Review – ‘The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1’ – Rack and Ruin

Comic Books DC This Week
The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 – G. Willow Wilson, Writer; Nick Robles, Artist; Mat Lopes, Colorist

Ray – 9/10

Ray: The Sandman Universe line undergoes its first major creative shift, with Simon Spurrier departing the flagship book and G. Willow Wilson stepping in to give us her own unique take on the world of the Dreaming. While Spurrier’s take was an epic civil war for the future of imagination, Wilson’s is a much more intimate tale. We’re introduced to Lindy, a young single mother struggling with sleep deprivation, a mercurial PHD advisor, and a recurring problem with lucid dreaming where she finds herself in a mysterious, eldritch house that keeps changing. What is her link to the Dreaming and how does it tie into her thesis on the origins of Shakespeare’s plays? Lots of questions to be answered, but Wilson does a great job of immersing us in Lindy’s world and all its very mundane challenges. Which makes it all the more jarring when something very not mundane rears its head.

House of Dreams. Via DC Comics.

The other half of this issue, and the one that got the most hype, is the mysterious Ruin. This handsome, blue-haired being encounters Lindy in the dream world, but something goes very wrong. Lindy winds up trapped in a dream where she encounters Shakespeare and all his possible “helpers,” while Ruin the living Nightmare winds up in the real world—and with Lindy’s baby in his possession. This leads to us learning a little more about him, including why he was trapped and who he left behind on Earth. Dream and the other residents of the Dreaming play a very minor role this issue, only appearing at the end, but when they do show up it has a big impact. This is only a tease for the twelve-issue story to come, but it does its job—I am instantly hooked by all the new characters here. It lives up to the legacy of Sandman, switching gears at a moment’s notice and surprising us every time.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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