The Dreaming #20 – Simon Spurrier, Writer; Bilquis Evely, Artist; Mat Lopes, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Simon Spurrier’s run on The Dreaming, the flagship Sandman Universe book had the unfortunate luck to have the last issue of its super-dense run delayed by the pandemic, but now it’s back in The Dreaming #20 to wrap up before G. Willow Wilson launches a new series in a month.
And oh, boy, does Spurrier leave her a tough act to follow. The story here has always been a challenge to follow, indulging the metaphysical nature of the concept and exploring elements of what makes a person or a dream. But now in The Dreaming #20, the threat is much more pressing, as the artificial king of the Dreaming, Wan, has become something horrible and is shattering the nature of dreams across all worlds.
That sounds like the perfect chance for Daniel to finally return from his long sojourn, and the opening of The Dreaming #20 is one of the most impressive feats of Bilquis Evely’s career with some genuinely inventive and unique panel layouts over multi-page spreads.
From there, it shifts into a surprisingly poignant story of life and death, as one character makes a major sacrifice. It’s interesting that this story has chosen to keep the Endless almost entirely off-screen, with Death being present in voice but not in appearance this issue. Will Wilson change that up? I expect so somewhat, because this issue seems to nicely tie up most of the storylines for characters like Dora and Cain and Abel, and sets Lucien and Matthew off on a new mission with a new sense of confidence.
To follow up the world of the Sandman is one of the biggest tasks any writer has ever taken on, akin to what Geoff Johns and Gary Frank did in Doomsday Clock. For a first act, this is an impressive debut, but it’ll be interesting to see where Wilson takes it in the coming months. There’s a lot to dig into in this universe, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.