The Dreaming #16 / Writer: Simon Spurrier / Art & Color: Marguerite Sauvage / Letters: Simon Bowland / Publisher: DC Comics, Black Label / Publish Date: December 4, 2019.
Dora Uncovers the Truth
This Sandman Universe reboot finally gives readers and The Dreaming characters some answers. After a long hunt for who she is, Dora finds the man who sent her on this path. She also learns who and what she is. This meeting doesn’t just answer that question, but also what has happened to The Dreaming and what has been planned for it’s future without it’s king.
Long Awaited Answers
Simon Spurrier has outdone himself. After playing the long game, since early 2018, the author gives us readers some long awaited answers and they are far better than one could imagine. He has created a series with wacky characters, dark moments, monsters, and a sense of heart that can only be outdone by the creator of the realm himself, Neil Gaiman. Not only does Spurrier give us answers and twists in this issue, he ties his current story to Gaiman’s initial Sandman book. This homage and this issue reward every Sandman Universe fan who has kept with the book.
Spurrier also brings the Universe into this time period by adding a technological edge to the unintentional villainy. The Jurassic park adage that scientists will think whether they could do something, but they didn’t stop to think if they should do it, applies here. How far can science go, can it correct all the bad of social, mythical, and religious ideologies clashing? Can it heal the political unrest that we all feel, daily, these days? It’s an appealing thought. Spurrier not only let’s you see Dora’s reaction to her truth, but helps you understand the mastermind behind it all. He grounds the story after years of whimsy and it’s a mind blowingly good route that readers won’t see coming.
Art of The Dreaming
Marguerite Sauvage helps tell the story through video of the mastermind and Dora’s reactions. She shows us who Dora was through her monstrous beauty. This is mirrored by the man’s youth in the videos that slowly melts away as age and disease take over. She makes the reader think about who the unintended monster is here. Her colors also tell a story, using reds for the alarm Dora feels as she is trapped versus the upbeat blues of the videos of the man explaining his plans.
Especially beautiful is the flashback of how Dream himself was exiled from The Dreaming. His white body against the reds of his lover and Dora is beautifully done. Sauvage throughout the series has created some fantastical characters and the monster Dora often becomes is no exception. She portrays her anger effectively in this issue and her reveal of the maliced entity at the end is gasp worthy.
Simon Bowland lettering is also engaging and grounding. His box like video dialog makes the exposition easier to read. It is straight in its blue box versus the bubble of Dora’s confused text and the red malice of the other entity. He even manages to portray weakness through the sick man’s current state of speech. You always know who is speaking, even when Dora monsters out and her bubble lines with red.
Overall, The Dreaming We All Deserve
Overall, this book was what I’ve been waiting for from this series. This crazy, sometimes confusing ride just got a whole lot more interesting. We have known there is something off in The Dreaming, but this explanation is so much cooler than I thought it would be. Spurrier has really led us down the rabbit hole and rewarded us for following. I cannot wait to see where this story will now lead and how it’ll effect the other books in the Sandman Universe series.
Verdict: 5 out of 5