Classic Comic Book Canon: The Sandman. Issues 9-12

Welcome back. We’re continuing with The Doll’s House storyline.

 

Issue #9

Title: “Tales in the Sand”

Artist:Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III

Collected in:The Doll’s House

Plot: A boy and his grandfather walk in the desert. He has been circumsized and he is brought into the desert to hear a story that is told only once.

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The boy discovers a piece of desert-glass, which the grandfather reveals is part of a glass city that was once the home of their people. That city had been ruled by a woman named Nada. One day, a stranger came, and when Nada laid eyes on him, she knew that he was the one she would love. That night, she didn’t sleep, but when she went out to find the man the next morning, he was gone.

The weaverbird told her of a certain tree on the Sun whose berries were known to bring those who consumed them to the sides of their loved ones. The bird brought Nada such a berry, and when she consumed it, she awoke in the Dreaming. She realized that she had fallen in love with one of the Endless, she shied away. Shevran, but he pursued. They made love all night. The rest of the world dreamed of love because of it.

When the sun rose, it saw what they had done, and knowing it was wrong, it beat down and melted the entire city of glass. Nada watched in horror, knowing that the death of her people and the fall of her city was the result of their folly. Anguished, she threw herself from the mountain top, and died against the rocks below.

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When she woke in the realm of death, Dream came to her and asked her again to join him as his queen. She refused, knowing that more pain would come as a result of their union. He asked again, warning that he would punish her with eternal damnation if she did not agree. She was forced to say no, and so was condemned to Hell for eternity.

The boy is displeased with this story, but his grandfather tells him that the story must be told just so to his own son. It is hinted, though, that there is another version of the story passed down among women – one that may have a happier ending.

Keep an eye on: The shape of the glass shard. We’ll see that Rose’s heart looks similar

My take What I like about this story is that it hearkens back to the oral tradition of storytelling. It’s told like an ancient myth. The story also shows how cruel Dream can be when he feels slighted

 

Issue #10 Title: “The Doll’s House (Part One)”

Artist: Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III

Collected in: The Doll’s House

Plot: Desire summons his/her twin sister Despair to a private gallery. He/she tells Despair about the coming of a dream vortex in the form of a young woman.

Miranda Walker and her daughter Rose arrive in England. They are traveling to meet an apparently rich and eccentric woman, who sent them the cryptic invitation to come see her. On the way, Rose falls asleep.

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In her dream, she sees Lucien taking a census of all the inhabitants of the Dreaming for the Lord of Dreams. Four of the major arcana are still missing from the Dreaming: Brute and Glob, the Corinthian and Fiddler’s Green. Lucien adds that there have been rumours of a dream vortex floating about, and Dream reveals that he already knows that it is a girl, and points to Rose, sitting in the corner of his castle.

Miranda and Rose are greeted by Unity Kincaid, who reveals that while she was in a coma for several decades, she gave birth to a child, and that child was Miranda Walker. Having stepped out of the room, Rose wanders the house and has an encounter with the Hecatae. They warn her about the Corinthian and the coming of Dream.

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As a gift, Unity offers a ring to Rose – the same ring that Rose dreamed about. She begins to fear that her dreams are coming true.

In Amarillo, Texas, the Corinthian, a sadistic nightmare entity, captures a boy named Davy.

First appearance: Desire of the Endless, Despair of the Endless, Rose Walker, Miranda Walker, The Corinthian

Keep an eye on: The Hecate tell Rose that she wouldn’t want to meet them as The Kindly Ones, referring to the aspect of them that punishes people for their hubris and sacrilege.

My take We start seeing some of the story lines from the first issue starting to pay off.

 

I am going to take a second and explain the Bronze Age Sandman. The character was created by Jack Kirby and the character could enter the dreams of children to fight nightmares. The only child the Sandman ever visited was Jed Paulsen. It is revealed that Garrett Sanford couldn’t take the pressure and comitted suicide.

Hector Hall is the son of the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Lyta Trevor is the daughter of the Golden Age Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor 1 They were in a superhero group called Infinity, Inc. as the Silver Scarab and the Fury. Hector was possesed by an enemy of his father and killed, his spirit sent into the Dreaming, where it was placed into Sanford’s body by Brute and Glob. Lyta was pregnant with his child and she came to live with him in the Dreaming. The child remained within her womb without being born

 

Issue #11

Title: :”Moving In”

Artist: Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III

Collected in: The Doll’s House

Plot: Rose Walker moves into an apartment in Florida with a number of eccentric housemates. She is searching for her brother Jed.

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In a dream, Jed dreams of being taken flying by Hector Hall and his wife Lyta. The boy wakes in a dark boiler room and feels his way along the wall, urinating into a corner, and then returning to sleep.

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Matthew the Raven has been spying on Rose for Dream, with the knowledge that as a vortex, she will soon attract the four errant members of the major arcana that have gone missing. Matthew reports that Rose is seeking her younger brother, and Dream takes an interest. He tasks Matthew with finding a picture of the boy so that the Lord of Dreams can find him.

Rose attends one of Hal’s drag revues. On the way home a group of thugs accost her with intent to rob and then rape her. Fortunately, an imposing figure appears and pulls out a sword, scaring the thugs off. It turns out that this man is Gilbert.

In Alabama, the Corinthian, having recently murdered two more people, makes a call to a person called Nimrod, hoping to arrange a meeting in Georgia between like-minded individuals – killers.

Meanwhile, the private investigators have determined that Jed is living somewhere in Georgia, and Rose plans to go off in search of him. Gilbert insists on accompanying her. On the road, she explains that Jed is apparently living with her second cousin Clarice on a farm. They’re claiming nearly $800 per month from the state for him, so she hopes they’re using it to take good care of him.

Dream locates the boy, and realizes that Brute and Glob have actually managed to sneak into Jed’s mind to severing him from the Dreaming.

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First appearance: The residents of the boarding house: Hal, Ken, Barbie, Chantel, Zelda, and Gilbert (in human form)

DC characters Hector Hall, (First appearance: All-Star Squadron #25) Lyta Hall, (First appearance: Wonder Woman #300) Daniel Paulsen, Brute, Gob (First appearance of all three: The Sandman (vol. 1) #1.

Matthew the Raven shows up for the first time in the series. He started out as Matthew Cable, a character in Swamp Thing. The character died while in the Dreaming and Morpheus offered him the choice to serve him as his raven. (First appearance: {as Matthew Cable} Swamp Thing vol.1 #1 {as Matthew the Raven} Swamp Thing vol.2 #84.)

Historical references Gilbert resembles the author G.K. Chesterson. Hal’s drag character is named “Dolly,” a likely reference to the musical Hello Dolly. The song that Rose is learning is “Oh, You Beautiful Doll.”

Keep an eye on: The style of Jed’s dream is similar to Little Nemo in Slumberland.

My take I have to express my love for Matthew. By the end of the story, he becomes the heart of the book.

 

Issue # 12

Title: “Playing House”

Artist: Chris Bachelo and Malcolm Jones III

Collected in: The Doll’s House

Plot: Hector Hall becomes aware of an entity approaching the Dream Dome. Lyta wonders why she hasn’t given birth yet, given that she was pregnant two years ago when they first came to the Dream Dome. Jed Paulsen is locked the cellar by his second cousins Clarice and Barnaby. Brute and Glob realize that the approaching nightmare is Morpheus, and they fully expect Hector to lose his battle against their former master, but they hope it will buy them time to escape.

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After their rental car breaks down, Rose Walker and her companion Gilbert walk back to a hotel, which is unfortunately hosting a cereal convention, which has booked it up. They talk their way into getting a room for the night despite the lack of vacancies.

As Hector goes out to face Morpheus, who is amused by Hector’s efforts, knowing that the man is already dead. Hector’s delusion amuses Dream further, but eventually he brings the dream to an end.

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Dream demands an explanation of the two nightmares. They had hoped to build a new Dream King of their own making in their master’s prolonged imprisonment. Annoyed, Dream cleans up their mess for them and condemns them to the darkness for thousands of years.

Dream unceremoniously commands Hector to go to the land of the dead, and Hector is ripped away from his wife. Lyta is angered, refusing to accept that her husband has been dead these last two years. Dream warns that the baby she carries belongs to him, and that he will return for it. Seething, she promises that he will only get the child over her dead body.

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Meanwhile, Jed escapes to the road, and is picked up by a car. The driver turns out to be the Corinthian.

DC characters The last few issues of the 1970’s Sandman had Jed’s grandfather dying, and the boy moving in with an abusive aunt and uncle.

Keep an eye on: It ain’t over between Lyta and Morpheus. The appointment Morpheus mentions is meeting Hob Gadling next issue

My take Morpheus handled this poorly. He states that he has to fix what Brute and Glob did, but leaves Lyta on her own, resenting him. This will be part of his eventual destruction. He also does nothing to help Jed, whose mind has been abused the entire time, letting Jed to be found by The Corintian