In the twenty-seventh issue of The Sandman, Dream finds a solution to his Hell problem in an unlikely being. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.
“Seasons of Mist: Episode 6″
THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED.
When the reveal finally happened, my brain instantly went to His Dark Materials. So, without spoiling that series for those who’ve not read it before (OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE GO READ THAT TRILOGY RIGHT NOW), if you enjoyed any part of Remiel’s scenes in “Episode 6,” I think you’ll like Philip Pullman’s trilogy. Also, if you like devastatingly good literature, you’ll enjoy it, too. JUST SAYING.
There isn’t some huge twist or emotional trick to the resolution of Dream’s problem, and I’m perfectly fine with that. In a way, I have a feeling this is the introduction of something greater, sort of how volume one had to happen as it did for the story in volume two to exist. There’s no way that this is the last time we’re going to see a lot of these characters, especially as we just got the chance to learn how so many of them operate. This is an introduction of sorts (or that’s what I’m guessing, at least), and a way to give us an insight to how Dream interacts with other beings.
At the same time, this really is an expansion of Dream’s characterization. I’m glad I was right about Dream’s turmoil over this decision. He really didn’t have a secret plan or trick, and he really was torn over making a decision. I am happy that Dream respects the responsibility he has as the lord of the dreaming, and if anything, this issue has shown me how he’s changed from when he was younger and far more reckless. I can’t forget that all of this happened because he wanted to rectify a terrible mistake he had made ten thousand years before. Actually, using the word “mistake” seems ingenuous. Dude straight fucked up with Nada. Let’s not dilute what’s happened here.
The solution to Dream’s problem, then, is actually remarkably convenient and satisfying. Well, it’s not convenient for Remiel or Duma, but it’s sensible: the Creator made Hell, and Heaven is worthless without it. Why allow it to go to anyone else? And aside from Azazel, it actually satisfies pretty much all of the beings and creatures who came to ask to own it. However, it’s a devastating situation for one of the Creator’s most dedicated servants. Seriously, it does seem unfair, even if the Creator believes it makes sense. (God, for real, please read His Dark Materials, I swear.) Do you know how badly I want this explored in the future? Can we please get more of this story? I want to know if Duma and Remiel have to suffer in Hell, too, or if they’ll sort of act as detached rulers. Will they still be able to communicate with the Creator? I HAVE SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.
I do admit that I expected a fight of some sort to break out regardless of what Dream’s decision was, and I wasn’t shocked that Azazel decided to take on Dream. Seriously, how arrogant must you be to foolishly fight Dream in his own realm? It just goes to show you how much thought Azazel didn’t put into his rebellion against the Dream Lord. Their battle does give us Dream forgiving both Choronzon and Nada with a touch of his hand. It’s a symbolic gesture, sure, a way for Dream to locate both of them inside of Azazel, but it’s a true sentiment. He’s not here to torture either one of them, and I think that’s a sign of how much this character has grown. It took him thousands of years, yes, but the events that opened this graphic novel have changed Dream more than anything else in his life. I feel as if Dream is finally beginning to accept and respect those around him and not just because of his sense of hospitality. Note that he doesn’t seek out the location of his missing brother from Lady Bast, choosing instead to honor his brother’s privacy instead. While we are going to have to wait for the next issue to see how the conversation goes between Nada and Dream, I can already tell he’s not expecting her to forgive him, either. That’s the least he can do at this point after subjecting her to so much endless pain. I am interested to see how that conversation goes.
Oh shit, there’s only one issue left in this volume. WTF this feels like it went by so fast!
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