Review – The Dreaming #14: A Game of Dreams

The Dreaming #14 cover, via DC Comics.

The Dreaming #14 – Simon Spurrier, Writer; Matias Bergara, Artist

Ratings:

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The best thing about the Sandman Universe books is the way they can seamlessly change genre and tone from issue to issue, such as in The Dreaming #14. After several issues taking place in the Dreaming, this issue we shift to Dora’s story as she pursues the truth of who she is and what turned her into an amnesiac nomad.

That leads her to the demon Flauros, who presides over a ridiculous tournament combining chess with extreme Motocross. Guest artist Matias Bergara has a great visual flair, and manages to combine creepy visuals with excellent kinetic flair in the action scenes. But it’s Simon Spurrier’s writing of his original character, Dora, that really sells the issue. She’s clearly been at this for a long time, and she’s running circles around Flauros in a complex plot that involves the only person to ever beat Flauros at his own game, the mysterious Ibis-like President Malthus – who may have his own agenda.

Dora vs. demons. Via DC Comics.

The end of The Dreaming #14 is a little dizzying, as Dora backstabs one person after another including her own lover, setting herself up to finally discover the truth about her origins – which sets her on a rampage of revenge.

Ultimately, it seems like this series has a lot to say about identity – it’s looked at the creation of a new God of the Dreaming, at Cain and Abel switching places and what that did to that psychologically, and finally at Dora pursuing the truth about her identity with mixed results.

The visuals – both by regular artist Bilquis Evely and assorted guest artists – do a lot to sell the complex concepts, but it wouldn’t work as well without Simon Spurrier’s commitment to keeping his characters grounded in humanity no matter how far from humanity they may actually be. That’s why it’s probably the most consistent book in this ambitious line, which is about to grow to five books.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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