The Sandman: The Wake

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The Sandman: The Wake

Cover of The Sandman: The Wake  (1997), trade paperback collected edition.Art by Dave McKean.
Publisher DC Comics
Publication date August 1995 - March 1996
Genre
Title(s) The Sandman #70-75
Main character(s) Dream
ISBN ISBN 1-56389-287-1
Creative team
Writer(s) Neil Gaiman with material from William Shakespeare
Artist(s) Dave McKean
Michael Zulli
Charles Vess
Bryan Talbot
John Ridgway
Jon J Muth
Daniel Vozzo
Penciller(s) Michael Zulli
Charles Vess
Bryan Talbot
John Ridgway
Inker(s) Jon J Muth
Charles Vess
Letterer(s) Todd Klein
Colorist(s) Daniel Vozzo
Jon J Muth
Editor(s) Karen Berger
Shelly Roeberg

The Wake is the tenth and final collection of issues in the comic book series The Sandman. Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Michael Zulli, Jon J. Muth and Charles Vess, colored by Daniel Vozzo and Jon J. Muth, and lettered by Todd Klein.[1]

The collection opens with James Elroy Flecker's poem "The Bridge of Fire," prefacing the events which follow.

The stories in the collection first appeared in 1995 and 1996.[2] The collection first appeared in paperback and hardback in 1996.

Synopsis[edit]

The first three issues of the volume, "Chapter One, Which Occurs in the Wake of What Has Gone Before", "Chapter Two, In Which a Wake is Held", and "Chapter Three, In Which We Wake", comprise the wake and funeral held for Morpheus, who dies at the end of the ninth collection, The Kindly Ones. It is attended by "dreamers and guests", "celebrants and mourners"; many have played recurrent roles in the preceding volumes.[3] A series of speakers, ending with Death, reflect on the life and death of the late Dream King. Meanwhile, the new aspect of Dream, previously the child Daniel, starts to build relationships with the inhabitants of the Dreaming.

Issue 73, "The Wake: An Epilogue Sunday Morning", serves as epilogue to both the wake and the friendship between Hob Gadling and Morpheus. Gadling visits a renaissance festival with current girlfriend Guenevere and is visited by Death. Issues 74 and 75 resonate thematically and tonally with the first three issues; in terms of plot, they are placed achronologically.

"An Epilogue, Sunday Mourning"[edit]

"Sunday Mourning" follows the immortal Hob Gadling and his girlfriend at a Renaissance fair in modern day America. Hob, now going by Robbie, complains about the fair's sugar-coated depiction of the past, and regrets his past as a slaver. Already annoyed, he proceeds to drink heavily, eventually entering a condemned building, where he encounters Death. Death confirms Gadling's suspicions concerning Morpheus' death and offers him death as well. After some consideration, Hob turns her down. He then falls asleep and dreams of meeting Morpheus and Destruction on a beach, where the Dream King reconfirms his death and his companions laugh not unkindly. The three walk off together. Awakening, Hob returns to his girlfriend after the fair, his mood much improved.

Gaiman mentioned wanting to do a Renfaire issue with Hob in it because he thought it would be funny for several reasons: Gaiman himself mentioned in "The Sandman Companion" that he never liked Renfaires, particularly in America and wondered what it would be like if someone from the time popped in.

"Exiles"[edit]

"Exiles" is something of a companion to a story from Fables and Reflections, "Soft Places". It features a man, an adviser to the Emperor of China, who is sent into exile after his son allied himself with a take-off of the historical White Lotus Rebellion. In the course of the story we are drawn through a contemplative narration which sometimes leads one to think the old man has gone senile. With a significant nod to the parable style the old man's act of saving and caring for a stray kitten saves his life when he is lost through a soft place in reality and meets Morpheus, recently released from his imprisonment (Preludes and Nocturnes), and still weak. The old man continues walking in the soft place, again meeting Dream (Daniel Hall) who continues Morpheus's conversation. In both conversations he alludes to both former and future events. In the end the old man is reunited with his guide, his loyalty to the Emperor intact.

"The Tempest"[edit]

"The Tempest" concludes the bargain struck between Dream and William Shakespeare in "Men of Good Fortune" and featured in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". "The Tempest" sources less from its namesake than "A Midsummer Night's Dream" though Gaiman's tale reflects the Bard's continually. Gaiman sees "The Tempest" as a play about "stories and endings" and thus thought it a fitting end to the series, even though he had initially planned to place the issue long before.[4]

References to other DC characters[edit]

At the wake, Superman, Batman, and the Martian Manhunter are seen discussing their dreams. The dreams related by Superman and Batman are imaginary stories from the Silver Age and references to their adventures in other media[citation needed]. Superman and Batman mention dreams of being actors playing themselves, but Martian Manhunter claims he never has that dream[5] (referencing how Martian Manhunter never had a television show)[citation needed]. John Constantine, Doctor Occult and Phantom Stranger are also seen conversing. Constantine remarks "Nice trench coat",[6] referring to his own amused description of the three of them, with Mister E, as the Trenchcoat Brigade in the Books of Magic miniseries.[7] Darkseid can also be spotted sitting next to Rose Walker and her brother during the eulogies.[8]

Issues collected[edit]

Issue Title Writer Penciller Inker Colorist Letterer Ast Editor Editor
70 Chapter 1, Which Occurs in the Wake of What Has Gone Before Neil Gaiman Michael Zulli n/a Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
71 Chapter 2, In Which a Wake is Held Neil Gaiman Michael Zulli n/a Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
72 Chapter 3, In Which We Wake Neil Gaiman Michael Zulli n/a Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
73 An Epilogue, Sunday Mourning Neil Gaiman Michael Zulli n/a Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
74 Exiles Neil Gaiman n/a Jon J Muth Jon J Muth Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
75 The Tempest Neil Gaiman / William Shakespeare Charles Vess / Bryan Talbot / John Ridgway / Michael Zulli Charles Vess Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
  • Issues 70-73 did not have an inker, and were done only in pencils and color.
  • Issue 72 contains additional pages in the Wake bound collection versus the original comic.
  • Issue 74 did not have a penciler, and was done entirely in inks.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1997). The Sandman: The Wake. New York, NY: DC Comics. p. 5. ISBN 1-56389-279-0. 
  2. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1997). The Sandman: The Wake. New York, NY: DC Comics. p. 6. ISBN 1-56389-279-0. 
  3. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1997). The Sandman: The Wake. New York, NY: DC Comics. p. 37. ISBN 1-56389-279-0. 
  4. ^ Bender, Hy (2000). The Sandman Companion. Titan Books Ltd. p. 224. ISBN 1840231645. 
  5. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1997). The Sandman: The Wake. DC Comics. p. 62. ISBN 1-56389-279-0. 
  6. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1997). The Sandman: The Wake. DC Comics. p. 62. ISBN 1-56389-279-0. 
  7. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1993). The Books of Magic. DC Comics. ISBN 1563890828. 
  8. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1997). The Sandman: The Wake. DC Comics. p. 73. ISBN 1-56389-279-0. 

External links[edit]