Review – The Dreaming #1 (DC Vertigo)

Publisher: DC Vertigo
Writers: Simon Spurrier
Artwork: Bilquis Evely
Colours: Mat Lopes
Letters: Simon Bowland
Release Date: 5th September 2018

Leading on from the amazing Sandman Universe #1, The Dreaming is a continuation of that same stunning return to the world of Vertigo. Last issue we learnt of Daniel The Dream Lord’s abandonment of his title, leaving not just the inhabitants of the dream realm at a loss but the world itself cracking apart at the seams.

Here, the narration has shifted this time from Mathew to the poetic Lucien, the librarian and somewhat curator of the dream realm’s library. Introducing the issue, he tells of the ongoing problems caused by his master’s absence in a way that only one as educated as Lucien could put it.

Mysterious beings are coming out of the void, faceless and mindless, not really causing much concern other than the fact that no one knows where they’re coming from or exactly what they are. And while it’s certainly an interesting development, the creations of Morpheus are used to the unexpected and are going about their business as usual, unaware of the importance that only Lucien and Mathew are concerned about.

All but one, that is. The mysterious Dora, a (mostly) human picked up by Dream a long time ago for some unknown reason with abilities and needs that none of the other creatures possess. In a great nod to the Bowie-esque feel of the Universe she’s stolen one of the faceless and named it Ziggy, even painting the familiar colourful lightning bolt across the eye. And while she is content to traipse across dreams foraging for food and fornicating, her actions might end up putting the entire realm at risk.

Interestingly, Si Spurrier has delivered a first issue which both is and isn’t a Sandman story. The title does what it says on the tin, it’s purely about the world of Dreaming which in itself is fascinating enough. Both new and old characters interact in a way that drives this new story forward very firmly set in the parameters put in place by Gaiman and the rest of the writers of the original Vertigo stories.

The overarching theme is one of repercussions, shown to us in Sandman Universe #1, and you can tell that the story is meticulously placed in line with Lucifer and the other issues set to be released in the next few months. The introduction of Dora into the universe has added new aspects which bridge the gap between these issues, creating an interesting and cheeky to the point of hilarious character to read, whilst also giving well-known characters like Lucien and Matthew a chance to step into the spotlight in new roles they didn’t get a chance to fill when Morpheus was the focus of the story.

The beautiful art from Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes is once again blended with a solid script, complementing the infinite vastness and total randomness of the dream realm and hell landscapes. It all comes together to provide a hugely enjoyable reading experience, and one I’ll continue to fall in love with (like old Morpheus did all the time!) throughout the return of Vertigo’s Sandman Universe.

Rating: 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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