Writer: Simon Spurrier / Artist: Bilquis Evely / DC Comics
When I first read the original Sandman, the only volume I kept finding myself rereading was Volume 8, Worlds’ End. A bar whose location is its namesake, Worlds’ End, is a place where stories get exchanged and often produce exceedingly resonant story. The return to Worlds’ End in The Dreaming was a tantalizing prospect and Spurrier and Evely work together to bring some nostalgia and some new tricks to the table.
A lot of my critique of The Dreaming as a series comes from the mind-boggling number of characters and plot threads that are juggled. With weeks between issues, it’s hard to keep track every single issues. The Dreaming #11 is a strange inversion, because while it has several stories, each with their own set of characters, the fact that each one is relatively self-contained in a closed loop means it’s much easier to retain information from the moment to moment. Spurrier utilizes the framework wonderfully, with alluring narration and sharp dialog, and Evely’s ability to alter their art style is nothing short of incredible. The different vignettes have their own feel and distinctive elements that make it a joy to read.
Worlds’ End gives the creatives a chance to flex their creative muscles outside of the high fantasy by dipping into genres like noir and science fiction, while still in the grander search for Lord Dream. It’s a rare occurrence where the issue works as a stand-alone introduction to the chimeric nature of the world, while also forwarding the larger myth arc in a meaningful way. If you’re a Sandman fan, picking up The Dreaming #11 will instantly invoke all of the magic of the original.
Any trepidation about the Sandman Universe has now been assuaged several times over. Spurrier and Evely have worked together to continue Gaiman’s work in a truly 2019 way that appeals to newcomers to the universe and fulfills the vets. While I still think you’ll get the most by waiting for the trade, if you can get a hold of The Dreaming #11, it’ll be more than worth your time.
9.6 “Currencies in the Form of Stories” out of 10
Reading The Dreaming? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.