THE DREAMING #7 by Simon Spurrier, Abigail Larson, & Quinton Winter
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Lucian finds himself awake and in a hospital, thanks to Rose. But Lucian finds himself unable to speak. To get more information about her missing daughter, Rose tries to encourage Lucian to speak by telling Lucian her story. Simon Spurrier fills in some gaps about where Daniel's been. Paired with Abigail Larson and Quinton Winter's wonderful art, this issue is one you cannot miss!
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Finally Awake
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The Dreaming is almost restored, but where is Daniel? He’s been missing so long, it’s almost easy to forget he exists. Writer Simon Spurrier, artist Abigail Larson, and colorist Quinton Winter finally give us at least a glimpse of answers in THE DREAMING #7. Found friends, falling apart realms, and first loves build on how Daniel fits into his new title as the King of Dreams.

The Dreaming #7
THE DREAMING #7 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Focus on the Stories, Not the Ends

Rose is a woman with an ailing mother and a free-spirited daughter. Rose unexpectedly runs into an almost dead Lucian as he is laying on the beach, staring up at the sky and talking to himself. Lucian ends up in the same hospital as Rose’s mother, who is dying from cancer. While visiting her mother, Rose visits and questions Lucian about her missing daughter, Ivy. Apparently, a mysterious man has taken Ivy. In pursuit of the man, Rose stumbled onto Lucian and took him to the hospital.

Rose questions Lucian about Ivy’s whereabouts and whether or not Lucian knows who the mysterious man who took Ivy is. However, Lucian is not able to fully answer. He gives us broken words but he does show he understands what Rose is saying. Rose strikes a one-sided deal with Lucian, saying she’ll give him her life story in return for his. Although Lucian doesn’t directly agree (because he can’t), Rose starts to tell her story.

We learn a little bit about who she is. Rose describes how her mother always said to focus on the story, not the ends. In this issue, this idea is critical. We know who the mysterious man is, but we have no idea what he’s doing with Ivy.

Presque Vu

Simon Spurrier has done a fantastic job with each issue, and THE DREAMING #7 is no exception. Each issue does a fantastic job as a stand-alone as well as progresses the story, which is no easy feat. Although we don’t learn a lot about the characters we’ve come to know, we do learn about a few new characters.

The primary focus of this issue is centered on Rose. Through her life experiences, we get a strong glimpse of who she is and how she thinks. Through numerous memories, we see how Ivy came into being, how Rose has stumbled through life believing she is immortal, and we even have a run-in with Daniel. But, for the most part, Rose is the character we focus on. Lucian is unable to give full sentence responses and Daniel says very little in Rose’s memories. So there isn’t a lot of character fleshing out in this issue.

However, we do get a lot of background information. Through Rose, we see what Daniel has been doing and where he’s been. If you’re following the series, we have some gray areas that are now filled in, thanks to Rose. We have an idea of where the King of Dreams has been, but no idea of where he’s going next.

The Dreaming #7
THE DREAMING #7 page 6. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Jamais Vu

Abigail Larson and Quinton Winter do a fantastic job with this issue. The Sandman series has always had fabulous art, and it’s wonderful to see the tradition continue. With Larson and Winter at the art helm, we will not be let down visually anytime soon.

One of the major keys to this issue is differentiating the Dream realm, the Real world, and Rose’s memories. This can be difficult to balance because there are so many elements at work simultaneously. Larson and Winter, however, manage to capture these different dimensions through different efforts. Larson uses the paneling itself to divide the Real from Rose’s memories. She does this by encompassing Rose’s memories within smoke. This nice touch makes navigating what could be seen as disorganized panels much easier.

Winter helps divide the Real world from the Dream through his use of colors. In the Real world, Winter colors each panel in washed out, pastel colors. This creates a sort of dullness within the Real world. By contrast, the Dream is always done in bright, bold, and vivid colors. This dichotomy emphasizes what is real and what is dream. But, most importantly, it makes the story visually easy to follow. And it’s beautiful.

Overall Thoughts on THE DREAMING #7

If you’ve been following THE DREAMING, or any of the other comics in THE SANDMAN Universe, I highly recommend picking this issue up. It’s fantastic and fills in some of the holes we have in our knowledge. I’ve been dying to know where Daniel is and what is going to happen to the Dream realm. Simon Spurrier, Abigail Larson, and Quinton Winter give us strong storytelling in THE DREAMING #7. I can’t wait to see what unfolds next!

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