Vol 3: Dream Country, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran, and Malcolm Jones III
In this volume, we start to get a sense of Dream’s powers and his role as one of the immortals. In the first story, we meet struggling novelist Ric Madok who trades a bezoar for a muse. She pleads with her sisters to send her Dream, known as Oneiros, to help her escape. Then, we hear of a great dream by a Saimese, wishing to change the world for good if she can only convince other cats what she dreams is real. Next, we the company of Will Shakespeare performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the real faefolk who inspired the tale, but its success will have a steep price for the Bard. Lastly, we witness the torture of Rainie, a metamorphae who desperately wants to end her existence but merely transmutes into other substances. She is visited by Death, who isn’t really there for her, but helps her nonetheless.
This volume is a collection of four separate issues of The Sandman, and is positioned in between two larger story arcs. Thus, it is a little disconnected to the rest of the plot-lines of vols 2 and 4. While I personally extremely enjoyed the story of the cats, being a cat-mom myself, most agree that the third story, the tale of the origins of A Midsummer Night's Dream is the true masterpiece in this volume. The Shakespearean language is interwoven with the commentary of Dream and the fae-folk, mirroring the play-within-a-play style the Bard is famous for. The other two stories are a bit of a miss - the first only showing the enormous power Dream has over the human mind, the last to give us more depth to Death.
The illustrations are dark, full of deep hues, and rely much on shadows and shading. There is also a roughness to it
There is rape of the muse, which follows Greek mythology, and some above-the-waste nudity, and also the liberal use of cigarettes by Rainie. Vertigo's suggestion of "Mature Readers" is very fitting with the contents of this volume.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Demons, Horror, Superheroes
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