This week we march on through the Summer of Sandman with The Sandman: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman with art by Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, and Matt Wagner and published under the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics.
With this arc of The Sandman, we get a bigger sense that Gaiman has a lot in store for all the characters that he has introduced up to this point. References and allusions in the past come to the fore as we see a lot of characters make a return and several characters that have been mentioned before giving their grand entrance. The story begins with a meeting of the Endless family...well the ones that want to be known and they are told by their brother Destiny about an event that will profoundly change them. This ends up being Dream needing to rescue Nada from Hell, where he condemned her to remain for spurning his affections many, many years ago. In order to rescue her, he has to confront Lucifer who is his sworn enemy after an earlier story in the series. What follows are some twists and turns as Lucifer doesn't quite put up the fight that Dream expected and we see Dream is given a gift that is much more of a curse than a blessing. Eventually, we get to see Dream do that right thing, but not everyone is happy about the outcome.
Overall, Season of Mists is really good. The way that Gaiman describes each of the Endless and gives a real sense to what each one of them represents is very informative. The only downside to all the information is the way that it is given; in short prose pieces, where as some sort of illustrated story for each would have been a little more enjoyable. These are comic books after all. In the interest of getting to the meat of the story, I understand the decision he made, but it still would have been nice. And speaking of art, I have to say that so far, Kelley Jones is my favorite Sandman artist. This may change as the series moves along, but I love his sense of detail and how he adds so much character to everyone who is included. Anyway, this is a great collection and though the way the cover dress may suggest reading any of the trades in any order, this group definitely benefits from the stories before them. Keep that in mind. Talk to you next week with A Game Of You.