worst nightmares, and explains that the tattoo Ivy gave him is part of the magic negatively affecting him.

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While they are discussing this, Dream disappears again, and we learn that Ivy has overdosed on pills, sending her to the same hospital Rose’s mother is in. The night they planned to pull the plug on her brain-dead daughter, Dream shows up again and takes Ivy, sending Rose to the beach where she she ended up finding Lucien. Instead of asking him for answers about Dream and all the weird things happening, she chose to to go to her mother, who had regained consciousness recently. A fabulous issue; 9/10, highly recommended. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.