The Dreaming Vol. 1
One of four books expanding Neil Gaiman's acclaimed Sandman Universe. There is a place where gods are born and stories are spun. Today its walls lie slashed and bleeding. Twenty-three years after he was anointed as its master, the lord of dreams has inexplicably abandoned his domain.Lord Daniel's absence triggers a series of crimes and calamities that consume the lives of those already tangled in his fate. Until he is found, his realm's residents must protect its broken borders alone. But the most senior storytellers are tormented by invasive secrets, the warden Lucien is doubting his own mind, and beyond the gates, something horrific awaits with tooth and talon. Only Dora, the monstrous, finds opportunity in madness, stealing dreams for the highest bidder. But she has no idea how deep the danger lies. Meanwhile, in Daniel's gallery, something new is growing...Written by fan-favorite author Si Spurrier (Motherlands, Suicide Squad) with breathtaking art by standout artist Bilquis Evely (Batman, Wonder Woman). The first book in The Sandman Universe kicks off with fireworks as The Dreaming literally tears itself apart!The Sandman Universe is a new series of books curated by Neil Gaiman for DC Vertigo. Conjuring epic storytelling and immersing readers into the evolving world of the Dreaming, The Sandman Universe begins anew with four new ongoing series, existing in a shared universe, building upon Gaiman's New York Times best-selling series that lyrically weaved together stories of dreams and magic.Collects The Dreaming #1-6 and Sandman Universe Special #1

The Dreaming Vol. 1 Details

TitleThe Dreaming Vol. 1
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 11th, 2019
PublisherVertigo
ISBN-139781401291174
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels Comics

The Dreaming Vol. 1 Review

  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    That moody emo git Dream has buggered off on a jolly out of The Dreaming! And wouldn’t you Adam’n’Eve it, an ever-widening crack has suddenly appeared across the realm, the portal no longer keeps out danger and scores of strange blank people (“soggies”) are flooding the land. Coincidence – or just a clumsy Trump/wall metaphor? Anyhoo, Merv Pumpinhead’s taken it upon himself to find a new leader from a questionable source (though the name should’ve raised a red flag!): Judge Gallows. And who is t That moody emo git Dream has buggered off on a jolly out of The Dreaming! And wouldn’t you Adam’n’Eve it, an ever-widening crack has suddenly appeared across the realm, the portal no longer keeps out danger and scores of strange blank people (“soggies”) are flooding the land. Coincidence – or just a clumsy Trump/wall metaphor? Anyhoo, Merv Pumpinhead’s taken it upon himself to find a new leader from a questionable source (though the name should’ve raised a red flag!): Judge Gallows. And who is the Dreaming’s latest denizen – the mysterious dream outlaw Dora? So DC are having another punt at a new slew of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman spinoffs, starting with Simon Spurrier and Bilquis Evely’s The Dreaming, Volume 1: Pathways and Emanations, aaaannnddd – easy pun time – the book’ll put you to sleep! It really isn’t very interesting unfortunately. Lucien the Librarian, Matthew the Raven, Merv Pumpkinhead, Cain and Abel - the supporting cast of The Dreaming were the supporting cast for a reason and they haven’t suddenly become more interesting now they’re shoved into the spotlight. Judge Gallows (a really obscure DC character from a ‘60s horror anthology title) is a one-dimensional villain and his origin was so boring. Dora on the other hand is at least somewhat compelling. I don’t know if she’s being put forward as a possible replacement for Dream but she’d be a good pick. She has unique dream powers, she’s very empathetic to dreamers and she can handle herself in a fight, hulking out when she needs to. Evely’s character design for Dora is imaginative. In fact her art throughout is the most laudable aspect of the book – the pages are full of extremely creative, fun and zany imagery. Jae Lee’s covers were outstanding too (I guess Dave McKean’s done with Sandman cover art?). The story though is just so laborious and unengaging. The Dreaming starts to fall apart, though there don’t seem to be any real consequences to dreamers everywhere, and, really, so what anyway? Not the first time it’s happened and they’ve recovered just fine. It takes an age for Gallows to appear and when he does it turns into a predictable good vs evil fight, all the while overwritten in Spurrier’s unexciting prose. For a series basically trafficking in abstract concepts, he doesn’t have many interesting ideas to offer the reader. It might be pretty but The Dreaming, Volume 1: Pathways and Emanations is an ominously tedious beginning for this latest wave of Sandman spinoffs. Good comics from Vertigo these days? Dream on.
    more
  • Marti
    January 1, 1970
    This comic was a treat. I loved the story, I found it creepy and very engaging. I read it in an hour and I couldn't stop. The artwork is amazing, much like DC's dark style. There is little more to say, I really loved it and will definitely be reading the volumes to come.
    more
  • Artemy
    January 1, 1970
    After last year's underwhelming Sandman Special I wasn't expecting much from this series, but I usually like Si Spurrier's writing and I love Bilquis Evely's artwork, so I decided to check out the first volume of The Dreaming anyway. And I was pleasantly surprised!The series is a follow-up of sorts to Sandman as it follows the realm of the Dreaming and its various quirky inhabitants. Daniel, the new Dream, is missing, and the realm is in a state of flux without its master. There's also Dora, a n After last year's underwhelming Sandman Special I wasn't expecting much from this series, but I usually like Si Spurrier's writing and I love Bilquis Evely's artwork, so I decided to check out the first volume of The Dreaming anyway. And I was pleasantly surprised!The series is a follow-up of sorts to Sandman as it follows the realm of the Dreaming and its various quirky inhabitants. Daniel, the new Dream, is missing, and the realm is in a state of flux without its master. There's also Dora, a new resident of the realm, a woman without memories or identity who possesses strange powers and has a lot of rage. Many other inhabitants aren't too happy with her, especially Merv Pumpkinhead, so in absence of Daniel he summons another deity who he thinks can take care of the realm and get a tight grip on Dora's explosive behaviour. Things don't work out particularly well.So yeah, I thought this was really good! The book fits very organically in the Sandman universe, and I was happy to meet characters like Lucien, Cain and Abel, Merv Pumpkinhead and the Raven once again. Simon Spurrier definitely has his own voice and style, but he also somehow subtly channels that Neil Gaiman feel — reading The Dreaming to me felt almost exactly like reading Sandman did. Hypnotic, a little bit dizzying, but also completely engrossing and fascinating, and every time I finished an issue I felt exhausted, yet couldn't help but immediately start reading the next one.I was already a huge fan of Bilquis Evely after Greg Rucka's splendid Wonder Woman Rebirth run, and her artwork here looks just as spectacular. I absolutely adore the way she draws characters, but her wonky psychedelic environments of the realm is what really shines here. Visually this book was just as enjoyable to me as it was writing-wise.Non-Sandman fans probably won't find a lot to like here, but those who love Neil Gaiman's seminal comic will probably have a great time with The Dreaming, too. Simon Spurrier crafts a really fascinating story, and Bilquis Evely makes it look fantastic. I can't wait to see what's next for this series, and I especially want to know what exactly happened to Daniel and where and why he disappeared. Let's hope some of those questions will be answered in volume 2!
    more
  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalleyactual rating: 3.5I am still kind of unsure whether I want to round this up or down, but I did enjoy it overall so I think 4 stars is a fair rating. I have always had a very hit or miss relationship with the Sandman universe so I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. There are some blanks that I feel should have been filled in better [like WHY is Daniel leaving? Other than 'he's boring' lol], and other mys I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalleyactual rating: 3.5I am still kind of unsure whether I want to round this up or down, but I did enjoy it overall so I think 4 stars is a fair rating. I have always had a very hit or miss relationship with the Sandman universe so I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. There are some blanks that I feel should have been filled in better [like WHY is Daniel leaving? Other than 'he's boring' lol], and other mysteries that are being intentionally drawn out [WHAT is Dora?? I need to knooow!]. I liked how every issue kind of focused on a different narrator so we got a lot of different points of view on the unfolding situation [I would have loved to see more of Eve, but maybe she'll get a spotlight in a future issue]. I absolutely love Dora so I can't wait to see more of her. Yeah she's a total mess and not always a 'good' or likable person, but she is incredibly real and I love messy characters [especially when they're women, we so rarely get to be anything but 'perfect']. I do agree that the whole 'border' issue is a bit transparent and ham-fisted, but I'd rather read something obvious that comes down on the right side of the issue than something that is more subtle but ultimately much more insidious. A very interesting start and I'll definitely be checking out the next volume.
    more
  • Chris Lemmerman
    January 1, 1970
    Stop me if you've heard this one - Dream is missing, and The Dreaming is suffering. Sound familiar? It should. But this Dream isn't the one you're thinking of; Daniel is MIA, and that's left Lucien, Merv Pumpkinhead, and the other denizens of The Dreaming at a loss. As they struggle to keep their plane of existence in line...things...start to happen. And it'll only take one bad decision to resurrect a deadly villain whose intentions for their home are anything but pure.There are few writers I wo Stop me if you've heard this one - Dream is missing, and The Dreaming is suffering. Sound familiar? It should. But this Dream isn't the one you're thinking of; Daniel is MIA, and that's left Lucien, Merv Pumpkinhead, and the other denizens of The Dreaming at a loss. As they struggle to keep their plane of existence in line...things...start to happen. And it'll only take one bad decision to resurrect a deadly villain whose intentions for their home are anything but pure.There are few writers I would trust with Neil Gaiman's Sandman characters. There are even fewer writers HE would trust, I expect. But Simon Spurrier was born to write The Dreaming, and it shows on every page here. His focus shifts from character to character, giving The Dreaming a really lived in feel, and his patented sarcasm and crazy inner monologues make every issue a new treat, and each for different reasons.The state of The Dreaming in the wake of Daniel's absence makes things even more unpredictable than ever, but Spurrier leans on past continuity and the unwritten rules of The Endless to keep things moving in unexpected directions, with a conclusion that you think is zigging, but zags at the last minute to leave you scratching your head and begging to know what's going on in Spurrier's warped head.On the art front, Bilquis Evely's gorgeous art is strangely suitable for the ever-shifting locales of The Dreaming. I've always associated her with more rigid, down to earth type stuff after her Wonder Woman run, but she tackles The Dreaming in a manner that few artists would be able to manage. It is, quite literally, dreamy.The Dreaming is easily the strongest of the Sandman Universe books, and for good reason - the creative team are perfect, and they're not afraid to take risks even with these beloved characters. I cannot wait to see what they get up to next.
    more
  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    "There is a place where Gods are born.There is a place where a few ragged sounds can suggest a symphony.A place where pandemonium presents patterns.Where idle fancies turn to fornications and memories feign meaning.A place where—for as long as a sleeper can sleep—stories are spun." The Dreaming. I thought I'd seen the last of it when I recently read the final remaining volume on my shelf, but it turns out that the Sandman Universe has recently been expanded into a four-part line to celebrate Th "There is a place where Gods are born.There is a place where a few ragged sounds can suggest a symphony.A place where pandemonium presents patterns.Where idle fancies turn to fornications and memories feign meaning.A place where—for as long as a sleeper can sleep—stories are spun." The Dreaming. I thought I'd seen the last of it when I recently read the final remaining volume on my shelf, but it turns out that the Sandman Universe has recently been expanded into a four-part line to celebrate The Sandman's 30th anniversary with Neil's blessing, who wanted to give other authors the opportunity to play in his world, which changed how comics are written and seen forever.The Sandman Universe starts with a titular one-shot which kicks off four new story arcs, all overseen by Gaiman but written by new creative teams. Lord Daniel has abandoned the Dreaming, which is crumbling in his absence, while something new is slowly growing in the Endless' Gallery. Poor Lucien is losing his mind, Matthew the Raven tries to find the Lord of Dreams in vain, while the realm's other residents are desperately trying to keep it from decaying around them and fend off invaders coming through the widening cracks, and when that doesn't work, Merv Pumpkinhead takes the misguided initiative and finds someone new to put in charge of the place.I have a rule I very seldomly break, and it's that I never start reading a series while it's still ongoing. When this was put up on NetGalley as an instant download though, I couldn't resist checking it out ahead of publication on June 11th—and it taught me that reading comics off a screen is the literal worst, and that there's good reason why I should stick to my self-imposed rule and wait until a story arc is completed, because overall, this was decidedly unsatisfying.I was always quite fond of Matthew the Raven, but there's a reason that the Dreaming's residents were secondary characters in the original run, and putting them into the spotlight doesn't do them or the story any favors. I googled the villain when he showed up since I was a bit lost and wondering whether I was supposed to know who he was, and it turns out that he's a really obscure DC character who has appeared in a grand total of eighteen random issues since his first appearance in 1969. All this means that we have a cast of pretty one-dimensional characters driving the narrative, which never really takes off in these first six issues—Daniel is missing, but it's not the first time, and even though the Dreaming is falling apart, it doesn't seem to have any adverse effect on dreamers, so... what's the problem? I liked Dora's spunk, but the fact that after one whole volume we still don't know who or what she is was a bit annoying, and I felt like her character had... not few parallels to Delirium. This first collection builds up quite a few mysteries, but doesn't resolve any of them.I don't know, I guess I felt that the story was a bit messy and all over the place, and I didn't really connect with it. Don't get me wrong—some parts are very good and there's instances when Simon Spurrier really nails Neil's voice and narrative tone, but as a whole, you can tell that this didn't spring from Neil's mind. The best thing about it was Bilquis Evely's truly outstanding art. I did miss Dave McKean's covers, but I guess that if the story keeps going on in this lackluster way, it's best to have something separating it from the originals. I know Jae Lee from his work on Stephen King's Dark Tower comics at Marvel, and I don't find his very distinctive style suited to the Sandman world at all.A for effort, but I won't be in any rush to get my hands on the next volumes. This looked like the most promising of the four new arcs by far, so that's disappointing—but what do I know, this could be the slow-burning start of something wonderful yet.—————All my book reviews can be found here · Buy on BookDepository
    more
  • Etienne
    January 1, 1970
    I never read the original series, so maybe I would have a different opinion if I had. Anyway, this was below my expectations. I really like the art and the originality of the world. My problem was with the storyline, that try to be epic, but was a bit confuse in my opinion, and with a touch of humor that didn't please me! Not totally bad, but not as good as I thought this would be!
    more
  • Jason
    January 1, 1970
    I was really hoping I'd like this more than I did. It got off to a much better start than the previous The Dreaming series from the 90s, but it's not nearly on the same level of quality that earlier book had achieved by the time Caitlin R. Kiernan was stationed at the helm. This book introduces a few intriguing mysteries (Why did Daniel go? Who or what is Dora, exactly?) and I enjoyed getting a glimpse of one of the Endless realms we've not previously experienced. Unfortunately, what this first I was really hoping I'd like this more than I did. It got off to a much better start than the previous The Dreaming series from the 90s, but it's not nearly on the same level of quality that earlier book had achieved by the time Caitlin R. Kiernan was stationed at the helm. This book introduces a few intriguing mysteries (Why did Daniel go? Who or what is Dora, exactly?) and I enjoyed getting a glimpse of one of the Endless realms we've not previously experienced. Unfortunately, what this first story arc doesn't provide is much of anything by way of answers. I enjoyed Spurrier's new characters and thought they fit in quite well with the other denizens of the Dreaming. Dora has potential, but is still too much of an amnesiac blank slate to be all that compelling yet. Her visual design is fantastic though, especially when she goes full-out beast mode. Judge Gallows was awesome as a new nightmare who really feels he belongs among such as the Corinthian and Brute and Glob. He was easily my favorite part of the book. Spurrier did a great job of capturing the spirit of the other familiar Dreaming characters like Lucien, Matthew, and Merv Pumpkinhead. And now for the downside: this story really feels like it's spinning its wheels for most of the first arc, and when the mysterious narrator (whose narration I often found pompous and somewhat tedious) is finally revealed, the whole affair feels a bit lackluster. It could lead to interesting places, I suppose, but it hasn't really piqued my interest much. It probably doesn't help that it took so long for the reveal to finally arrive. The art by Bilquis Evely is astoundingly beautiful to look at, and it's because of this I found Abigail Larson's guest contributions for a few brief pages in chapter 5 to be distracting and off-putting due to the jarring change in style. It's not even so much that her art was in any way bad--but Bilquis Evely was THAT good. I would have gladly suffered a publishing delay to see Bilquis have illustrated those few pages herself. (And there's nothing about the story content in those pages that suggests the change in art was an intentional creative decision). I liked this volume okay, but so far it's mostly made me pine over the old Caitlin R. Kiernan material and at this point I feel more motivated to reread that series than continue forward with this one (this is typically not the desired effect of a reboot). I think I'll continue this for a while (especially with Evely doing the art), but for the flagship title of the new Sandman Universe stable of books, I expect more from this, and I am hoping that it soon gets to where I want it to be.
    more
  • James Lawner
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5*Whilst it was great to be back in the world of The Sandman, I felt a bit of a disconnect towards this (at least in terms of this first story arc). The characters were interesting, but the new character, Dora, left something to be desired and same thing with the villain, Judge Gallows (whom I did not know about prior to this). The artwork by Bilquis Evely was just stunning, but there was a point where the artwork changed a bit and it paled in comparison.Overall, this feels like the start of *3.5*Whilst it was great to be back in the world of The Sandman, I felt a bit of a disconnect towards this (at least in terms of this first story arc). The characters were interesting, but the new character, Dora, left something to be desired and same thing with the villain, Judge Gallows (whom I did not know about prior to this). The artwork by Bilquis Evely was just stunning, but there was a point where the artwork changed a bit and it paled in comparison.Overall, this feels like the start of something, but I do hope we get to see some updates on the other members of the Endless, because this series feels like the perfect opportunity for that, and given the other Sandman Universe titles, there could potentially be some big crossovers on the horizon.
    more
  • Cale
    January 1, 1970
    It's no Sandman, or even Lucifer, but then there wasn't really much chance it would be. But it doesn't disgrace Gaiman's creations, and it does provide a Dreaming that feels vaguely familiar even as it falls apart.Si Spurrier utilizes a number of the classic characters: some well, some not-so-much (but he even cautions in the text that characters are performing roles, which somewhat excuses people, like Merv, who are painfully out-of-character). The story is a bit heavy-handed in its metaphors a It's no Sandman, or even Lucifer, but then there wasn't really much chance it would be. But it doesn't disgrace Gaiman's creations, and it does provide a Dreaming that feels vaguely familiar even as it falls apart.Si Spurrier utilizes a number of the classic characters: some well, some not-so-much (but he even cautions in the text that characters are performing roles, which somewhat excuses people, like Merv, who are painfully out-of-character). The story is a bit heavy-handed in its metaphors about walling off outsiders and what happens when a leader is chosen out of fear. But some of the story beats are strong, and I find Dora intriguing. Lucien and Matthew felt most familiar, and Lucien's issues are easy to sympathize with. Overall, the story goes some unexpected places and has a couple very good moments, which help to balance out some of the parts that are bizarre or overwrought. The art on the balance was good, although the action scenes (and Dora's angry moments) sacrificed coherence for frenzy.All told, I'm not disappointed, but I'm not blown away either. It doesn't feel like a necessary part of the Sandman Universe at this point in time, but I can see that some of the seeds its planting have promising fruit. I think my advice on this would be to read it, but not yet. I'll wait until the story's a little more finished before I make a more comprehensive judgment. Because, as the story shows, judgment can easily go awry.
    more
  • Rory Wilding
    January 1, 1970
    Neil Gaiman has always commented about the possibility of more Sandman, and so to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the title, DC published a line of comic books under its Vertigo imprint. With each comic being overseen by Gaiman, but written by new creative teams, The Sandman Universe begins in a very similar manner as when DC began their Rebirth initiative, by launching with a one-shot issue about this obscure universe, setting up the narrative of the four comics.Please click here for my full Neil Gaiman has always commented about the possibility of more Sandman, and so to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the title, DC published a line of comic books under its Vertigo imprint. With each comic being overseen by Gaiman, but written by new creative teams, The Sandman Universe begins in a very similar manner as when DC began their Rebirth initiative, by launching with a one-shot issue about this obscure universe, setting up the narrative of the four comics.Please click here for my full review.
    more
  • Lely Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I had very mixed feelings reading this. After reading previous graphic novels from the Sandman Universe, this wasn't what I expected. My interest just wasn't caught and it was difficult to focus on to complete. The art was beautiful, but it was often difficult to follow what was happening.Thank you to NetGalley, DC Entertainment, and Vertigo for providing me with an ARC.
    more
  • Michael Cook
    January 1, 1970
    One of the most appealing parts of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series was that it was one of those rare long-running comic books that had a definitive end. It ran for a total of 75 issues and, for a while, that was it. Over the years, Gaiman had returned a few times to the universe in order to pen a short spin-off here or a short prequel comic there, but there had never really been anything major that expanded on the world of The Sandman - aside from Mike Carey's equally long-running Lucifer series, s One of the most appealing parts of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series was that it was one of those rare long-running comic books that had a definitive end. It ran for a total of 75 issues and, for a while, that was it. Over the years, Gaiman had returned a few times to the universe in order to pen a short spin-off here or a short prequel comic there, but there had never really been anything major that expanded on the world of The Sandman - aside from Mike Carey's equally long-running Lucifer series, spun off from the character's few appearances in the main Sandman run. So, when it was announced that Gaiman would be teaming up with Vertigo to launch The Sandman Universe, a collection of four series inspired by and expanding upon the original Sandman run, I was a bit skeptical. Of the four titles that were revealed, there were two that interested me the most: Simon Spurrier's The Dreaming and Dan Watters' Lucifer. As The Dreaming was the first of the four books to launch, it'll be the first of the four that I'll cover here. In volume one of The Dreaming, Spurrier takes us back into the realm of the Dreaming where Daniel, the current Lord of Dreams, has disappeared just as things are going wrong. And it only gets crazier from there.Neil Gaiman's original Sandman series was known for its dense plots and surreal imagery and The Dreaming beautifully continues that trend. From the very first page of this graphic novel, readers are assaulted with a barrage of crazy, fantastical imagery, accompanied by an immediately dense plot. To be totally honest, I'm not sure any description I could provide for this graphic novel would do the plot any real justice. Essentially, Daniel has gone missing and Lucien, Marv, and Matthew are trying to cope in his absence. Meanwhile, a new being has appeared in the Dreaming - Dora - who is angry at her perceived betrayal by Dream and seeking for her memories. All of these characters' fates soon become intertwined as the Dreaming begins to fracture in the absence of Dream. In order to restore some kind of order to the realm, Marv unleashes Judge Gallows, a nightmare previously imprisoned by Dream after having gone a bit too far with his goal of fairly judging people. Naturally, this blows up in Marv's face and everything just gets worse and worse.Much of Spurrier's plot reminded me of the way that Gaiman's original run was as much a story about storytelling as it was a story in its own right. In The Dreaming, there are frequent meta-comments about who is narrating at any given moment and it's really interesting. The Dreaming acts as an ending and a beginning both in a metatextual way and in a practical, narrative way. It's the ending of the Sandman universe as we previously knew it and the beginning of The Sandman Universe as it will now be. In the context of the story, it's the ending of the Dreaming as the characters knew it and the beginning of something new. This combination of these elements makes for a really interesting read. Plus, the plot itself unfurls in a very interesting and surprising way. Like The Sandman, The Dreaming is largely character-driven - here, Dora's quest to learn her identity and come into her own makes up a large part of the character drama in the story, alongside Lucien's crisis of faith and strong desire to find Dream and return him to power before everything can end. The character arcs are every bit as compelling as the plot and it's nice to get to see all of these characters in The Dreaming take a more central role in this series than they were able to do in the original Sandman series.Not only is Spurrier's plot really good, but Evely's art (and Lopes' colors) are stunning. The Sandman is known for having a specific, surreal look and Evely and Lopes' work perfectly fits into that established universe without feeling like a mere imitation of the work of all the artists from the original run. The characters still look like readers remember them looking, but Evely has clearly brought her own style to the artwork here - as she should! The artwork and the colors really mesh together in such a visually interesting way that you're immediately dragged into this world. Lopes' colors pop when they need to pop and they're more muted when they need to be muted; Lopes uses his colors to elevate every scene he's working on and the combination of his colors and Evely's art just really worked for me. This book was just as beautiful to look at as it was to read. The combination of all three of these creatives was a combination that worked really, really well.All in all, The Dreaming: Pathways and Emanations is a really good start to The Sandman Universe. It confidently kicks open the walls of this universe, allowing it to expand in new directions that reach far outside of the confines of Gaiman's original run. The creative team behind the book understand this universe well and know how to tell really engaging stories within it. It's really nice to see all of these side characters from The Sandman have a chance to shine on their own, outside of Dream's shadow, though I am also intrigued at the little hints of Dream's current situation that are peppered throughout this first volume. It appears that the next volume will take us a bit further into Dream's story and I'm equally excited to see how this creative team handles that storyline while continuing to expand on all that's happening within the realm of the Dreaming. The Dreaming is a definite must-read for fans of The Sandman and it's a very worthy successor and continuation of this universe.
    more
  • Pop Bop
    January 1, 1970
    The First of Four New Sandman Universe SeriesO.K., here's the deal as I understand it. There are four new series that are spinoffs of Neil Gaiman's Sandman Universe. Each shares and expands on the Sandman Universe and is set in the "evolving" world of the Dreaming. Don't know how much Gaiman is involved, (the books are claimed to be "from the mind of...", or "curated by"), but there seem to be more and more books out there that use Gaiman's name and stories but in which he otherwise does not see The First of Four New Sandman Universe SeriesO.K., here's the deal as I understand it. There are four new series that are spinoffs of Neil Gaiman's Sandman Universe. Each shares and expands on the Sandman Universe and is set in the "evolving" world of the Dreaming. Don't know how much Gaiman is involved, (the books are claimed to be "from the mind of...", or "curated by"), but there seem to be more and more books out there that use Gaiman's name and stories but in which he otherwise does not seem that much involved.I've now read the beginning of the "Dreaming" series, (Volume 1, "Pathways and Emanations"), and the beginning of the"Lucifer" series, (Volume 1, "The Infernal Comedy"). Don't be confused. While each Volume collects the first 6 issues of their respective series, each Volume also starts with the same "Sandman Universe Special #1". This Special lays the groundwork for all four of the spinoffs. At first I thought I had the same book twice over, until I realized that they were different books, but just started with the same 48 page one-shot. It appears the two other spinoff series, ("Books of Magic" and "House of Whispers"), will open the same way. The Special follows the raven Mathew as he confirms that the Dreamer has abandoned the Dreamland, and introduces and sets the stage for each of the four new series. For what it's worth, so far the Special one-shot has been my favorite part of this whole project.Each of the series has a different writer; liking or disliking one won't tell you that much about the others. So, with that background, (hah! I'm doing the same opening for each series review), let's turn to "Dreaming", the first of the four new Volumes. This series features Dora, a creature of indeterminate nature, and backstory, who harbors a grievance against the Dreamer and carries a massive chip on her shoulder. Her tale is set in and about the actual Dreamland and she interacts mostly with familiar characters, (like Lucien the Librarian and Merv Pumpkinhead). Dora can leave and re-enter the Dreamland at will, and so we follow her story while checking back in to the Dreamland at regular intervals, mainly to see how Lucien is coping with the absence of the Dreamer and the apparent collapse of the Dreamland.Lots going on, of course, with everyone running around trying to protect the Dreamland. We take an extended detour into "chaos leads to fascism" territory. A recurring line, (it appears dozens of times), is some variation of "stability requires far more effort to restore than to disrupt". If you want you can go metaphor crazy, what with a Dreamland "Homeland", faceless "soggies" sneaking across the border, jobs at risk to said soggies, external terror threats multiplying, no one competent in charge, the shutting of the Gate and reinforcing the Wall around Dreamland, and so on. Ultimately the smarmy authoritarian Judge Gallows shows up to repel the "foreigners". It gets pretty heavy-handed, and not in any particularly illuminating way. Luckily, the political commentary ultimately circles back to the resurgence of Dora, and her butt kicking, and this gets us back to more familiar Sandman/Endless themes. But at points it's a real slog.Despite the transparent soapboxing I thought there was a lot to like here. It almost goes without saying that the artwork is the star here. Lots to look at and admire, muscular and dreamy. Dora is strong enough to carry the brunt of the tale, and while the Judge Gallows part is too long, it has its moments. Merv Pumpkinhead, the aggrieved white middle class stand-in, gets old fast. The sly humor that usually marks Dreamland stories ebbs and flows, since it has to be worked in around the political lesson. Enough threads are tied up to make the end satisfying, while enough loose threads are left to keep the reader interested in where the next series story arc will go. So, at least for me, while this isn't Sandman it generally felt close enough to be worth keeping an eye on. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
    more
  • Shannon Appelcline
    January 1, 1970
    Once upon a time, Neil Gaiman completed his run of the Sandman and was followed by The Dreaming, originally a mediocre anthology comic that gained some depth when Caitlín R. Kiernan took over for the latter two-thirds of the run, telling a coherent story that made great use of the secondary characters of the Dreaming.Not only is this comic not that, but it's a reboot that ignores the original Dreaming comic. (Which is a crying shame, but Gaiman had already proven unwilling to adopt the changes t Once upon a time, Neil Gaiman completed his run of the Sandman and was followed by The Dreaming, originally a mediocre anthology comic that gained some depth when Caitlín R. Kiernan took over for the latter two-thirds of the run, telling a coherent story that made great use of the secondary characters of the Dreaming.Not only is this comic not that, but it's a reboot that ignores the original Dreaming comic. (Which is a crying shame, but Gaiman had already proven unwilling to adopt the changes that it introduced to continuity.)So what do we get in this new comic? A whole series of mysteries (why has Daniel abandoned the Dreaming? what new God is approaching the realm?) and at least one secret (who or what is Dora? And why does no one else comment on that "D"?), all embedded in the Dream realm.Spurrier is generally a strong writer, and he's soon able to write the Dreaming characters believably. He also makes good use of the storytelling aspect of the realm by having different characters narrate different issues, which is fun. The introduction of Judge Gallows is also great. Spurrier is less successful with the plot. It spins its wheels through at least some of the issues, and by the end of this whole volume he's at best started to resolve one of his mysteries, leaving the rest for the future. Compare to the original Sandman, and it's obvious how decompressed Spurrier's story is. I'm also unconvinced by the cliffhanger revelation of the final page, but we'll see how it plays out.Really, 3.5 stars, and probably improving over the course of the volume.
    more
  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    Warnings: mentions (and visual depiction) of lynching and slavery, physical violence, xenophobia and allusions to the migrant crisis, some nudityI'll admit, I didn't have any ideas about the set-up of the Sandman universe (besides knowing of its existence) before going into this book, but since these are new stories set in it, I thought to give it a chance to see how it fares for a person who is coming to this universe for the first time. The story opens on the librarian (and current warden) of Warnings: mentions (and visual depiction) of lynching and slavery, physical violence, xenophobia and allusions to the migrant crisis, some nudityI'll admit, I didn't have any ideas about the set-up of the Sandman universe (besides knowing of its existence) before going into this book, but since these are new stories set in it, I thought to give it a chance to see how it fares for a person who is coming to this universe for the first time. The story opens on the librarian (and current warden) of Dreaming, Lucien, who is trying to keep things running in absence of their lord. The first chapter had introductions to the three other stories, and then continues with the plot in Dreaming, which is starting to show literal cracks and the rise of a new power. The instability brought about by the changes in their world prompts some to look for direction in new places, with disastrous results. A tyrant rises to claim the throne of Dreaming for himself, and to torment its people, while also being self-righteous about it. Meanwhile, Dora, a mysterious goddess of a being, is lost without her memories, and rebels against the rules of Dreaming, until the time comes for her to save it. Does the series make sense for someone who is not acquainted with the universe? Yes and no. There are some things that take a while to sink in, but the book does try to keep you informed of the backstory relevant to the current plotline so it doesn't always feel like you are missing things. Sure, I am curious about certain other things, but I guess I can always go to the source and read them (maybe someday). As a new series in an established universe, it does a good job of not alienating new readers. As for the artwork in this book, it is vibrant and beautiful and does a great job of depicting the changing circumstances of Dreaming into the design and coloring itself. I must admit, though, that the couple of pages that were done by another artist and shoved in between felt a bit odd, especially because they made no narrative sense and the style was entirely different in design. Verdict: it is a series that I'm excited to read more of. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Vertigo, via Netgalley.
    more
  • Harry Jahnke
    January 1, 1970
    When I first finished the series, back in the ancient times known as high school, I was dying for more. Morpheus had just died and was replaced by this new guy called Daniel. I desperately wanted to know about him. What kind of Dream was he? Was he like Morpheus or was he less of an asshole? Did his brothers and sisters accept him? I looked everywhere for more Sandman. Here and there I found a few standalone spin off stories, most of which featured Dream as a supporting character and always, alw When I first finished the series, back in the ancient times known as high school, I was dying for more. Morpheus had just died and was replaced by this new guy called Daniel. I desperately wanted to know about him. What kind of Dream was he? Was he like Morpheus or was he less of an asshole? Did his brothers and sisters accept him? I looked everywhere for more Sandman. Here and there I found a few standalone spin off stories, most of which featured Dream as a supporting character and always, always about Morpheus. And so, I waited. Then this series was announced! All of my questions answered! We're back in the Dreaming, baby! Neil Gaiman didn't write it but who cares, right?? I finally get a taste of what I've been pining after for nine whole years...!Well, yes and no. The story doesn't really focus on Daniel at all. It actually spends most of it's time exploring the other characters of the Dreaming; especially how they deal with a crisis. I.e. Dream has left the realm...again. Daniel is hinted at and there's a big cliffhanger of an ending but for the most part, this isn't his story...and I'm super ok with that. It makes sense to me to have the story be about the supporting cast of the Dreaming because the Sandman series was really all about Morpheus. And yeah, I didn't really get my Daniel fix but I feel like we don't really need to. We already know Dream as a character. We've seen him rise and fall and fall in love and go on adventures with his crazy sister...he's had his time. I enjoyed this immensely and can't wait to see where it goes in the next volume and to check out all the other books within the Sandman universe. Totally worth the wait.
    more
  • Krys
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review.***I enjoyed jumping back into the Sandman universe, it’s been a long while since I’ve read Sandman so I’d forgotten how utterly bizarre and magical the world of the dreaming and the characters there in are. If was fun seeing some old faces and the introduction of Dora I think was a great addition to the world. Her mystery was probably the best part of the book.The Dreaming Vol. 1 has you seeing t Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review.***I enjoyed jumping back into the Sandman universe, it’s been a long while since I’ve read Sandman so I’d forgotten how utterly bizarre and magical the world of the dreaming and the characters there in are. If was fun seeing some old faces and the introduction of Dora I think was a great addition to the world. Her mystery was probably the best part of the book.The Dreaming Vol. 1 has you seeing the world falling apart, Lord Daniel has fled and it is having repercussions on the world. Merv makes questionable choices in light of the knowledge he gains, Lucien is having a rough time of it, Matthew the all knowing raven has some information to share, and Dora has decided she doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of her. A bit like a honey badger.A lot happens and is being set up for future storylines. There is another, god?!?, awakening in place of Daniels absence and another runs amok forcing control and order on the inhabitants that doesn’t fit the world at all. Judge Gallows was a bit over the top and not my favorite part of the book but I’m curious to see where this is going to all go.
    more
  • Wayne McCoy
    January 1, 1970
    'The Dreaming Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations (the Sandman Universe)'by Simon Spurrier with art by Bilquis Evely is a kind of spinoff of the acclaimed Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. This is not a good place to start in this world. You need to have some familiarity with what has happened before.Lord Daniel, aka Sleep, has gone missing. He's actually been missing for a while and librarian Lucien has done a fair job of covering it up, but the cracks are starting to show. Literally. The dreamworld i 'The Dreaming Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations (the Sandman Universe)'by Simon Spurrier with art by Bilquis Evely is a kind of spinoff of the acclaimed Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. This is not a good place to start in this world. You need to have some familiarity with what has happened before.Lord Daniel, aka Sleep, has gone missing. He's actually been missing for a while and librarian Lucien has done a fair job of covering it up, but the cracks are starting to show. Literally. The dreamworld is falling apart and needs a new leader. Mervyn Pumpkinhead thinks he knows better (he doesn't), so he finds the forbodingly named Judge Gallows and sets him loose. Now the only thing that might set things right (or even stranger) is newcomer Dora with her monstrous temper.The art is really good, but, unfortunately, the story had a hard time keeping my attention. Some of the narrative just kind of drones on and on. I'm still in for more of this series though, and there were things to like in it. Especially Dora.I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I love the original Sandman series. The stories were layered with characters that I adored. It was nice to see Merv again, I will admit, but aside from him this volume lacked much of the spark of the originals. Dora was a welcome addition, but the rest of the characters fell a bit flat for me. The plot didn't feel high stakes enough for me - yes, the dreaming may be torn apart, but I didn't feel any urgency about the situation. Judge Gallows was over the top, and I found myself just rolling my e I love the original Sandman series. The stories were layered with characters that I adored. It was nice to see Merv again, I will admit, but aside from him this volume lacked much of the spark of the originals. Dora was a welcome addition, but the rest of the characters fell a bit flat for me. The plot didn't feel high stakes enough for me - yes, the dreaming may be torn apart, but I didn't feel any urgency about the situation. Judge Gallows was over the top, and I found myself just rolling my eyes at him non-stop. I have no clue why they would dredge him up for this situation. I would have rather the focus been on where Daniel toodled off to and what was going on with Dora. We do get some surface info on Dora, but not enough for me.The pacing of the story was also incredibly slow. Normally, I'll devour graphic novels, but I found myself reading this in shorter sections before I would get a bit frustrated with the pacing and take a break from it. Overall, I'm a bit disappointed. I'm not sure how dedicated I am to finishing the series. There wasn't really enough to intrigue me in the first volume. 
    more
  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    The Dreaming, Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations by Spurrier, Gaiman, et. al. is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read in early June.Whoaaaa, it's eyepoppingly colorful and detailed, as epic in appearance as it is in content with its giant cast of characters who live in a kind of decadent OlympusValhalla called The Dreaming: a librarian Lucien assisted by a jack o’scarecrow named Mervyn; Dora, who is next to the dying in their last moments and can go a bit off the handle; The Alligator King of L The Dreaming, Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations by Spurrier, Gaiman, et. al. is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read in early June.Whoaaaa, it's eyepoppingly colorful and detailed, as epic in appearance as it is in content with its giant cast of characters who live in a kind of decadent OlympusValhalla called The Dreaming: a librarian Lucien assisted by a jack o’scarecrow named Mervyn; Dora, who is next to the dying in their last moments and can go a bit off the handle; The Alligator King of Louisiana; Lucifer, the ageless ancient prince of hell; Balam, the hypermasculine, imposing, huge duke of hell; ominous, olde Western Judge Gallows (so much so, you can hear the reedy sigh of wind through a harmonica), who challenges The Dreaming and seeks to attack its inhabitants; and the simple-spoken Ziggy, who’s in similar cahoots with Mervyn.
    more
  • Dean
    January 1, 1970
    For The Sandman’s 30th Anniversary, a return to The Dreaming. The Dreaming was, to be fair, one of the lesser books of the Vertigo line, though I always enjoyed the character. Merv Pumpkinhead, Lucien the Librarian, Matthew the Raven, Cain and Abel were all fun characters. They are all back, along with new character Dora. The one person not back is Daniel, the current Lord of Dreams, who has gone missing, and The Dreaming is falling apart because of it. Spurrier and Evely’s first trade collectio For The Sandman’s 30th Anniversary, a return to The Dreaming. The Dreaming was, to be fair, one of the lesser books of the Vertigo line, though I always enjoyed the character. Merv Pumpkinhead, Lucien the Librarian, Matthew the Raven, Cain and Abel were all fun characters. They are all back, along with new character Dora. The one person not back is Daniel, the current Lord of Dreams, who has gone missing, and The Dreaming is falling apart because of it. Spurrier and Evely’s first trade collection is very good, tying together the old and new really well, a dash of vintage Vertigo with a dash of new ideas. The art complements the story perfectly.A reboot/ relaunch that is well worth it. Recommended.
    more
  • Molly Lazer
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure about this one. Anyone who wasn't already familiar with the Sandman Universe and the Dreaming (the place and characters) would be totally lost here, but luckily I am not in that camp. I understood what was going on, but I can't say I was hugely invested in it. The villain was SO reprehensible that it kind of turned me off, and there are a lot of unanswered questions that are essential to understanding the basics of the story being told (though hopefully these will be addressed in fu I'm not sure about this one. Anyone who wasn't already familiar with the Sandman Universe and the Dreaming (the place and characters) would be totally lost here, but luckily I am not in that camp. I understood what was going on, but I can't say I was hugely invested in it. The villain was SO reprehensible that it kind of turned me off, and there are a lot of unanswered questions that are essential to understanding the basics of the story being told (though hopefully these will be addressed in future volumes). That said, the new character Dora is intriguing, and I am excited to learn more about her. So I suppose I'll continue on with this series, for her.
    more
  • Dana Binkley
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, I enjoyed The Dreaming, Vol 1...it revisited some of the old Sandman nostalgia, but is definitely taking it into a new direction. I enjoyed meeting new characters, and revisiting old ones. The first volume in this series definitely introduces a lot of new mysteries, which I am excited to uncover with future releases. I feel like this comic borrowed a lot from the Preacher comics, in part, though, so some of the originality was lost on me. I am hoping that the overall, broad brushstrokes Overall, I enjoyed The Dreaming, Vol 1...it revisited some of the old Sandman nostalgia, but is definitely taking it into a new direction. I enjoyed meeting new characters, and revisiting old ones. The first volume in this series definitely introduces a lot of new mysteries, which I am excited to uncover with future releases. I feel like this comic borrowed a lot from the Preacher comics, in part, though, so some of the originality was lost on me. I am hoping that the overall, broad brushstrokes of mythology that is Gaiman's hallmark will be stamped into these comics via his association...but only time will tell. So far, pretty good.
    more
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman and The Sandman Universe, so I was very eager to read the new spinoff series curated by Gaiman in honour of Sandman's 30th anniversary. Simon Spurrier does a great job of the writing (which still feels very Gaiman-esque) and Bilquis Evely's art is simply stunning - creative, dark, and detailed. It was great to reunite with many old characters from the Dreaming as well as to meet new characters. I also liked the way in which other stories from the parallel collections I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman and The Sandman Universe, so I was very eager to read the new spinoff series curated by Gaiman in honour of Sandman's 30th anniversary. Simon Spurrier does a great job of the writing (which still feels very Gaiman-esque) and Bilquis Evely's art is simply stunning - creative, dark, and detailed. It was great to reunite with many old characters from the Dreaming as well as to meet new characters. I also liked the way in which other stories from the parallel collections were seeded into the narrative. I'll definitely be reading Lucifer, House of Whispers and Books of Magic as well.
    more
  • Jessica Woods
    January 1, 1970
    The Dreaming Vol.1 shares the first 50 pages or so with the other stories in "The Sandman Universe" before the true story of the dreaming really becomes the focus of the story. Lord of Dreams is gone and in his absence the Dreaming is falling apart, cracking and breaking. A battle breaks out between the creatures of the Dreaming and monsters to rule all of the Dreaming. Strange and unexpected, the story is all over the place with the paranormal and myths. The art is perfect for the story and exp The Dreaming Vol.1 shares the first 50 pages or so with the other stories in "The Sandman Universe" before the true story of the dreaming really becomes the focus of the story. Lord of Dreams is gone and in his absence the Dreaming is falling apart, cracking and breaking. A battle breaks out between the creatures of the Dreaming and monsters to rule all of the Dreaming. Strange and unexpected, the story is all over the place with the paranormal and myths. The art is perfect for the story and expresses the mood expertly. Creepy and weird for an enjoyably paranormal graphic novel. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
    more
  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    Alright. So I adore Sandman, and this feels so very much like the core of what you expect to get when you read Sandman. So if you have read Sandman and are wanting more this is for you. Seeing some of your favorite characters from the previous comics was a nice touch as well. Cain and Abel are always a delight, and I enjoyed seeing a new take on their tale. Morpheus is still a pain in the ass as well, which is to be expected at this point I guess.
    more
  • Nathaniel Darkish
    January 1, 1970
    I've been worried ever since I heard about the Sandman Universe-- it just didn't seem to me like other writers would be able to tackle Gaiman's insane, nonsensical, beautiful world in a way that felt authentic.Thankfully, I was wrong. This book both nailed the aesthetic and the narrative tone of its predecessor while being fresh and new at the same time. I really liked this a lot and can't wait to dive into what else the Sandman Universe is offering.
    more
  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    As the Dreaming finds itself without a lord for the second time in recent history, Lucien, Merv, Matthew, and company do what they must to preserve the realm, and all begin to crack beneath the strain. Uncomfortably relevant in today's political environment, The Dreaming relaunch weaves a tale that is both intriguing and familiar. I am curious to see what becomes of Daniel/Dream, Dora, and the rest of the crew in future installments.
    more
  • Theediscerning
    January 1, 1970
    "Wouldn't want yer audience gettin' bored." So says someone about halfway in this. But it was too late – that audience, me, was already bored. I plodded on, regardless, but all I found was a well-drawn head comic. So if that was what they wanted – to recreate the days of 70s spliffed-up bollux, with stories that make no sense and only appeal to junkies' inner minds like wow man – then they succeeded. If they wanted a cogent, coherent narrative, then they failed miserably.
    more
Write a review