In the fifty-sixth issue of The Sandman, WHAT?!?!?! WHAT THE FUCK?!!?!? NO, WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED??? If you’re intrigued by all that bold caps lock, then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.
Oh, fuck, I HAVE BEEN TRICKED!!! No, this was supposed to be a volume of one-off stories, unconnected from the main narrative, and it was supposed to be awesome and insightful and I’d love it and then I’d return to the normal story in volume nine and WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ENDING???
See, I found it a bit strange that one of the characters was going to explain why they were all in Worlds’ End. To be honest with you, I suppose I didn’t really care! I didn’t need a reason beyond the fact that weird shit happens in the universe, and multiple beings from multiple realms were somehow able to meet in this one place every so often. I just wanted stories, and I really enjoyed how this issue unfolded. You know, it felt like I was in a room with a bunch of newly-made friends, and we were trading tales from our own lives. That’s how comfortable this felt.
So what was the point of this? I wondered. I believed the lady of the inn, who insisted that reality was fragile, and that sometimes, events could test that fragility. I remembered that this volume opened with a very bizarre storm, so I assumed that was the reason all these people were at Worlds’ End. Except then the lady reveals that something is very wrong, and the panel widens to show that THE INN SEEMS TO GO ON FOREVER AND IS JAM-PACKED FULL OF CREATURES FROM ALL OVER. What the fuck? When did that happen? I suppose it was like this all along, but we were only shown just one part of the place. So what the hell was going on that was so disruptive to space and time?
I also loved that Charlene got the space to point out that all the stories we’d heard were dude-centric. I mean, it’s true! And it’s actually relevant commentary not only to this volume, but to our society in general. Why are most of our heroes men? Why do we value those stories in particular over ones that center women? And why is it that when men are told this, their first response is, “Well, why don’t you tell your own stories instead?” OKAY, FIRST OF ALL, they have been and you refuse to listen. Secondly, what a unbelievably shitty response to someone. FOR REAL. Though I must admit that when Charlene finally runs off, upset, and her friend Brent makes that super awful comment about WOMEN, I fucking LOVED that panel of the other four dudes staring at him with looks of PURE RAGE on their faces. Bless.
Anyway, this is just a brief moment in the issue, and it’s not long before the inhabitants of Worlds’ End return to discussing what’s going on with reality. Finally, they gather near the window to gaze upon a strange occurrence outside. At first, it just looked like a swirling rainbow cloud of sorts, one that took up most of the sky. But when I turned the page, I got goosebumps. Seriously, I love the two-page spreads in this series, and this is yet another one of them that’s just stunning and gorgeous. Far above the inn, walking across the sky, is a giant manifestation of Destiny, who clutches that giant book of his that’s chained to his wrist. What the fuck? I thought. What is going on?
And then I turned the page. And then I was looking upon a funeral procession. Why was Destiny leading a funeral procession across the universe? What was so important about the person who had died? And then I turned the page again to look upon the third two-page spread in a row, and I knew that this was awful. There’s Mervyn. There’s Lucien in front of the horse. Lady Bast was there, looking forlorn, as well as Matthew and Fiddler’s Green and nearly every supernatural or otherworldly character I’d met over the course of the series. What the fuck??? No, this was so much worse than I thought. And then I see Despair, and then I realize that must have been Desire on the first page, and then I know that the next page features Death and Delirium and… oh. Oh my god. OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK!!!! NO, WHERE IS DREAM? WHAT THE FUCK. NO, THIS IS FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. NO WHAT THE FUCK;ASDKFJLSADL;KF
NO WHAT THE FUCK, WAS THE TITLE OF THIS VOLUME FORESHADOWING THE WHOLE TIME? WAS IT TELLING ME THAT WORLDS END, AND THAT I WAS ABOUT TO SEE A WORLD DIE?
Oh my god, I am so fucked up right now.
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