The nice thing about comic series is that they’re a quick read when I commit to them.
This week, we’re finishing up Volume 4 of The Sandman: Season of Mists. I don’t know if this is my favorite volume so far, but it is probably the best in terms of a good start to finish structure. Cutoffs are always a little arbitrary with comics because the action is ongoing and you know leads to some future event, so you have to call for a stop somewhere.
Volume 4 starts with a convening of meeting of The Endless (the siblings of the eponymous Sandman, Morpheus/Dream), which is Gaiman screwing with the reader a little. I don’t want to give it away, but the purpose of the meeting is one of those things Gaiman does better than most authors.
After this, we’re working through a fairly linear narrative. Dream wants to atone for a past indiscretion, which also involves tangling with Lucifer.
This is where we hit my favorite minor point of this volume. The TV show Lucifer is based off a comic series, which stems from Lucifer in The Sandman. Saying the TV show is based off The Sandman is like saying James Cameron’s Titanic is based off the historical event. Technically, it’s true, but you can’t look at one and know that it’s pulling from the other without seeing the full thing. I still wonder if I would have picked up on the show coming from Gaiman’s work (or that Gaiman’s Lucifer was based on David Bowie).
Because it’s a show, I don’t mind giving the plot point away: Lucifer abandons hell. In the show, he opens a night club and has cheeky shenanigans. In the comic, the shenanigans, so far, are left to Morpheus, who doesn’t do shenanigans so much as he broods for overly long periods of time.
But yeah, that’s where we’re at. In Volume 4, everything is getting cleaner. The stories are cleaner, the artwork’s cleaner, and the characters seem more cleanly embodied. I’ve enjoyed the series. I’d say I like Saga and Scott Pilgrim better, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a worthwhile series. I just don’t always enjoy the brooding of the series.
For the next book, I have no idea what it’ll be. I’m in the middle of two books, but I’m not picking up momentum, and I have Ready Player One sitting beside my couch daring me to read it. We’ll see.