Monday, August 11, 2014
The Sandman, Volume 6: Fables & Reflections
So, I'm reviewing THE SANDMAN, VOLUME 6: FABLES & REFLECTIONS out of order. That's because DC/Vertigo has cobbled together this collection from non-chronological issues of THE SANDMAN, particularly #'s 29-31, 38-40, 50, THE SANDMAN SPECIAL #1, and VERTIGO PREVIEW #1. Being nuts, I flipped between this volume and THE SANDMAN, VOLUME 7: BRIEF LIVES (Review HERE), reading the issues in the order they were originally published in. Should you do the same? How the hell should I know??? If you're as nuts as me, sure, go for it. Otherwise, I'm sure it wouldn't make one bit of difference.
Now that that's out of the way.....This is a collection of 9 "Done in one" stories, although a few of them will have repercussions down the road, particularly "Thermidor" and "Orpheus", both of which deal with Morpheus' son, Orpheus, and the first or which introduces readers to Lady Johanna Constantine, John Constantine's like-minded ancestor. We also catch up with Daniel, the child born in the dream realm, who will figure largely in the the upcoming volumes.
As always, the art is a mixed bag...even when there's a great artist, someone inevitably paired them up with a hideous inker. For the most part, the artistic pairings here work, especially Bryan Talbot and Stan Woch in "August", a tale of ancient Rome that has themes that also echo through "Ramadan", the stunning Neil Gaiman/P. Craig Russell collaboration that closes out the book.
If you haven't been reading THE SANDMAN, this probably wouldn't be a terrible place to pop in and get a feel for the book, but you really should start with Volume 1. Gaiman, like his indelible characters, just keeps getting better and better as the story goes on.....