Graphic Novel Review: The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists

by Neil Gaiman, Malcom Jones III, Kelley Jones (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator)
Publisher: Titan Books
Format: Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Horror/Mythology
Release Date: September 1st, 1992
Goodreads

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Oh, Sandman, how many times and in how many ways can I say I love you? Seriously, I know people rave about it all the time but I can really see why this is consistently held up as one of the great graphic novels. Four volumes in and it keeps getting better and better.

This volume really opens up the world, introducing us not just to the Endless family, but the other gods and personifications who exist. We see Lucifer and the demons once more, along with some faeries, and meet Odin, Loki, Thor, Bes, Bast, the personifications of Order and Chaos, angels, and so many more.

Dream descends to Hell, after a family meeting forces him to confront a past mistake. But once Dream gets there, things are strange; Hell is empty. Lucifer has decided to abdicate, and hands the key to Dream, who really definitely doesn’t want it. But what else can he do but take it? So he returns home, and his house quickly fills with others, all setting forth their reasons for why the key belongs to them. The story starts with the Endless, but we get to see a lot more and understand the scope of this world. And my timing of reading it makes it feel almost like another version of the MCU’s Phase 4 – the gods you confined to mythology are actually Real, thank you very much, and they can sure cause trouble.

This volume also ties in some of the previous one-shots, and makes you realise they’re not just there for filler. (Of course they’re not, this is The Sandman, but it’s here that idea is really cemented.) I love graphic novels like this, that are able to really take the time to build up worlds and characters, and keep the reader focused throughout. Even when we diverge from the main story, we know the main plot is waiting in the wings.

Season of Mists starts with a meeting of the Endless, and the implication that whatever happens here will change everything. And the graphic novel sure as hell delivers on that, in the best way possible, with the chain of events starting from Dream going into Hell. Another great volume in this fantastic series, and I can’t wait to see what Volume 5 has in store.

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