Writer Si Spurrier and Artist Bilquis Evely, along with colorist Mat Lopes and letterer Simon Bowland finally bring their saga to a conclusion with The Dreaming #20. Spurrier’s complex, intelligent, and emotional script collides with the jawdropping visual work of Evely and Lopes to craft not only an incredible ending to their story but one of the most memorable chapters in this universe’s entire publishing history.
“The citizens of the Dreaming make their final play against the artificial intelligence that seeks to replace them with cold rationality…and the fate of Dream is revealed!”
Writing & Plot
Si Spurrier‘s handling of interwoven plotlines both new and old are much of what carries the success of The Dreaming all the way to his final script. The outcome of every character plot, from Matthew the Raven, Cain & Abel, Lucian the Librarian, Wan, and of course the Dreamlord himself, are intertwined seamlessly and given proper attention to become weighty additions to the overall plot. The inclusion of Rose Walker is an element that not only works as a nostalgic throwback to classic Sandman fans but as a brilliant subplot that effectively ends a plot thread some thirty years in the making. As is in keeping tradition with Gaiman’s Sandman universe, the manner through which this story resolves is somewhat vague and complicated, but it’s presented with such grace and emotion that this hardly hampers the experience. The dialogue and narration are as varied as ever, with some characters’ naturalistic dialogue blending with others’ more poetic prose-like speech as has always been done in great Sandman universe comics. Si Spurrier has proven himself a worthy custodian of what Neil Gaiman started back in 1987, and his work on this series will be missed.
Bilquis Evely‘s pencils have been an artistic wonder for each issue of The Dreaming she’s illustrated, but she’s saved her best for the final 20th issue. Her usual levels of immense character and dreamy environmental detail are here, but turned up to unbelievable levels. There a multiple two-page spreads of wildly unique and insanely detailed artistic vision that may be the most impressive work this universe has ever seen. Much of this beauty is the work of Mat Lopes’ colors, which once again bring this dream-world to life with blending tones from every piece of the color spectrum. Topping off the aesthetic is the lettering of Simon Bowland, who has had the unenviable job of maintaining the Sandman universe’s varied fonts and styles for each character. He has proven more than up to the task these past 20 issues and offered the exact voice that this comic needs to be read in seamlessly. The visual talent behind this series has been second to none, offering up some of the best artwork hitting stands for its entire duration.
The Dreaming #20 brings this stellar run to a poignant finish. Si Spurrier’s complex and emotional script is full of satisfying finishes and heartfelt goodbyes. Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes saved their best work for last, adorning this issue with unbelievable visuals on a massive scale that still cater to the individual characters and their most intimate moments. This final chapter will go down as one of the most memorable comics in Sandman’s long history and caps off a brilliant run worthy of this wonderful universe. As sad as it is to see this top notch creative team leave the series, I’m curious and excited for what G. Willow Wilson and Nick Robles have in store for their follow-up. If you’re a Sandman fan such as myself, this issue will be a must-buy when it releases on 4/28 at your local comic shop.