In the sixty-ninth issue of The Sandman, Dream faces his destiny. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.
I am very happy that of all issues of this series, this is going to be the very first one that gets a live reading. The wonderful Jane Humphreys bought this video way back in June, when I first started selling Mark Reads videos, and she has dedicated it to her friend Johanna! This was a total blast to do, especially since it was a challenge to read a comic book aloud. I FELT LIKE I WAS TELLING THE INTERNET A BEDTIME STORY.
Anyway, here’s the video:
I don’t want this video to be the only thing I say about this monumental issue. It’s just so impressive that Gaiman managed to bring together so many characters from earlier in the series in a way that gives a powerful thematic ending to the story of Dream. This might be some of the slowest character building I’ve ever seen of a protagonist, and I’m just so impressed with how this all comes together. I don’t know if Gaiman planned to end the series this way the whole time, but I suppose I don’t really care. He could have made this all up as he went along, or he could have planned it from the beginning. Neither really matters to me, because all I care about is the story that came from this process. (Which isn’t to say that I’m not fascinated with behind-the-scenes info regarding how something is written; I’m just saying I don’t need it to appreciate the story as it is.)
It’s weird to say that I’m satisfied by this ending. I mean, I know I have one final volume left, as well as the extra material. (Check the Master Schedule! Surprises are there!) But this is really the climax of The Sandman, and I can’t imagine a better ending than this. Dream had to die, and he had to pass on his realm to someone else. Delirium was right; his existence had warped the universe, and this was his chance to do something to rectify that. Is it sad? Hell yes. I didn’t cry, but I was hit with this immense wave of wistful longing when I got to that sequence of panels where Dream took Death’s hand.
Ugh, there’s another volume. HOW. HOW.