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The Dreaming #12 Review

A great reception is held for the envoys and ambassadors of the outer realms — but who greets them from the throne of tales?

Prepare yourself for an exploration of the land of dreams, new insight into strange characters, and a cliffhanger that will have you biting your nails right off. It’s just another issue of one of the best relaunches in the Sandman universe.

So what’s it about?

Read our preview.

Why does this matter?

The hunt for Sandman continues in The Dreaming #12, but things slow down a bit as the issue focuses on the new ruler of the Dreaming. The creature is a thing made from computers, and major revelations take place that will change what you think about the series.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Abel is such a great helper.
Credit: DC Comics

Much of this issue is narrated by the new ruler of the Dreaming, who is some kind of computer and also a self-proclaimed crazy person. It’s trying to make sense of the Dreaming for much of this issue, and learns a thing or two thanks to Abel attempting to fill it in on how things work. That includes ambassadors from other worlds who want to talk to the new leader. Si Spurrier continues to draw you into this vast and rich landscape both literally and figuratively, making this yet another feast of ideas. By the end of the issue, you’ll gather a new understanding of this strange and unpredictable ruler of the Dreaming as well as a better idea of what Sandman is up to. I fear the next issue may diverge from this narrative because you’ll be dying for more by the end.

This series continues to mix prose with comic storytelling quite well. Dotted throughout this issue are thoughts from the new leader of the Dreaming, who is attempting to maintain composure and understanding. This creature is clearly doing its best in a situation where it’s out of its element. You get the sense it wants to do the right thing even if it’s contemplating killing everything. You’re basically given the chance to sit inside the head of a mad god and that’s well articulated here. This issue also makes a grand statement about dreams in general that’s heartfelt and truthfully beautiful. Well done.

Bilquis Evely continues to do exceptional work with colors by Matt Lopes. There are some shocking art choices to literally raise your blood pressure which Evely pulls off splendidly. The use of color is incredible too, with some vivid and wild colors mixing to create a sense of chaos and otherworldliness. Evely also draws one of the prettiest double page layouts I’ve seen this year, drawing your eye from left, to right, to left again in a huge reveal about Sandman that’s beautiful, tragic, and magical.

What a spread.
Credit: DC Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

After spending quite a few issues in a row following Dora, the story switches rather dramatically to the Dreaming here. The plotting is jarring and somewhat out of left field, especially since it moves away from Dora’s story entirely (though she does appear in the issue). 

Is it good?

Another incredible issue that is beautiful, magical, and quite clearly making a statement about how plush comics can be.

The Dreaming #12
Is it good?
Another incredible issue that is beautiful, magical, and quite clearly making a statement about how plush comics can be.
New details emerge that could change everything
Great art that's magical, striking, and beautiful
The plot shifts dramatically from the flow of the last few issues

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