Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Dreaming #4 Review and **SPOILERS**


Securing Our Ethereal Borders

Written By: Simon Spurrier 
Illustrated By: Bilquis Evely 
Colors By: Mat Lopes 
Letters By: Simon Bowland 
Cover By: Jae Lee & June Chung 
Edited By: Molly Mahan 
Associate Editor: Amedeo Turturro 
Assistant Editor: Maggie Howell 
Executive Editor: Mark Doyle 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: December 5, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Now that Judge Gallows is in charge of the Dreaming, I wonder if he’s set up road blocks to catch drunk drivers? Seems like something a Judge would implement first. I think it’s probably because they see so many of ‘em in court. But then…one would think they’d want to relax drunk driving laws to clear the courts’ backlogs. I can’t call it. Have a look at my review of The Dreaming #4, and maybe things will become clearer.


Explain It!

Alright you Dream-time, lily-livered pinkos! Judge Gallows is in charge of this fractured stinkhole, and that means we have entered the era of Law & Order! First item on the menu: secure our borders! Hup! Hup! Step lively now! They’ve run literal barbed wire and placed traps at the gates to the Dreaming, it’s adorable. But keeping infiltrators out isn’t the only thing, no, they’ve also got to make an example of the interlopers already within! To that end, Judge Gallows has secured a Baku, which is a multi-colored monster in a box that eats things in one gulp. How about that? What a wacky world. Incidentally, the thing that it eats in one bite is Dora’s sentient “blank,” Ziggy. 
Lucien is visibly cowed by the prowess of Judge Gallows, and asks Matthew to go and give Dora a pep talk; they’ll be needing her dream-hopping help. Meanwhile, he’s totally subservient to Judge Gallows, who is a pretty mean boss, all things told. When asked, Lucien gives up all he knows about Morpheus’ siblings, the Endless—you know, that dysfunctional family of weirdos from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman—and further to that, even shows him that the frame which held Dream’s sigil is…becoming something else! 
While Cain has a Vision Quest with the cubist sculpture that popped from a crevasse a couple of issues ago, Judge Gallows lays his hands on Destiny’s sigil and asks for his audience. While Lucien holds Dream’s sigil, Dora comes out of nowhere in beast mode and attacks Judge Gallows! He’s not too bothered by this, he just tells her that she’s not real and Dora becomes a whimpering kitten again. Come on, didn’t Matthew the Raven’s wise words have any effect? Judge Gallows sees Lucien’s deception, so Lucien is able to stoke Dora’s ego just enough that she zips them into another dimension…or something. It’s just blank whiteness, really. But then she takes them someplace else, at Lucien’s suggestion: the real of Destruction of the Endless, who vacated his post a long time ago! It’s looks terrific here, like some kind of E.C. Segar explosion, all puffy clouds and flying bits. 
This issue is a pretty good time! I liked seeing some evidence of Judge Gallows’ cruelty and more of Dora’s vulnerability, though it seems a little silly that she could be reduced by the concept that she isn’t real twice. I’d think she either worked through that with therapy, or she’d still be locked in a cage outside of her house tree. I thought Cain’s journey through self-derealization was okay, it definitely added a suitable “B-story” to keep things moving, and it seems like that cubist sculpture will become the new sibling of the Endless, perhaps to replace Dream. So that’s nice. While I normally think that (mostly) blank pages are a bit of a cop-out, the rendering of Destruction’s leaving spot, as well is the extremely high quality of the artwork throughout, means I’ll give it a pass. You won’t have had to read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to get this issue, but I wouldn’t hop on here. I’d suggest you go find the previous three before getting bizzay with this.

Bits and Pieces:

The Judge is in! Let the fun begin! And by "fun," I mean soul-crushing fascism and xenophobia. Lucien takes a big risk in the face of losing the Dreaming, and Cain goes through some growing pains of his own. A nice job in bringing everything to a simmer.

8/10
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2 comments:

Ruben said...

Easily and 8.5 or 9 for me. This story is a blast so far. I didn't expect the Judge to be so ruthless or Lucian to have a clever hail marry plot to pull the helm away. Throw in Destruction's realm, which I don't remember seeing in Gaiman's run, and I'm in.

Reggie Hemingway said...

Destruction's realm didn't look like that in Gaiman's series! I guess this is just the spot that he "left." I remember a scene or two in Destruction's realm, it was positively idyllic. Very lush and green.