Writer Si Spurrier and artist Bilquis Evely begin the final arc of their run on The Dreaming with issue #19. This chapter offers an emotionally cathartic experience for any longtime Sandman fans, as it’s rife with poeticism and narrative beauty. This combined with the absolutely flawless art direction of Bilquis Evely and colorist Mat Lopez makes for a comic that will sit perfectly with fans of Gaiman’s original creation.
“A lost dream has returned to the Dreaming to rally the troops against the rule of Wan-but without Dream himself, do his subjects have the strength they need to prevail? Or has the unconsciousness of humankind already been changed forever?”
Writing & Plot
Si Spurrier‘s writing in “The Dreaming” #19 is more laden with exposition than usual, but it’s expressed with such poeticism that it’s easy to look past. The sudden surprise of having his run end after 20 issues has likely put on more pressure to wrap this arc up, and so the first few pages are an enjoyable but dense block of revelations. This being said, Spurrier levels out the script with some ingenious plotting, the kind that is sure to make even the most skeptical Sandman fans feel a tug on their heartstrings. This issue brings back important plot devices and moments from Sandman history to straighten out its conflict. However, it also shows immense love for the characters that inhabit the Dreaming, reminding the reader that these characters in and of themselves are the plot. It’s both artful and intelligent storytelling, so while it’s not the most poetic of The Dreaming chapters, it’s still immensely satisfying to behold.
There may not be enough words in English or any language to praise the immense talent on display between artist Bilquis Evely and colorist Mat Lopes on The Dreaming #19. The detail in terms of character and world design becomes more impressive the more it’s looked over. Characters themselves are again all as unique as this wondrous story calls for, with a plethora of emotional and physical detail to accompany them. The many scenes played out in this issue’s pages arrive in wildly fantastic page and panel layouts that will leave the reader gawking in awe. The colors loom large and in a massive variety. The stark black and white’s of Wan’s identity are bombarded by explosions of fiery oranges and reds and neon plumes. This is undoubtedly some of the best artwork in the history of Sandman comics, and one of the best looking series on stands right now.
The Dreaming #19 is a dense but triumphant and emotionally gripping beginning to Spurrier & Co.’s final arc on this series. The presentation of classic Sandman elements is brilliantly heartfelt. The visual direction is staggeringly wonderful and sure to get readers lost in its pages. Be ready to pick up a copy of this issue when it releases on 3/4!