Things are stranger than ever in the world of The Dreaming, with Sandman leaving the authority of the realm to one of the strangest new characters in recent memory.
Fans don't yet know what to expect from the mysterious "Stranger" who has arrived to depose the former (and much worse) ruler of the dream realm, but hopes weren't high, given its introduction as an "insane" new creature in the body of a small boy crossed with a silk moth. Thankfully, our exclusive preview of The Dreaming #9 confirms that the hunt for Sandman is officially under way.
The issue actually picks up where the story of Dora and The Dreaming left off back in Issue #6. Having united the creatures of The Dreaming to try to depose the horrifying Judge as de facto ruler of their reality, a new entity coalesced to finish the job. What began as a voice was soon revealed to be something odd, mysterious, but distinctly removed from the other Endless readers may have expected to step up in Sandman's absence. We'll let this "Stranger" introduce themselves, in case anyone has forgotten:
"I appear to be deeply incorporated into the fabric of this realm, hence subordinate to its lore... Incidentally, some conclusions have occurred. From context I infer that I am a discarnate sentience composed of several trillion self-adjusting instructions. Whether by chance or design, I gestated within the void left by your absent operator. This would imply some manner of flaw in my configuration... It means I think I'm an artificial intelligence... I'm afraid I've accidentally assumed control of this realm... And it is entirely likely I am insane."
That's the kind of introduction which suggests Dora and her friends haven't seen anything yet. But the first pages of the follow-up issue may not be the proof that "the fix is worse than the break" many would have assumed. Ruling The Dreaming is too nagging a responsibility for even an insane A.I. to spin out of control, it seems. And in the preview pages below, the search for Sandman begins thanks to one fragment of his body left behind:
Where has Sandman gone that he could be found by smell? Why is a fingernail all that was left? And is the Stranger bound to do more damage than good in Dora's absence? The questions to these answers and more will be answered in the full issue this Wednesday. Until then, check out the full details and synopsis below:
- THE DREAMING (2019) #9
- Published: May 1st, 2019
- Writer: Simon Spurrier
- Art: Bilquis Evely
- Cover: Yanick Paquette
- Chapter 9: “Entrances and Reflections.” It seeks him here, it seeks him there, The nightmare seeks him everywhere. Is he in faerie, or among damned screams...? That doomed, elusive Lord of Dreams...
The Dreaming #9 will be available from your local comic book store on May 1st, or direct from DC/Vertigo.