Writer: Simon Spurrier / Artist: Abigail Larson / DC Comics
In what is perhaps the most Sandman move The Dreaming has done to date, the start of the new arc feels far removed from its predecessors. There are clear threads and consequences that are woven in the first few pages to ensure that the reader knows that the epic tale of Daniel and his domain is still the focus, but the perspective is drastically different.
The first thing you’ll notice is Larson’s art style. No longer do we have the sharp features of chimeric creatures but rather the vulnerability of humanity. The features are softer, the motions are subtle, the most dynamic object is the whisper of coffee steam and the blurred edges of memory. It evokes a very different response than the first arc’s nightmarish machinations, and meshes well with the story beats.
Spurrier centers the issue on Rose, appropriately also introduced in the second volume of the original Sandman. This is an older Rose, a more experienced Rose, and most importantly a Rose who holds a valuable perspective on why Daniel disappeared. The details are best left for personal discovery, but Spurrier builds off the existing mythology in a believable way to bridge generations, both in story and for the reader. The logical evolution of the Walker lineage feels like a breath of fresh air because of the juxtaposition with Gallows. Ivy, Rose’s daughter, is built up to be the central figure like Gallows was previously. Where Gallows is strict, unyielding, and cruel, Ivy is kind, loving, and free-spirited. The contrast between the two highlights the change in thematic elements and tone that also allows the two different arcs to work in conversations while also standing alone as a compelling story.
The Dreaming #7 starts a new arc. Spurrier and Larson work together brilliantly and continue to be the gem of the Sandman Universe.
9.3 “Dates” out of 10
Reading The Dreaming? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.