Publisher: DC Vertigo
Writers: Simon Spurrier
Artwork: Abigail Larson
Colours: Quinton Winter
Letters: Simon Bowland
Release Date: 6th March 2019
Every dream is unique, each with its own distinctive tone and hidden meanings calling at you from your unconscious. Just like its namesake, the latest issue of The Dreaming delivers a compete change of pace from the cliff-hanger of last month’s chapter. And after the foreshadowing a few issues ago, we relocate from the Bowie-esque Neverworld to slap bang in the middle of picturesque Brighton.
It really wouldn’t be Brighton without a tale that matches the bittersweet melody of the city’s own famous inhabitant and chain-smoking genius Nick Cave. And just like a Bad Seeds song, this issue flows, blends and blurs with the wisp of cigarette smoke and taste of a twenty deck chain smoked the night before.
Without a single mention of what has gone on before now the story is opened with another member of Vertigo alumni, Rose Walker, as she joins another familiar face to regale them with her current predicament. Ever since a long forgotten deal 30 years ago she hasn’t aged at all, going from one heart-breaking love to the next in a seemingly unending pattern, all while still caring for her mother and daughter. That is however until she meets a strange white figure who seems to change all that. Like her, this man is not touched by time and like her he is a slave to love. But knowing that her heart is destined to be broken she does what any loving mother would. She introduces him to her daughter and a whirlwind romance unfolds.
It looks like Morpheus is still very much alive and well in the form of his reincarnation/son Daniel, who is just as much of a fool when it comes to issues of the heart as his father. And just like his father he has put himself, his siblings and existence itself at risk, all while blinded by love.
Simon Spurrier has succeeded brilliantly in this seamless transition from one story to the next, with a continuation of the teases of the previous arc and the same kind of classic melancholic romance that made Gaiman’s Dreamlord so iconic. To that point, Abigail Larson is a great choice of artist for this new beginning and new setting for The Dreaming, beautifully recreating the dreamy landscape of Brighton with its escapist nature for the population of fleeing Londoners (and, it seems, supernatural creatures).
If Bilquis Evely drew the nightmares that The Dreaming had become then Larson has provided us with the dream of love becoming a reality as the perfect counterpart. The lighter colours, softer outlines and painful smiles fit like a perfect puzzle piece in this mystical, magical retelling of the broken hearts we’ve all felt at some point in our lives.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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