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Sandman, Tom 7: Pora mgieł

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Władca Snów otrzymał od Lucyfera Klucz do Piekieł. Postanawia go oddać temu, kto okaże się go godzien. Do pałacu Sandmana przyjeżdżają bogowie oraz postacie znane z mitów i legend. Każdy z nich przywozi niezwykłe podarki. Kto przekona Sandmana by właśnie jemu wręczył Klucz?


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Władca Snów otrzymał od Lucyfera Klucz do Piekieł. Postanawia go oddać temu, kto okaże się go godzien. Do pałacu Sandmana przyjeżdżają bogowie oraz postacie znane z mitów i legend. Każdy z nich przywozi niezwykłe podarki. Kto przekona Sandmana by właśnie jemu wręczył Klucz?

30 review for Sandman, Tom 7: Pora mgieł

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    Neil Gaiman is at his best when his imagination is peopled with gods and demons—magnificent, outsize personalities, ranging from the eerily transcendent to the surprisingly human—and the tale he chooses to tell in “Season of Mists” gives him ample room to create a godly and superior fantasy. The plot is simple. Lucifer abdicates the throne of Hell, sending the damned back to earth, and turns the keys over to Dream. Dream doesn’t really want the property—too vast, too hard to keep up—b Neil Gaiman is at his best when his imagination is peopled with gods and demons—magnificent, outsize personalities, ranging from the eerily transcendent to the surprisingly human—and the tale he chooses to tell in “Season of Mists” gives him ample room to create a godly and superior fantasy. The plot is simple. Lucifer abdicates the throne of Hell, sending the damned back to earth, and turns the keys over to Dream. Dream doesn’t really want the property—too vast, too hard to keep up—but a lot if other beings do, including demons, angels, fairies, and (yes, of course) gods): Odin, Thor, Loki, Anubis, Bes, Bast, the Shinto storm god Susano-o-no-Mikoto, and the personifications of Order (a cardboard box carried by a genie) and Chaos (a little girl dressed like a clown). The delightful center of the tale is a grand banquet in the house of Dream, where these beings offer their bids and bribes for the prize of an empty Hell. One of these offers interests Dream greatly: a chance to rescue his lover Queen Nada from the consequences of his youthful anger. The central story is handled expertly, and the major digression—about dead schoolboys and masters returning to their boarding school during vacation—is very good too. Gaiman's inspiration for Season of Mists was a remark of Jesuit theologian and anthropologist Teilhard de Chardin: “You have told me, O God, to believe in hell. But you have forbidden me to think...of any man as damned.” An easily resolved paradox, Gaiman thought to himself, provided you empty Hell. The title is derived from Keat’s “Autumn”: “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Although the association of “mellow fruitfulness” with Hell may seem ironic, I believe its message is straightforward. In Season of Mists, Dream does become more "mellow'" dying to unwelcome burdens and ancient rages, and gaining the fruits—a small portion, at least—of peace, reconciliation and love. Finally, I would like to share with you my favorite part of Season of Mists. Isn’t it funny how often a minor character can fascinate you so much he almost blots out the rest? For me, that character is Breschau of Livonia. This imaginary Eastern European noble (I know he’s imaginary, having looked him up in vain) proudly insists he remain in Hell because of the enormity of his deeds, which he relates in detail, proclaiming “I am Breschau of Livonia.” Lucifer dismisses him with these words: “But no one today remembers Breschau. No one. I doubt one living mortal in a hundred thousand could even point to where Livonia used to be, on a map. The world has forgotten you.” Not I, Lord Breschau, not I.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    I find myself at a loss for words whenever I come to review a volume of this series, simply because it is just that good. What is there to talk of that will do it justice? Could I speak of the intelligent weaving of mythological figures with distinctively human personalities? No. Not enough. Could I speak of the literary allusions and most apt references to long dead poets and writers? No. Not enough. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that Gaiman is a genius. This is by far the best thing I find myself at a loss for words whenever I come to review a volume of this series, simply because it is just that good. What is there to talk of that will do it justice? Could I speak of the intelligent weaving of mythological figures with distinctively human personalities? No. Not enough. Could I speak of the literary allusions and most apt references to long dead poets and writers? No. Not enough. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that Gaiman is a genius. This is by far the best thing he has written. As great as some of his other writing is, The Sandman series is on a whole new level. The writing here tackles marvellously big concepts in such a clear and careful way. Dream, Death, Fate, Desire, Delirium, Despair and Destruction are powerful concepts that move human existence. In part, they help to define it. Gaiman represents them as a dysfunctional family, as forces, working to keep the balance within the universe. Central to this series is Dream. And everybody does it, even the Devil himself. Lucifer has had enough of ruling in hell and wants to go and experience a few new things, only natural really after ruling in the fire pit for thousands of years. Dream grants his request and as such is left with the keys to hell itself as Lucifer goes on seemingly indefinite vacation. But Dream has his own responsibilities; he can’t be the new lord of hell. So he gives the keys away, though who could be suitable for such a task? All manner of beings come to claim them. Anubis, Thor and Odin, The King of Fay, some demons from hell and even a few of god’s chose angels come to observe the decision making. All appear unequal to the task; they all have their own personal motives and seek nothing but more power. They attempt to manipulate Dream; they use death threats, bribery and even resort to the use of hostages in order to sway him. Dream, however, is revolute and understands that all power must be balanced within the universe. The central story is very strong, though what I saw here was the beginning of all the loose threads coming together. As grand as this story felt, it is clearly just a small chapter in a much larger story that is only just starting to reveal itself. This series seems to be picking up some momentum. Good things are sure to be ahead.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    The story goes to Hell, in more than one sense. Creative Team: Writer: Neil Gaiman Illustrators: Kelly Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt & P. Craig Russell Covers: Dave McKean Letterer: Todd Klein FAMILY REUNIONS, HELLISH KEYS, BOARDING SCHOOLS & DIVINE PARTIES Yet another impressive introduction to the TPB by Harlan Ellison, denoting again that The Sandman is something else in the middle of the genre of/> The story goes to Hell, in more than one sense. Creative Team: Writer: Neil Gaiman Illustrators: Kelly Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt & P. Craig Russell Covers: Dave McKean Letterer: Todd Klein FAMILY REUNIONS, HELLISH KEYS, BOARDING SCHOOLS & DIVINE PARTIES Yet another impressive introduction to the TPB by Harlan Ellison, denoting again that The Sandman is something else in the middle of the genre of comic books. Sometimes we can choose the path we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all. This volume has an epic beginning with a reunión of the members of the Endless, well all of them except the “prodigal Destruction” who went awol lefting behind his responsibilities. This family reunión of the Endless is easily the strongest section of the TPB and a real pleasure to read. Come in. Everybody’s here... ...and I do mean everybody. The rest of the TPB and the main storyline developed in this volume has a wonderful premise but that I humbly think that it wasn’t properly exploited to its full potential. Morpheus, the embodiment of Dream committed an injustice long time ago. In the volumen The Doll’s House is told the tragic love story of Queen Nada, a mythical ruler of a vey ancient kingdom, and whose sad tale has been transmitted through generations when men reached maturity age. Nada fell in love with Dream, but loving an Endless member is something... complicated to say the least. Morpheus is going to Hell looking for Nada, since he found her there in his previous trip to the Hellish realm while he was looking for his mask to gather all his lost power during his imprisonment by magic. Hell is empty. Lucifer quit. Really. And now Morpheus is left with the Key to Hell. Literally the key to open or to close, Hell. This unprecedent event will provoke an unique gathering of gods and divine envoys of many origins (Norse, Japanese, Egyptian, Christian, etc...) even embodiments of primal forces. Everybody wants the Key to Hell and Morpheus is the one who will decide! At that point, I was astonished, my mind was in neuronal fireworks! However... The developing of that hallucinative premise was, mmh... how to say it? ... Simple? Lacking of a real challenge to the main character (Morpheus)? There were so many possibilities, so many paths to take, a wide open field of odds, and at the end (without spoiling anything) is like... mmh... okay... while more the things change, more remain the same? Oh, and in the middle of that, you will find also a cool ghost story happening in a boarding school that I enjoyed a lot. So, while it contains incredible cool characters and a smart narrative, I found the ending, weak and unadventurous. BUT... Certainly I will keep reading this epic run of The Sandman, you can bet on that!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This is the point in the series where shit gets real. For one thing, this is the first glimpse you have of how truly mythically all-encompasing this series is. You have Odin, the Lucifer, some Faeries, Demons, a Japanese storm god, Bast and Anubis, two angelic presences, and other assorted powers all hanging out, not just in the same story. But on the same page. And it makes sense. You're left thinking, oh, yeah. Sure. Why wouldn't Thor be hitting on Bast? Even more importantly, this is the poin This is the point in the series where shit gets real. For one thing, this is the first glimpse you have of how truly mythically all-encompasing this series is. You have Odin, the Lucifer, some Faeries, Demons, a Japanese storm god, Bast and Anubis, two angelic presences, and other assorted powers all hanging out, not just in the same story. But on the same page. And it makes sense. You're left thinking, oh, yeah. Sure. Why wouldn't Thor be hitting on Bast? Even more importantly, this is the point where, when I first read it, I thought. "Wait. What? Do you mean that all those cool little stand-alone stories *weren't* stand alone stories? Are you telling me that all these tiny stories (which I loved, and would have left me completely blissed and satisfied all by themselves) are actually all part of a bigger story?" My mind was blown. And it still kinda is. I'd never seen this done before, and I've never seen it done as well since.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "I think hell’s something you carry around with you. Not somewhere you go." Season of Mists is the fourth volume in the Sandman graphic novel series. Lucifer has given Dream the key to Hell, however Dream has a lot of other responsibilities and so decides the key should be given to someone else - but who? Oh man, this has definitely been my favourite volume so far in the series. I have been enjoying Sandman a lot, but this was the point at which I really began to understand "I think hell’s something you carry around with you. Not somewhere you go." Season of Mists is the fourth volume in the Sandman graphic novel series. Lucifer has given Dream the key to Hell, however Dream has a lot of other responsibilities and so decides the key should be given to someone else - but who? Oh man, this has definitely been my favourite volume so far in the series. I have been enjoying Sandman a lot, but this was the point at which I really began to understand the hype behind it. Season of Mists opens up with an Endless family gathering - and all are present and accounted for - Dream, Death, Desire, Delirium, Despair, Destiny and Destruction. I am obsessed with this concept, that these components that play a role in each human's experience are represented by a dysfunctional family of seven siblings. It's frigging genius how Gaiman does this, I am simply IN AWE. Following some taunting at the family get-together, Dream feels bad about his treatment of a former lover and decides to go to Hell to retrieve her, but upon his arrival he finds that Lucifer is driving out all the demons and damned souls and he gives Dream the key to Hell's gates. THEN the fun really starts as we get an amazing mishmash of different mythologies coming together - baring some resemblance to American Gods - to visit the Dreaming and plead their case to Dream for the key. You got Odin arriving alongside Loki and Thor... as well as Anubis, Bast and Bes.... the list goes on. So many crazy and vibrant characters, I can't compliment this aspect enough! Amongst all the drama happening over at the Dreaming, we also get a chapter that gives us some insight into the consequences of Hell's closure. And it's EXCELLENT. I'm honestly at a loss for words in terms of describing how much I loved this volume, although I feel like perhaps the reason I thoroughly enjoyed this one was because it is really the first to have a consistent story arc. Gaiman's imagination continues to fascinate me, he is just on another level. 5 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Now the good stuff really gets started. Introducing most of the Endless, we discover intrigue with Destiny, some deep sadness in Delirium, friendship in Death, capriciousness in Desire, and maybe a bit of reasonableness in Despair. Dream is there, of course, and he's rightly annoyed with his siblings. He is, after all, the one who had perpetrated a great crime. Who are they to taunt him? Ah, Nada. Such a tragic figure. And she's only a plot hook! Now the good stuff really gets started. Introducing most of the Endless, we discover intrigue with Destiny, some deep sadness in Delirium, friendship in Death, capriciousness in Desire, and maybe a bit of reasonableness in Despair. Dream is there, of course, and he's rightly annoyed with his siblings. He is, after all, the one who had perpetrated a great crime. Who are they to taunt him? Ah, Nada. Such a tragic figure. And she's only a plot hook! Oh Hell... I'm not going to spoil Hell, but Dream goes back to right his great wrong. I was so surprised with the outcome. Delighted. Flabbergasted. The implications were enormous and made me giddy with anticipation. If the Eternals weren't enough to make things interesting, we also get the Aesir, Angels, Chaos, Chinese Gods, Devils, Fae, and Order knocking on Dream's door to threaten, bribe, plead. So totally delicious. I read American Gods before Sandman, so I was grooving to this tune and this twist in a big way. Hell, this Volume epitomizes everything I love about the Sandman Series. When it thinks big, it thinks BIG. Let's not piddle around the the little crap, shall we? Let's move Heaven and Earth. Woo! Woo! If only all comics could get this grandiose! (Of course, I later learned that some could get pretty close, but this is my first taste of something really good.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    I’ve been gradually warming to this series as it’s picked up momentum, and Vol. 4 proved to be a glorious realization of its vast potential. What begins as the weirdest family reunion of all time takes a turn when Dream’s family calls him out for the very douche bag move of condemning his ex-girlfriend to eternal damnation in a fit of pique because she totally wanted to date other people. Dream decides to journey to Hell to save her soul and hijinks ensue, not the least of which involves (view spoiler)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Chavez

    What happens when Lucifer decides to leave hell? Season of Mists, the fourth volume of The Sandman answers that question as Dream heads to Hell once again, this time to release a former lover who has been imprisoned and tortured for thousands of years. Upon arrival, he finds Hell deserted, and Lucifer ushering out the stragglers he has banished from the lands, he then hands dream the key to the kingdom. This is the best of the first four volumes in the series, with "A Doll's House" a close secon What happens when Lucifer decides to leave hell? Season of Mists, the fourth volume of The Sandman answers that question as Dream heads to Hell once again, this time to release a former lover who has been imprisoned and tortured for thousands of years. Upon arrival, he finds Hell deserted, and Lucifer ushering out the stragglers he has banished from the lands, he then hands dream the key to the kingdom. This is the best of the first four volumes in the series, with "A Doll's House" a close second, this should not be missed by fans, nor casual observers. Gaiman always adds epic storytelling and mythology in the series and this volume is no exception, Season of Mists takes on a lot: sin, redemption, both personal and religious, and the battle between good and evil. To discuss too much of the plot would ruin some of the rich suprises to come, but Gaiman's inventiveness is to the max here, with a gleefully funny and fascinating scene involving intrigue and lobbying by any number of demons, gods, and demigods, this provides an interesting look at the interactions between them (Thor getting ridiculously drunk and hitting on women during the banquet, for example). There is also a great ghost story set in a boys school that's not really like any haunted house tale you've ever read. But in the midst of his epic scope, Gaiman never neglects the smaller and more intimate touches, and scenes involving nothing more than an unlikely character commenting on a sunset or an unexpected birth revealing unexpected depths and complexities to Gaiman's creations. The character of Lucifer is excellent and intriguing as well, and God's reward to the two angels who oversaw Dreams decision? Well, that's up to the reader to decide. It's become apparent just a little ways into the volume that Gaiman has constructed something akin to a new cosmology and mythology here, and while it's wonderful to get lost in his worlds, it's the surprisingly human characters that keep us enthralled and reading volume after volume.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Char

    This is my favorite entry in the Sandman series so far! Here we learn a lot-for instance, all the supposed stand alone stories in Sandman 3: The Dream Country, were NOT all stand alones. Some of them do have connections that are referenced here. The introduction by the irascible Harlan Ellison was fantastic. I know he's a curmudgeon, but I adore the man. His description of what happened when one of Gaiman's comic book stories won the World Fantasy Award was freaking hilarious. I didn' This is my favorite entry in the Sandman series so far! Here we learn a lot-for instance, all the supposed stand alone stories in Sandman 3: The Dream Country, were NOT all stand alones. Some of them do have connections that are referenced here. The introduction by the irascible Harlan Ellison was fantastic. I know he's a curmudgeon, but I adore the man. His description of what happened when one of Gaiman's comic book stories won the World Fantasy Award was freaking hilarious. I didn't enjoy the artwork in this one as much as I did in previous volumes, but I loved and admired the stories and the writing so much, that I didn't mind. I would have enjoyed these stories with no artwork at all. It is now becoming clear to me what an epic undertaking this series must have been. The story arc is HUGE and encompasses so much. We have hell and demons and all kinds of creatures from legends and myths and they're all mashed together in a story that somehow makes sense. It's truly impressive and I can't wait to continue on with this series. Highly recommended to fans of fantasy, Neil Gaiman and graphic novels.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    The speech of Lucifer Morningstar on giving up his responsibilities in Hell would be good enough to justify the five stars review, but there is a lot more to like in this new book of the Sandman comic. Like the old fashioned chapter headings, teasers of events to come and plot twists to discover: issue 21 : In which a Family reunion occasions certain recriminations; assorted events are set in motion; and a relationship thought long done with proves to have much relevance today. The prologue brings together fo The speech of Lucifer Morningstar on giving up his responsibilities in Hell would be good enough to justify the five stars review, but there is a lot more to like in this new book of the Sandman comic. Like the old fashioned chapter headings, teasers of events to come and plot twists to discover: issue 21 : In which a Family reunion occasions certain recriminations; assorted events are set in motion; and a relationship thought long done with proves to have much relevance today. The prologue brings together for the first time the Sandman's family, at the behest of the Fates (The Maid / Mother / Crone triumvirate we have already met): Destiny is the oldest of the Endless; he sees the fine traceries the galaxies make as they spiral through the void, he watches the intricate patterns living things make on their journey through time. Destiny smells of dust and the libraries of night. He leaves no footprints. He casts no shadow. Desire Never a possession, always the possessor, with skin as pale as smoke, and eyes tawny and sharp like yellow wine: Desire is everything you ever wanted. Whoever you are. Whatever you are. Everything. It is said that scattered through Despair's domain are a multitude of tiny windows, hanging in the void. Each window looks out on a different scene, being, in our world, a mirror. Sometimes you will look into a mirror and feel the eyes of Despair upon you, feel her hook catch and snag on your heart. Delirium is the youngest of the Endless. She smells of sweat, sour wines, late nights, old leather. Dream is rake-thin, with skin the colour of falling snow. He acumulates names to himself like others make friends; but he permits himself few friends. There is a tale that one day in every century Death takes on mortal flesh, better to comprehend what the lives she takes must feel like, to taste the bitter tang of mortality; that this is the price she must pay for being the divider of the living from all that has gone before, all that must come after. The seventh Endless is lost, or playing truant, but that's a tale for another time. For now, Dream has to return to Hell and claim back, Nada, the mortal he sent there after she refused his love. issue 22: In which the Lord of Dreams makes preparations to visit the realms infernal; farewells are said; a toast is drunk; and in Hell the Adversary makes certain preparations of his own. The Sandman says good bye to his friends, he knows he may not return from the place he was warned off in an earlier issue. He also makes preparations for his succession: a child born in the realm of dreams is offered as a possible solution. Hob Gadling, one of the few mortal friends of the Sandman makes a cameo appearance and a toast: To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; an may each and every one of us always give the devil his due. My favorite panels in this issue are about The Library od Dreams, a place similar in a way to Jasper Fforde's Well of Lost Plots or to Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I hope I will see more of it in future issues. issue 23: In which the Lord of Dreams returns to Hell, and his confrontation with the lord of that realm; in which a number of doors are closed for the last time; and of the strange disposition of a knife and key. This is probably the best single issue in the series so far. It looks at the realm of hell as the shadow of Heaven, or more precisely, perhaps, Heaven's dark reflection - like a landscape hanging inverted in the waters of a lake... I'll quote his rant in full, because it is too good to miss or truncate: And the mortals! I ask you - why? Why do they blame for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spend the entire day sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commit acts they would otherwise find repulsive. "The Devil made me do it." I have never made one of them do anything. Never. They live their own tiny lives. I do not live their lives for them. And then they die, and they come here (having transgressed against what they believed to be right), and expect us to fulfill their desire for pain and retribution. I don't make them come here. They talk of me going around and buying souls, like a fishwife come to market day, never stopping to ask themselves why. I need no souls. No. They belong to themselves ...They just hate to have to face up to it. Lucifer has had enough, he quits, empties Hell of all its inhabitants, locks out the realm and leaves Morpheus to sort out the mess. I'll stop now with the chapter headings and with the detailed synopsis, after all, it would not do to spoil all the plot points. Suffice to say that Morpheus has a hot potato in his hands and must pass on the responsibilities for managing Hell before the demons and the dead returning to life invade the other realms. He will host a banquet in the Dreaming for all the parties interested - mythical creatures from all ages and cultures (Faerie, Valhalla, Egypt, the Roman Empire, angels, demons, oriental heroes, chaos and order avatars). He will be offered bribes and blackmail and he will have to fight to impose his will on this unruly crowd. Great stuff with a dose of black humor to temper the horror parts, capital writing, decent graphics that may be sometimes a letdown for me, but are easy to ignore as I follow the story. Onward to book five.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    “So I'm back, to the velvet underground Back to the floor, that I love To a room with some lace and paper flowers Back to the gypsy that I was To the gypsy... that I was And it all comes down to you Well, you know that it does Well, lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice Ah, and it lights up the night” (Nicks: Welsh Witch Music) When I think about Neil Gaiman’s work, it all comes back to American Gods. This is the book by him that to me is the most identifiable of his canon and the work upon so much other writers have accessed influence. Certainly there have been trans-pantheistic “So I'm back, to the velvet underground Back to the floor, that I love To a room with some lace and paper flowers Back to the gypsy that I was To the gypsy... that I was And it all comes down to you Well, you know that it does Well, lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice Ah, and it lights up the night” (Nicks: Welsh Witch Music) When I think about Neil Gaiman’s work, it all comes back to American Gods. This is the book by him that to me is the most identifiable of his canon and the work upon so much other writers have accessed influence. Certainly there have been trans-pantheistic works prior to the 2001 publication of AG, but I think Gaiman put it all together best. Season of Mists, the fourth collection in the Sandman graphic novel series was published in 1992 and this must have been on Gaiman’s mind when a few years later he began his seminal work. Sandman readers once again visit Dream in his world and we also see Hell and much chaos and confusion. Odin All-father appears, as do Thor and Loki, but his illustration is very similar to how he would later appear in Gaiman’s 2001 masterpiece.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sh3lly

    I'm starting to think maybe these comics just aren't for me. This was hard to get through. I enjoyed the first scene where Dream and his siblings get together. Most of the story involved Dream going to Hell to retrieve a woman he had condemned there 10,000 years ago for rejecting him (what a dick). Lucifer doesn't even want to be King of Hell anymore and gives it to Dream. He doesn't want it either and ends up giving it back to two angels. So Hell will be Hell once again, but with angels oversee I'm starting to think maybe these comics just aren't for me. This was hard to get through. I enjoyed the first scene where Dream and his siblings get together. Most of the story involved Dream going to Hell to retrieve a woman he had condemned there 10,000 years ago for rejecting him (what a dick). Lucifer doesn't even want to be King of Hell anymore and gives it to Dream. He doesn't want it either and ends up giving it back to two angels. So Hell will be Hell once again, but with angels overseeing things. They still gotta make sure all the torturing and suffering and gnashing of teeth continues. It is hell, after all. I kind of feel like when I read American Gods and Stardust. It's was good, but kind of meh. It just goes on and on, the writing. And yeah, sometimes it seems a bit pretentious. I'll probably keep reading, but I have to take breaks between these. They aren't binge-read material, in my view.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ronyell

    After reading more of Neil Gaiman’s classic “Sandman” series, I never would have thought that the stories would get better and better and the fourth volume “Season of Mists” certainly did not disappoint me! Dream (Morpheus) definitely got his hands full in this volume that will reveal many shocking surprises for the fans of the fantastic “Sandman” series! In this volume “Season of Mists,” when a family meeting between the Endless ends up revealing Dream’s past horrible deed of condemn After reading more of Neil Gaiman’s classic “Sandman” series, I never would have thought that the stories would get better and better and the fourth volume “Season of Mists” certainly did not disappoint me! Dream (Morpheus) definitely got his hands full in this volume that will reveal many shocking surprises for the fans of the fantastic “Sandman” series! In this volume “Season of Mists,” when a family meeting between the Endless ends up revealing Dream’s past horrible deed of condemning the woman he loved, Nada, to the Underworld, Dream decides to go down to the Underworld to rescue Nada. Unfortunately, Lucifer Morningstar, who vowed to destroy Dream after Dream humiliated him in the first volume, has plans for Dream that might end up turning Dream’s world into a nightmare! Instead of having separate stories in this volume, this volume is broken up in chapters and it has a total of six chapters along with a prologue and an epilogue. Neil Gaiman has once again created a story from the popular “Sandman” series that will continue to stand the test of time to many generations! The fourth volume of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series is just as enjoyable as the first two volumes as it details Dream’s efforts to rescue his former lover Nada from the depths of the Underworld. I loved the way that Neil Gaiman made the atmosphere of this story extremely dark yet adventurous at the same time as the majority of this volume takes place in the Underworld and I was so shocked at seeing the horrible activities that takes place in the Underworld. I also loved the religious references that Neil Gaiman brings to this volume as there are many references about the balance between Heaven and Hell and I loved how it was explained through this story. The character Lucifer Morningstar proved to be an interesting antagonist in this volume as Neil Gaiman did a brilliant job of laying out his plot against Dream step by step and the burden that he placed on Dream was cleverly plotted and as I keep on reading more about Lucifer’s plan throughout this volume, I wanted to know how Dream was going to beat Lucifer at his own game. Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt and P. Craig Russell’s artwork were brilliant in this volume as they each brought their own unique flair to the story. I loved the illustrations of the Underworld that each artist brought because the images of the Underworld were brilliant and disturbing at the same time and it really brought out the intensity in this story. Like the first three volumes of the “Sandman” series, there is some disturbing content in this volume, especially with the scenes of the Underworld. In the Underworld sequences, there are many images of people being tortured such as an image of a man who has nails embedded in his body and chains that pulled at his skin and some images of people being impaled by sharp staffs. Also, there are some images of nudity in this volume that might offend some people who do not like seeing nudity in images. Overall, “The Sandman: Season of Mists” is a truly brilliant and haunting volume for fans of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series and will surely be a pure delight to read for many years. I would recommend this volume to readers ages sixteen and up since there are many disturbing images and some nudity that some people might not enjoy reading. Now I am off to read the fifth volume in the “Sandman” series, The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You. Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicolo Yu

    Beware of gifts from the Devil, a lesson that Dream learned too late when he entered the realm of Hell, ready to do battle with Lucifer if necessary, only to have the Lord of Hell tell his gift he was closing shop. There was to be no battle unless Dream wanted it so and only a gift for his guest, the key of Hell. Now the reluctant owner of a prime piece of psychic real estate, Morpheus gets embroiled by a series of supplicants from various pantheons seeking the key and eager to offer gifts, thre Beware of gifts from the Devil, a lesson that Dream learned too late when he entered the realm of Hell, ready to do battle with Lucifer if necessary, only to have the Lord of Hell tell his gift he was closing shop. There was to be no battle unless Dream wanted it so and only a gift for his guest, the key of Hell. Now the reluctant owner of a prime piece of psychic real estate, Morpheus gets embroiled by a series of supplicants from various pantheons seeking the key and eager to offer gifts, threats and bribes for it. This was Lucifer’s perfect revenge for a slight he received from Morpheus in the opening arc. In abdicating Hell he changed his destiny, no longer was he the warden for souls seeking torment and punishment for their sins. Lucifer was free and now Morpheus was vexed, not knowing what to do with the key. The themes of change and freedom that occur when a king gives up his kingdom are a familiar refrain that would be revisited in later volumes in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Gaiman is one of earliest writers who’ve used the comic book medium to craft stories that make you think, others of this ilk are his fellow Brits and they helped usher comic books from adolescent escapist pamphlets to mature stories that helped the medium gain acceptance as a legitimate art form. In this volume, much of Gaiman story in volume is enhanced by the talents of his art team. The meat of the story is penciled by Kelley Jones, whose visceral style gives us a Hell that would bring one nightmares. A framing sequence is provided by Mike Dringenbery in what would be his coda to the series. He is credited for defining the look of the Endless, especially of Death, in whom he receives a co-creating credit. This would be the last time his understated and realistic style would grace this title. This is one of the more memorable Sandman stories, it introduces Hell, the existence of various pantheons and a woman who had spurned Dream. A lot characters that made their debut here would prove to be important in succeeding stories as they assume larger roles in the saga of Morpheus. It is an excellent story and it opens up a lot of possibilities for the character,

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    It was so, SO good, it left me in weird state of mind - it's like you're high, but not really. Remember the guy from vol. 3, the writer, who was punished by Morpheus by having too many ideas? I think it's Gaiman himself, having all those ideas, but not being unhappy because of that in the slightest. He proves all the time that he actually can build the worlds and create all those characters with their own worlds, and although it's not in the story, you get a taste of that, that the box contains It was so, SO good, it left me in weird state of mind - it's like you're high, but not really. Remember the guy from vol. 3, the writer, who was punished by Morpheus by having too many ideas? I think it's Gaiman himself, having all those ideas, but not being unhappy because of that in the slightest. He proves all the time that he actually can build the worlds and create all those characters with their own worlds, and although it's not in the story, you get a taste of that, that the box contains another box inside and so on, without the end. Am I wrong? Kick me if I am. And kick me twice, if it wasn't the point when he started creating American Gods! :D And you can kick me for the third time, because every time I look at Morpheus and his sis, I see this: Now you can't unsee it! :P

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists: Deities scramble to fill a vacancy in Hell After the stand-alone stories of Vol 3, many of which only feature Morpheus in the background, in Vol 4 the Sandman takes center stage once again. The Prologue sets the stage for a new story-arc, as Destiny strolls through his barren garden, in his monk’s cowl and with his huge book, and encounters the three Fates. As usual, they drop some cryptic clues that big events are afoot and then depart. Destiny checks his bo The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists: Deities scramble to fill a vacancy in Hell After the stand-alone stories of Vol 3, many of which only feature Morpheus in the background, in Vol 4 the Sandman takes center stage once again. The Prologue sets the stage for a new story-arc, as Destiny strolls through his barren garden, in his monk’s cowl and with his huge book, and encounters the three Fates. As usual, they drop some cryptic clues that big events are afoot and then depart. Destiny checks his book, and learns that the Endless must hold a family meeting. And so the story begins… Neil Gaiman’s love of stories, mythology, deities, demons, and mysterious unseen forces is plain to see. In Season of Mists, he treats us to a very unique perspective on these things by lifting the curtain that mortals rarely see beyond, and switching the perspective to that of the deities and mythological creatures that have populated the minds of mankind since time immemorial. There is something fundamental in humanity that strives to personify such forces in anthropomorphic form, and Gaiman gleefully takes elements of some of well-known belief systems such as Christianity, which appears to have top billing (including oblique references to the unseen Creator), but includes cameos from an impressive A-list of deities such as Odin, Thor, Loki (Norse), Anubis, Bast, Bes (Egyptian), Susano-o-no-mikoto (Shinto), Azazel, Choronzon, and Merkin (demons from Hell), a Lord of Chaos and Lord of Order, the Faerie siblings Cluracan and Nuala, and two Angels from the Silver City named Duma and Remiel. You see, all these supernatural beings have come to call on Morpheus’ palace at the heart of The Dreaming because Lucifer, the fallen Angel, has decided after uncountable millennia that he has tired of overseeing the punishment of the damned, and has driven out from Hell both the damned (his clients) and the demons who torment them (his staff). Morpheus only discovers this after deciding he has wronged his former lover Nada, the African queen he damned to hell 10,000 years earlier. When Morpheus arrives in Hell to free her, Lucifer is just tidying up some stragglers and has a convivial chat with Morpheus (who was prepared for a fight), ending with him handing over the key to Hell and heading off to parts unknown (which is the start of a spinoff series called Lucifer). What a great story idea - Lucifer quitting his job and handing it off to Morpheus unexpectedly. So the bulk of the story involves all the various divinities entreating Dream why they most deserve to take over Hell, as Morpheus clearly isn’t keen on overseeing it. They offers bribes, threats, and stratagems and confidential negotiations abound. It’s all done marvelously and matter-of-fact. I’m not sure how a religious reader would react to this - would this story be offensive? Within the context of the story, Gaiman grants equal weight to each god’s pantheon, but clearly the Creator and his Angels have power and authority above the others. Which raises some very obvious questions - why does the Creator stay in the background? If we go by the number of believers in the world today, why are Jesus, Allah, and the Buddha not present? And how do The Endless fit into these pantheons? Who sets the hierarchical rules among these competing deities? Clearly there are some hard and fast rules that the Endless such as Destiny, Dream, and Death must follow. They have their duties that must be carried out. But who made these rules? Are all these deities simply manifestations of humanity’s imagination? Or fundamental concepts that predate humanity? Are they fundamental elements of the universe, or do they only exist on Earth because we believe in them? Would all these powerful beings disappear if humanity stopped believing in them, or if humanity wiped itself out? Gaiman’s SANDMAN series raises all kinds of fascinating philosophical questions while still delivering quirky, frightening, and melancholy stories. It makes me very curious how many of these questions he might answer in the course of the series. Can any such questions ever really be answered to everyone’s satisfaction? In the end, I think human religions are mostly inward-looking, giving theological ideas human form, scale and relevance. In my opinion, none of them adequately address the observable universe, let alone our Milky Way galaxy, filled with uncountable stars, black holes, dark matter, and empty spaces, things that make human spiritual affairs and the Earth itself look very tiny indeed. If I were to ever believe in a religion, it would have to take all those things into account. The only SF philosophical treatment of the universe I have found compelling remains Olaf Stapledon’s two masterworks from the 1930s, Last and First Men and Star Maker. But I digress. The SANDMAN is focused on the supernatural manifestations of humankind’s imagination, giving them real form in a higher realm, and it is an impressive and thoughtful series that I am enjoying a lot.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    My favorite since the first one. It's been over thirty years since this was published, and it still managed to do things that surprised me. Morpheus, or Dream the Endless, has been informed that consigning his human lover Nada to hell for 10,000 years for the crime of rejecting him and wounding his pride was a not great thing to do, so he sets out to make things as right as he can, which means once again descending into hell and facing Lucifer. He makes his preparations, says his goodbyes, fully expectin My favorite since the first one. It's been over thirty years since this was published, and it still managed to do things that surprised me. Morpheus, or Dream the Endless, has been informed that consigning his human lover Nada to hell for 10,000 years for the crime of rejecting him and wounding his pride was a not great thing to do, so he sets out to make things as right as he can, which means once again descending into hell and facing Lucifer. He makes his preparations, says his goodbyes, fully expecting that he will have to fight Lucifer, and that he might lose. But when he gets there, things don't go as expected. Spoilers ahoy. When he gets to Hell, he finds it empty. Lucifer has quit, and released the denizens to go where they may, including Nada. When I say he quit, I mean he has decided to no longer reign over Hell, and he's just done. He wants to go lay on a beach somewhere and watch the sunset (he does). And he gives the key to Hell to Morpheus to do with as he wishes. This is the form his revenge takes. First, I kept thinking Lucifer was playing a trick. Then I realized he wasn't, and then I could only think, Wait, can he do this? He's doing this! The rest of the story became about the fallout. What will Morpheus do with Hell? Who will he give its care over to? (There are many factions who show up at his realm begging an audience, wanting to bargain with him and plead their case as to why Hell should be given to them.) How can he find Nada now? Several things he does here will most likely have lasting consequences for the story, but it works on its own as a complete arc as well. It also opens up some very interesting paths for Lucifer as a character (no doubt this is why he has is own comic, which I also haven't read, but now am more interested in than I was before). Side note, the edition I read has a truly execrable introduction by Harlan Ellison, in which he only manages to praise Gaiman and his story by putting down literally everyone else, and making himself look like a first class wanker in the process. [4.5 stars]

  18. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    It is unfortunate that Gaiman seems to be unable to surrender his archetypal cast to either humanity or inhumanity, but lets them sit awkwardly in the middle. Though he often presents Dream and his siblings as falling to love or petty squabbling, their reactions to such are often not to work towards decision, but to subside. In those cases where they do act, it becomes merely a meaningless exercise to continue the story. When this is done for the purpose of framing other tales and interweaving i It is unfortunate that Gaiman seems to be unable to surrender his archetypal cast to either humanity or inhumanity, but lets them sit awkwardly in the middle. Though he often presents Dream and his siblings as falling to love or petty squabbling, their reactions to such are often not to work towards decision, but to subside. In those cases where they do act, it becomes merely a meaningless exercise to continue the story. When this is done for the purpose of framing other tales and interweaving ideas, it does not bother so much, but when it is the story itself, it loses that edge. Dream, like most if not all of Gaiman's protagonists, seems to operate merely as an oculus for the reader, and we often find his own chance at decision revoked. The same is true of American Gods or Neverwhere, where any conflict set up against the main character tends to be resolved without growth or change since there is no decision made. It is perhaps Gaiman's reticence on these archetypal characters which provides that the dialogue of this collection is often ungainly and without art. Gaiman works better when knee-deep in humanity than when trying to work beyond it. My Suggested Reading In Comics

  19. 4 out of 5

    El

    As I had hoped after reading Volume Three, the fourth volume does get back into the meat of the story and we learn more about the Endless, which is what I've been waiting for all along. This quaint little family convinces Dream that this thing he did a bazillion years ago was totally uncool and he's sort of a douche for it, and he's all "Really? Huh, I gueeeessss..." and he goes off to make things all better again. But it's not just a matter of strolling into Hell and fixing shit, because, well, it's Hell, so, y'k As I had hoped after reading Volume Three, the fourth volume does get back into the meat of the story and we learn more about the Endless, which is what I've been waiting for all along. This quaint little family convinces Dream that this thing he did a bazillion years ago was totally uncool and he's sort of a douche for it, and he's all "Really? Huh, I gueeeessss..." and he goes off to make things all better again. But it's not just a matter of strolling into Hell and fixing shit, because, well, it's Hell, so, y'know, there's some face-time with Lucifer, and then there's a small matter of the key to Hell and what to do with it, and then there's a random issue involving some boys who are ghosts. And what I really realized is that this is volume is almost incoherent. It doesn't mean it sucks or that I didn't like it, because it doesn't and I did. But it's really all over the place, the panels jump from character to character, with not a lot of explanation as to what is really happening. I feel the artwork is (for lack of a proper word) sloppier than it has been in the past, and that's disappointing. Why does Dream no longer look like Robert Smith so much? Who's got a problem with looking at a Robert Smith visage? The story is definitely taking off here, and there's a lot of information crammed into a small amount of space. It's all probably important so I'll take it in stride, but it's not my favorite. I'm giving it four stars merely because of the introduction to the Endless and the insinuation that there's another Endless-sibling out there that no one knows where exactly (except for Bast because of course), but suddenly Dream is all "Nah, I respect his privacy", Mr. Good-Guy about it all. But otherwise, had those introductions not taken place, I think this would have been a solid 3-star read for me. More of the Endless, yes. More of that.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wing Kee

    Mind explodingly good. World: The art of the series has been fantastic, atmospheric, creative and just beautiful. The world building here I can't even explain how it made my brain explode. The depth, the creativity, I can't truly express it in words that would do it justice. Just read it (I'm sorry for being vague). Story: The story is a payoff for a single issue tale that came before and it's fantastic. The idea of Hell and what happens there and the entire story is astoun Mind explodingly good. World: The art of the series has been fantastic, atmospheric, creative and just beautiful. The world building here I can't even explain how it made my brain explode. The depth, the creativity, I can't truly express it in words that would do it justice. Just read it (I'm sorry for being vague). Story: The story is a payoff for a single issue tale that came before and it's fantastic. The idea of Hell and what happens there and the entire story is astoundingly creatively good. I can't really tell you anything about this arc, but for me this arc really made this series earn the reputation of one of the best of all time and a perfect example of comic books as an art form. Just please please read it. Characters: Dream is so deep as a character and so well written. His internal monologue, his dialog, his interactions with people, so good. The rest of the people found in this book. So good. I know I'm vague and I'm sorry but I can't really express how much I loved this arc without spoiling the amazing mind blowing story here. It's just...perfect. Onward to the next book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Okay, this is obviously very good, but unlike most of the Gaiman universe, I liked the intimacy of volume 3 more than this huge, epic, operatic occasion where Morpheus decides what to do with Hell. This is high fantasy, and beautifully written, and with some poignancy as Dream determines the best thing to do about an ex-lover (influenced by his sisters!), which softens the tone of this grand drama. Dream realizes, in other words, that he has made a mistake. But the interactions with his sisters Okay, this is obviously very good, but unlike most of the Gaiman universe, I liked the intimacy of volume 3 more than this huge, epic, operatic occasion where Morpheus decides what to do with Hell. This is high fantasy, and beautifully written, and with some poignancy as Dream determines the best thing to do about an ex-lover (influenced by his sisters!), which softens the tone of this grand drama. Dream realizes, in other words, that he has made a mistake. But the interactions with his sisters and the ex were my favorite parts of this. You know, it is terrific writing, but while I am reading it I also read something completely different, like Liz Prince's Tomboy, to bring it all down to earth. If I see before me a choice of books such as Sandman and, say, something from Seth or Chester Brown, I would always choose the latter type, but you know, this is like the Paradise Lost of Comics, so I have to give it its due, and the dude rises to the challenge, he really does.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    An endless family meeting has been called. Soon after they all arrive, Desire taunts Morpheus about the way he treated a former lover, Nada and condemned her to hell. His sister Death agrees, and he decides there and then to visit hell to bring her back. On his arrival, Lucifer expels all demons from the domain and gives Morpheus the key. As soon as it is know, other immortals journey to Morpheus at the dreaming to plead for control. They offer certain thing in exchange; Morpheus hear An endless family meeting has been called. Soon after they all arrive, Desire taunts Morpheus about the way he treated a former lover, Nada and condemned her to hell. His sister Death agrees, and he decides there and then to visit hell to bring her back. On his arrival, Lucifer expels all demons from the domain and gives Morpheus the key. As soon as it is know, other immortals journey to Morpheus at the dreaming to plead for control. They offer certain thing in exchange; Morpheus hears them all, and makes them wait for his decision as to who will govern this place. Probably the darkest set of stories yet, this is almost an aside to the main storyline from the previous books, but it does pick up on a thread from an earlier book. There is not as much black wit as the earlier ones either, but Gaiman has exercised his imagination to the full. Well worth reading this, and onto the next soon.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    You've heard the expression about the gates of Hell being opened, but what if the gates of Hell are locked? Lucifer evicts his tenants, abdicates and gives the key to Morpheus. The demons want back in; various mythological creatures want the property given to them; but where do the souls from Hell go in the meantime? The story of a boy left behind at his boarding school during the holidays was probably my favorite part of all this imagining.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Definitely my favorite one so far. I was disappointed in vol 3 but things really felt like they came together in this one. The family meeting at the beginning was great and a great lead in to all that follows.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hasret Okyanus Sarı

    It's better to watch the sunset than to reign in hell, I suppose.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Airiz C

    For me, Season of Mists (The Sandman volume 4, issues 21-28) is where Neil Gaiman really starts to unspool the threads of his own magic at length, weaving them to the first filaments of the series’ foundation that we found in Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll’s House. Here we get more than just fragments of the enigmatic central character of the series, Morpheus; we get to see his depth and how he slowly gets to have more touches of humanity (maybe not the technically correct term but it’s the For me, Season of Mists (The Sandman volume 4, issues 21-28) is where Neil Gaiman really starts to unspool the threads of his own magic at length, weaving them to the first filaments of the series’ foundation that we found in Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll’s House. Here we get more than just fragments of the enigmatic central character of the series, Morpheus; we get to see his depth and how he slowly gets to have more touches of humanity (maybe not the technically correct term but it’s the first to come to mind) in himself. ABUNDANT SPOILER-ISHNESS (halt now if you haven’t read it)! The story kicks off with a reunion of the Endless, sans one sibling: Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. Characterization is of course spot-on: my favorite moments are when Death cracks a humorous comment about refusing to be pigeonholed (“Aw come on! You know how much I hate wearing that stuff…next thing you’re going to be moaning that I ought to get a scythe!”), Desire being the trouble-seeking and malicious creature that he/she/it is, and Delirium being adorable in her own bizarre, scatterbrained way. We see how the reunion is like an ordinary family gathering—with banters and all—except that this one isn’t really ordinary at all. Desire succeeds in angering Dream by talking about the latter’s love life, particularly about Calliope and Nada. In Preludes and Nocturnes we learn how Dream condemned Nada to Hell for ten thousand years after she turned him down. Death, who is closest to Dream, admonishes him about his behavior—induced by caprice and backed by his big ego— towards Nada’s negative response. Dream realizes his mistake and decides to free Nada from Lucifer Morningstar’s realm. Morpheus’ decision sets the wheels of this tome running. Based on the glimpses of the haughty Dream King that we have from the stories before his incarceration, the drastic changes in him are very noticeable. This is what I’m saying he seems to have a ‘human’ touch to him after all. The first, of course, is apparent in his treatment of Rose Walker and Hob Gadling in The Doll’s House; now after ten thousand years, after Death whacks some sense into his head, he is ready to forgive. In so many mythologies I’ve encountered several punishments akin to damning one other entity to an underworld of sorts after it offended a co-deity or a higher god, and maybe one side of Dream has a propensity to that. But Gaiman gave him a side that those entities lack: a side that can strike a chord with anyone who has pulse, anyone who has feelings. Morpheus says his final farewells to a few people including Daniel, a baby gestated in his realm, and Hob Gadling, his mortal friend. There is no tinge of drama in the goodbyes, but I find them poignant. I loved the moment he bade Death farewell; my heart sort of twitched when I read the last panel, with Death wiping a tear from her eye and muttering “idiot!” But the goodbyes are only the beginning. In hell, Lucifer Morningstar has a revelation: his kingdom is almost empty now, and he is abdicating his throne. He explains to Morpheus how tired he is of reigning in Hell, and in the end there is no fight (see P&N for the complete reason). Instead Morpheus is given the key to Hell, making the place a protectorate of his. Imprisonment, freedom, and escape—these are recurring themes of the whole series since the first issue. Lucifer knows resigning is like hitting two birds with one stone: he is escaping responsibility and he is also imprisoning Morpheus in a more difficult life. And it sure is a burden to the Dream King, especially as creatures from various mythologies—Norse, Egyptian, Japanese, you name it—come to him, trying to claim the key. Morpheus sees an escape when representatives from the Silver City tells him that the Creator wants the key back, that Heaven is meaningless without Hell. So he surrenders the key to the rightful one. Violent reactions are expected especially from Hell’s former denizens; they even try to blackmail Morpheus about Nada, but everything works out well in the end. Dream once again offers Nada to be with him, and yet again she refuses. This time, not hindered by blind arrogance, Dream accepts it and releases Nada—not only from her millennia of imprisonment, but also from her memories of him. One other theme that persists (this time taking root in Dream Country) is that sometimes Hell is not a place, but situations we put ourselves in: “We make our own hell”. Death said it; Lucifer himself said it, as well as the dead English school boy Charles Rowland. Lucifer and Rowland also states, in their individual ways, that you don’t have to stay forever in a place or situation just because other people think you should. Both of them liberate themselves. Anyway, about the Rowland issue, sure it first looks like a filler chapter, but I think it gives the readers a fragment of the repercussion of Lucifer’s abdication, both in the literal and metaphorical way. BTW, I’ll just say that one panel made me sort of sick (I’m eating while I’m reading the novel—just saying) and I’m suddenly very grateful how the penciler and inker aren’t so graphic about the torture scene. *shivers* Going to give this gem five stars. :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ ✦

    Since The Doll's House, I knew that Gaiman's The Sandman will soon have a special place in my heart. I was nineteen then, and this piece of literature was also a way for me to connect with my mentor (whom I was infatuated with as well). I was eager to get back to the major story arc with the Endless for Season of Mists, and I got exactly that; and a lot more than I anticipated. In this volume, I've learned more about the Endless (Destiny, Despair and my eventual favorite Delirium make their appearances here) since Since The Doll's House, I knew that Gaiman's The Sandman will soon have a special place in my heart. I was nineteen then, and this piece of literature was also a way for me to connect with my mentor (whom I was infatuated with as well). I was eager to get back to the major story arc with the Endless for Season of Mists, and I got exactly that; and a lot more than I anticipated. In this volume, I've learned more about the Endless (Destiny, Despair and my eventual favorite Delirium make their appearances here) since Gaiman has dedicated a single page to describe and illuminate each and their function/influence over human affairs and existence as a whole. Most notably, Dream's history with the African queen Nada from Doll's was expounded on, and the effects of his cruel punishment of sending her to Hell just because she chose not to be Dream's lover anymore. Desire may be manipulative and callous but it has a point and Death, much to Dream's surprise, agrees. Dream was forced to re-examine his judgment then, and accepting his treatment of Nada as a mistake is the first sign of character growth from him. I distinctly remember that in Dream Country, his ex-spouse Calliope had pointed out that he has changed somehow, and that may have something to do with his 75-year imprisonment. It's very telling to readers that Dream was not always kind and has a tendency to hold grudges, and Nada is a living proof of that. Because Dream now has a firsthand experience with captivity, he has finally learned to see the error of his ways when he banished Nada to Hell and he proceeded to remedy that by visiting Lucifer Morningstar (also popularly known to most of us as the Devil and ruler of inferno) to free her. Reading Season of Mists has dredged up uncomfortable memories from my childhood. My father had named me from Paolo and Francesca, the lovers who were sent to the fourth circle of hell in Dante's Divine Comedy and when I found out about this, I developed a fascination for the concept of hell and the devil, and I pursued this interest with vigor and to my own detriment (this is too personal to talk about here so let me just say that, because of prepubescent hormones and my insatiable hunger for taboo subjects, I ended up joining a really bad crowd that alienated me from my family). Going back to the story: Gaiman's interpretation of Lucifer Morningstar strongly reminded me of Milton's Paradise Lost. When Dream confronts Lucifer, he began to lament human beings' prejudicial and malicious portrayal of him, claiming that he buys souls when in fact human beings are simply terrified to own to their evil misdeeds. Lucifer poignantly phrases it: "I don't make them come here (hell). I need no souls. How can anyone own a soul? No, they belong to themselves. They just hate to have to face up to it." Lucifer then decides to abandon his post and gives Dream the keys to Hell. And here starts Dream's dilemma when all minor gods and goddesses from other religions have gathered in the Dreaming to convince Dream to give them Hell. Even angels and faeries have joined the debacle. It was quite an entertaining situation especially the way Dream has dealt with it. It's becoming clearer to readers that Dream takes his obligations seriously but broods about them most of the time. There's an exhaustion and surliness to Dream's way of doing things that often annoy me (especially in the course of the next stories) but he is nonetheless very magnetic, and surprisingly compassionate though he's not aware of it (which makes it rather comedic). His rescue of Nada was long overdue, and he may reason out that he has done it out of duty and balance of things, but I couldn't shake the feeling that he was also learning to forgive parts of his old self that hate and retaliate. In his own unknowable way, Dream loved Nada and understood that he couldn't be with her after everything, and so he parted her with one last benevolent gift. Season of Mists overall was the most exciting volume of the series yet, and definitely character-driven, introducing characters like Nuala the faery and Loki the trickster god who will later play bigger roles in the series. This was the volume that I found a more lasting personal connection with so far. Gaiman's literary philosophy that human beings are the "godmakers" species is reinforced in this volume, and I believe that it was able to capture the nature of religions and philosophies with a more rational understanding as opposed to superstition-based, without necessarily discrediting the beliefs themselves. I was also more or less enthralled by the Dreaming, and the people Dream surrounds himself with in his realm. I definitely enjoy Matthew the raven most of all. RECOMMENDED: 9/10 * Gaimans pays his tribute to concepts of deities and godlike creatures with a whimsical yet sublime approach; Lucifer Morningstar is easily the standout of the bunch.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Field

    "But even if Destiny could tell you, he will not. Destiny holds his secrets. The Garden of Destiny. You would know it if you saw it. After all, you wander it until you die. Or Beyond. For the paths are long, and even in death, there is no ending to them." Ugh. It's really too bad I didn't get a chance to read Sandman when I was about 14. Gaiman's clunky, endless scene-setting ("assorted events are set in motion; and a relationship thought long done with proves to have much "But even if Destiny could tell you, he will not. Destiny holds his secrets. The Garden of Destiny. You would know it if you saw it. After all, you wander it until you die. Or Beyond. For the paths are long, and even in death, there is no ending to them." Ugh. It's really too bad I didn't get a chance to read Sandman when I was about 14. Gaiman's clunky, endless scene-setting ("assorted events are set in motion; and a relationship thought long done with proves to have much relevance today") is meant to enthrall adolescents trying their best to be what was once called "alternative." Reading Gaiman is much like listening to Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins, or watching early Tim Burton's 1988 Batman -- what once captivated now at first jogs our interest, but then quickly loses it again. Two quick notes, one positive and one negative, that I want to carry away down the path towards making my own creative writing: 1. Gaiman's pacing is slow. He repeats himself (did you know that in Dream's kingdom, Dream can do anything he wants? Yep! ...Hey! Did you know...) He doesn't always use "exposition as ammunition," but instead inserts exposition in between when major action should be happening, deliberately slowing the pace further. There are no real climaxes in Gaiman's fiction: protagonists face big decisions, but then something else takes care of it all for them. Dream expects to have a crisis, but Lucifer preempts Dream by abandoning Hell. Dream expects to have a crisis again, but Creation sends in his angels to take the keys to Hell. Daemon ex Machina, Deus ex Machina: this volume is nothing more than a double ex Machina. The pace of the work is thus made loose and slack, like a middle school sagger shlumping to Shpongle. 2. Graphic novels have a dual center: text, art. Here, the protagonist Dream is a shadowy and sullen artibus with a conscience. Text-wise, there isn't a lot to him. That thus leaves all the room necessary for a whole team to go in and render Dream in pencil and ink. If Gaiman has any real talent, it's in writing loose text that leaves room. He's a natural minimalist, suggesting whole worlds in breathy asides ("There is much that Faerie can offer you.") It would be nice if there was more than a suggestion at times, and here again, the art saves, with fantastic drawings of the castles of Hell, etc. This particular series combines multiple artistic idioms purposely to suggest an uneasy collection of worlds -- the gods of Nippon stand next to the Gods of Egypt, etc. As a study in composing portraits to form layered, interwoven settings, Sandman could serve as a representative example that rarely goes wrong.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    One of my all-time favorite Sandman story arcs. Lucifer decides that he's sick of being the lord of Hell, so to relieve himself of his duties and cause Morpheus some trouble as well, he closes down Hell and gives Morpheus the key. Now Morpheus must contend with the hordes of supernatural delegations who have come to him to petition for this most valuable real estate. The Faeries want Hell permanently shut down, so that they will no longer have to pay their tithe to Hell. Odin and his compatriots One of my all-time favorite Sandman story arcs. Lucifer decides that he's sick of being the lord of Hell, so to relieve himself of his duties and cause Morpheus some trouble as well, he closes down Hell and gives Morpheus the key. Now Morpheus must contend with the hordes of supernatural delegations who have come to him to petition for this most valuable real estate. The Faeries want Hell permanently shut down, so that they will no longer have to pay their tithe to Hell. Odin and his compatriots view Hell as a possible refuge post-Ragnorak. Azazel and the other demons want it returned to them, to be reopened under demon rule. Each delegation has something Morpheus wants or needs -- and no matter who he chooses, he's going to piss off some of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. Lucifer has had his revenge. This is a really important story in terms of Morpheus's development as a character. He has claimed on more than one occasion that the Endless are unchanging, but this story sees Morpheus actually admit that he may have been wrong in the past. The scene where he finally apologizes to Nada (after saying, "I should apologize" in as many ways as he can without actually apologizing) is one of my favorites in the series. The storyline also has some really fantastic humorous moments, as all of the various gods and supernatural beings encounter each other in the realm of Dream. My favorite is Thor's overbearing attempts at flirting with Bast, as he asks her if she would like to see his hammer ("it gets bigger when you rub it"). Definitely good stuff.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paul Nelson

    Seasons of mist is definitely the best of the Sandman series so far, Destiny of the Endless is visited by the Fates and as a result calls a family meeting. Present are Destiny, Dream, Death, the twins Desire and Despair, and Delirium, only one of the Endless is missing which is an intriguing fact by itself. Destiny tells them of his meeting with the Fates and sets of a significant chain of events, Desire argues with Dream about one of Dream's past romances, a young tribal woman named Nada who he Seasons of mist is definitely the best of the Sandman series so far, Destiny of the Endless is visited by the Fates and as a result calls a family meeting. Present are Destiny, Dream, Death, the twins Desire and Despair, and Delirium, only one of the Endless is missing which is an intriguing fact by itself. Destiny tells them of his meeting with the Fates and sets of a significant chain of events, Desire argues with Dream about one of Dream's past romances, a young tribal woman named Nada who he banished to Hell ten thousand years ago on refusing his proposal. Dream finally admits that his decision was wrong and sets out to put things right, a visit to Hell is necessary and after his last trip there, things may not end well at all. Prepared for a battle from which he may not return, Dream is some what surprised to find when he arrives at the gates of Hell that Lucifer has decided to abdicate the throne of Hell and is in the process of evicting the ranks of demons and the damned before locking the gates and deserting his post forever. Unfortunately, with no where to go the dead will return to the living, with catastrophic results. As a final gesture Lucifer gifts Dream with the key to Hell, its the last thing that Dream wants and its the start of many visitors to the Dreamland all with various proposals, bribes and threats for the Key to Hell. An excellent story, interesting character development, we meet the majority of the Endless and Dream has some tough decisions to make. A nice touch is the ending with Lucifer watching the sunset on an Australian beach

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