The Dreaming #17 Review

by Nick Devonald on January 02, 2020

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Art: Bilquis Evely
Colors: Mat Lopes
Letters: Simon Bowland

The last issue answered a lot of questions that have been building throughout the series. Suddenly a lot of the mysteries have been answered and we’re starting to have a good idea of what’s going on. So how do you follow on from an issue like that? The answer is to focus on Lucien, who’s been one of the biggest victims of the series so far.

Since his library has been digitised he’s wanted nothing more than to die, to be reabsorbed into the dreamscape that the dreaming is composed of. Most of this issue is focusing on him trying to achieve his goals. It’s tragic, and you really feel for him, all the while knowing that if the dreaming is ever to go back we need the library back, and what’s a library without a librarian?

Simon Spurrier’s take on how our modern world would affect Gaimans original vision for the dreaming has been inspired and I’ve really enjoyed each issue, this one is no exception. That has been one of the highlights of this new series and a good demonstration on how much our world has changed over the past 23 years. Yes, that’s how long it’s been since Neil Gaiman’s final issue on The Sandman (Sandman Overture excluded).

Abel also gets his moment in the spotlight. Since earlier in the series where he rethought his role, whether he’s the first victim or first murderer we’ve seen his character really grow. There’s a scene where he confronts Wan that feels like the culmination of his characters growth throughout the series, and it’s a real joy. He also receives the conformation that whatever his role is, whoever he is, he’s part of a duo and he needs Cain back.

This issue is a much needed slower issue after all of the reveals of the previous one, all the while maintaining the endless march onto what feels like a final confrontation that is building. The stakes have never been higher, the threats no more real, and the next few issues promise to be fantastic and bring real change to the dreaming.

And with no spoilers the final page brings back a fan favourite character from the original Sandman run who I’ve been patiently waiting for as the series progresses. Hopefully this character will get a big role in the issues to come.

The art returns to Bilquis Evely after Marguerite Sauvage took over for the last issue. For me Bilquis Evely is the perfect artist for drawing the dreaming, perfectly managing to capture the craziness and otherworldliness of the fantastic dreamscape. Mat Lopes colors are consistently great and bring out the best of Evely’s art.

Another great issue, making this series another great issue in the Sandman Universe. The characterisation has been fantastic and I love seeing where the characters are going, even if it does seem to be to new depths. While everything seems to be coming to a head it’s difficult to know where it’s going to go and what will happen next. And it’s this mystery, this unknown, which helps bring me back issue after issue to find out what’s coming.

Our Score:


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