Author: Neil Gaiman | Illustrators: Malcolm Jones III / P. Craig Russell / George Pratt / Dick Giordano | Page Count: 218
"To absent friends, lost loves, old Gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the Devil his due.”
Book 4 of 10 in the Sandman saga introduces more of the Endless family as they gather for a family meeting. What invariably happens at family gatherings? Anthropomorphic personifications of abstract terms aren’t exempt. Shit hits the fan. It’s a hard life being an Endless. Morpheus’ conscience gets the better of him and he attempts to right a wrong he committed centuries before (see Vol 2: The Doll's House) by going somewhere he has no wish to ever go to again (see Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes). See now why I said to read them in order?
Morpheus has something he doesn’t want. Everyone else, who doesn’t have it, wants it. He has to decide which of them, if any, deserves it. This is the best multi-part story yet. Gaiman wove a garment so elaborate, with so many strands of weave flying loose, that he gave himself the means to knit any number of scarves from in the future. There are minor flaws in the weave if you look closely but it’s so beautiful you won’t care. Later in the book is a second gathering which creates ripples so big they are best described as immense crashing waves, leaving dead fish all over the place. Not literally, there aren’t really dead fish but there are a few dead school kids who got a spin-off (The Children's Crusade) which I haven’t read as it’s never been collected as a trade. *Grumble. Talking of spin-offs, if you ever wish to read Mike Carey’s spin-off series Lucifer (and you should, it’s excellent) it would be a good idea to try and get a hold of this book first.
If you’ve read comic books for any length of time you’ll know that Todd Klein is the best letterer in the business, this book gives him a chance to show the world why that is. I bet he had as much fun making this one as I did reading it.
The book collects together Sandman issues 21 - 28
5 crazy kids and an empty cardboard box out of 5