Friday, September 5, 2014

The Sandman, Volume 10: The Wake


And so we close the books on The Lord of The Dreaming, as Morpheus is laid to rest.....

 The bulk of THE SANDMAN, VOLUME 10: THE WAKE consists of Morpheus' funeral ceremony, which was tantalizingly hinted at in THE SANDMAN, VOLUME 8: WORLD'S END (Review here). Morpheus is mourned by his family, The Endless, as well as just about every single character that has appeared in the book until that point. We see enough of Daniel, the new Sandman, to make me wish that Gaiman would return to the character for a story or two or ten. Just about every one of the returning characters gets a nice little beat or two of their own, and some get a resolution. The art is provided by Michael Zulli, who suits the mournful tone perfectly. Zulli also illustrates a stand-alone story that features Morpheus' immortal friend, Hob Gadling.

 The book is rounded out by two stand-alone stories: "Exiles" is illustrated by Jon J. Muth, and features both Morpheus and Daniel, and serves as a counterpoint to a previous tale that featured Marco Polo, and "The Tempest", illustrated by Charles Vess, which details the delivery of William Shakespeare's final play to the Lord of Dreams.

 I purchased these newly remastered volumes as part of a slipcased set, which is a nice little package...my only complaint is that it didn't include THE DREAM HUNTERS and ENDLESS NIGHTS. It should also have had enough room to include the OVERTURE trade, which will probably see print in 2024 or so.

 I could rave on and on about Neil Gaiman's skill as a storyteller, but you probably already know, so I'll just say that THE SANDMAN is a true must-read series. I revisit it every few years, and I never get sick of it. In fact, I enjoy it more with each new reading.