In the sixty-sixth issue of The Sandman, everything is chaos. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.
I just keep shaking my head at my screen as I try and parse my opinions of this volume. With the context of the end of the last volume in mind, I think I have to discard the idea that Dream’s funeral is a trick. It’s becoming apparent that it’s real, and that now this story is going to be about the how. This issue, I think, pretty clearly lays out why Dream is going to die.
The horrifying part is that it seems that Puck and Loki did this just for the hell of it. Puck has no real interest in any of this aside from causing mayhem and chaos. Hell, that’s Loki’s nature anyway, so I don’t know how I didn’t see this initially. Oh, right, I didn’t see it because I never catch on to anything. Thankfully, Odin isn’t nearly as dense as I am, as he refuses to believe his son’s claim that Dream is responsible for everything. CRISIS AVERTED. I mean, shit was already bad enough; we didn’t need Asgard declaring war on the Dreaming.
(Side note: I have to admit that because of the sheer pop culture overload, I cannot see Loki as anyone but Tom Hiddleston or Thor as anyone but Chris Helmsworth. It’s distracting. And I have only seen both their movies once. It’s just that my Tumblr dashboard is only these two all of the time, so my brain is saturated with their images. HELP.)
It seems the Loki/Asgard storyline is resolved at this point. Loki’s returned to his prison beneath the world, where he’ll suffer forever. Until someone frees him? Oh god, WHO KNOWS. With Loki out of the way, though, the issue focuses on the rest of the chaos caused by his and Puck’s plan. First, the Kindly Ones murder Abel, but not before imparting a crucial detail: the deaths of all the beings in the Dreaming die, they are not truly dead. Which scares me, for the record. If Dream’s death is real, does that still mean we lose all these characters? Are the Furies killing essences of the Dreaming just to spite Dream? They later attack and kill Mervyn, too, and the act enrages Lucien. Who can blame the guy? While all these beings are dying, Dream just sits on his throne. Why isn’t he doing anything? Why does he seem so complacent? What the hell is he considering??? I know that he’s got to be planning something at this point, but I admit that I’m frustrated by his inactivity. Can’t he just tell the Furies that he didn’t kill Daniel? I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS WORKS.
While I’m still just as lost as to how Rose plays into this narrative (THOUGH I LOVED HER BIT IN THE AIRPLANE), I finally get a chance to discover why Nuala’s story is so important. Her rejection of her own glamour is a rad little story about identity and beauty. Like I said in yesterday’s review, she’s on a journey to find her purpose, and she’s discovered that her listless life in Faerie holds nothing of meaning for her. After Delirium comes to her realm on a quest to find Barnabas, the news of Dream’s troubled life upsets her. It’s clear Nuala has come to care greatly about Dream. I wondered why that was the case. It’s like Dream was THE BEST HOST OF ALL TIME TO HER. Hell, he barely spoke to her! So why did he make such an impression? Perhaps it’s because he didn’t give her the illusion of conversation. I noticed that in Faerie, everything is just ruled by “etiquette,” and that sort of social obligation is never really genuine or meaningful. It appears that Nuala’s whole existence in Faerie has nothing to offer because of that. I’m guessing that she likes that Dream is at least direct and plain with her, instead of hiding behind social norms.
God, I hope I’m not wrong. But the end of this issue is huge precisely because of Nuala’s involvement. She finally uses the gem Dream gave her to call upon him. Naturally, he’s pretty peeved that of all times, this is when she wants to speak to him. But she’s persistent: she wants her boon. Well, at least I think she does. Why else would she mention it? I am going to regret typing this, but her boon seems a little obvious: she wants to return to the Dreaming. Which is probably not going to happen! And here’s why:
“However, as long as I remain in the Dreaming, no real harm can occur.”
“My lord… You are no longer in the Dreaming.”
“No. I am not.”
WHY IS FACE BURIED IN HIS HANDS? DID HE COME ON PURPOSE? DID HE FORGET THIS DETAIL? OH NO, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE DREAMING?
This is agonizing.
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