In the twenty-fourth issue of The Sandman, Dream is uncertain what to do with his new gift, while beings from many realms of existence all plan to take that gift from him. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.
“Seasons of Mist: Episode 3”
I think what I will always enjoy about doing Mark Reads and Mark Watches is just how fun it is to discover a story for the first time. I know it’s probably ridiculous to a lot of you that I still refuse to go on to the next chapter or episode before writing a review, but I love doing this a great deal. It gives me time to think about what I’ve just experienced. Hell, I just recently binged on Parks and Recreation to catch up on what I missed, and it was a really strange sensation to be able to immediately go on to the next episode. Like, I am so used to doing things one at a time that marathons are INCONCEIVABLE to me.
I’m thinking about this right now because good lord, this is not going as I thought it would. AND THAT IS A REALLY FUN THING TO GO THROUGH. I thought Dream would be in Hell for the entire volume! Now, we’ve got to deal with a massive host of gods, otherworldly beings, and the return of the dead on Earth. This is so spectacular. You know, in a way, this feels like I’m reading individual books that make up a series, as if each volume is a novel in itself. I guess I came into The Sandman believing that this would be one story spread over seventy-five issues. It’s nice to be so unprepared by a story that’s also quite rewarding, too.
Most of “Episode 3” is a set up. Oh god, this is not going to go well, is it? Again, this has even more similarity to American Gods, so much so that I’m really, really glad I didn’t read The Sandman first. (Spoilers for American Gods: V jbhyq unir svtherq bhg gur Ybxv gjvfg ng gur raq unq V ernq guvf svefg.) Oh god, Odin is here, as well as Thor and Loki. Chronozon is back, too, (FUCK THEY HAVE NADA FUCK) and it’s just the start of an onslaught of beings who want this newly-vacant psychic real estate. There’s Order and Chaos, the angels Duma and Remiel. (I don’t really understand the Silver City quite yet; I had assumed it was Heaven, but Gaiman specifically says it’s not. Hmm.)
Before they all show up in the Dreaming, though, I was surprised to see Dream being… well, depressed. Just because he’s so stoic most of the time doesn’t mean he’s incapable of showing emotion. It was also really nice to see a representation of depression I can relate to. I get the same way when I’m having an episode as Dream does here: I close off the world from my life, and I sulk, alone, in a place I’m most comfortable in. I can be irritable during these times, so it’s a way of preventing myself from doing anything I might regret.
Dream really doesn’t have the luxury to ignore all these puissant beings, and so he invites them into his palace. The procession is identical, no matter the being, because they all want the same thing: the key to Hell. (Sidenote: OMG ANUBIS AND BAST.) (Also the Princess of Chaos HELP!) Surprisingly, Dream doesn’t just dismiss them all. HE GIVES THEM ROOM IN HIS PALACE. Then he’s holding a banquet! Then he’s going to talk it out? What? HOW IS THAT GOING TO WORK? I mean, at least one group has to get Hell, so who is it going to be? Can it not be Chaos because Chaos creeps me out? Thank you.
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