Season of Mists

Season of Mists

Reprints issues 21-28 of the Vertigo DC Comics series; introduces Lucifer and The Endless...

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Title:Season of Mists
Author:Neil Gaiman
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Season of Mists Reviews

  • Anthony Chavez

    What happens when Lucifer decides to leave hell? Season of Mists, the fourth volume of The Sandman answers that question as Dream heads to Hell once again, this time to release a former lover who has been imprisoned and tortured for thousands of years. Upon arrival, he finds Hell deserted, and Lucifer ushering out the stragglers he has banished from the lands, he then hands dream the key to the kingdom.

    This is the best of the first four volumes in the series, with "A Doll's House" a close secon

    What happens when Lucifer decides to leave hell? Season of Mists, the fourth volume of The Sandman answers that question as Dream heads to Hell once again, this time to release a former lover who has been imprisoned and tortured for thousands of years. Upon arrival, he finds Hell deserted, and Lucifer ushering out the stragglers he has banished from the lands, he then hands dream the key to the kingdom.

    This is the best of the first four volumes in the series, with "A Doll's House" a close second, this should not be missed by fans, nor casual observers.

    Gaiman always adds epic storytelling and mythology in the series and this volume is no exception, Season of Mists takes on a lot: sin, redemption, both personal and religious, and the battle between good and evil. To discuss too much of the plot would ruin some of the rich suprises to come, but Gaiman's inventiveness is to the max here, with a gleefully funny and fascinating scene involving intrigue and lobbying by any number of demons, gods, and demigods, this provides an interesting look at the interactions between them (Thor getting ridiculously drunk and hitting on women during the banquet, for example). There is also a great ghost story set in a boys school that's not really like any haunted house tale you've ever read. But in the midst of his epic scope, Gaiman never neglects the smaller and more intimate touches, and scenes involving nothing more than an unlikely character commenting on a sunset or an unexpected birth revealing unexpected depths and complexities to Gaiman's creations. The character of Lucifer is excellent and intriguing as well, and God's reward to the two angels who oversaw Dreams decision? Well, that's up to the reader to decide. It's become apparent just a little ways into the volume that Gaiman has constructed something akin to a new cosmology and mythology here, and while it's wonderful to get lost in his worlds, it's the surprisingly human characters that keep us enthralled and reading volume after volume.

  • Bradley

    Now the good stuff really gets started.

    Introducing most of the Eternals, we discover intrigue with Destiny, some deep sadness in Delirium, friendship in Death, capriciousness in Desire, and maybe a bit of reasonableness in Despair. Dream is there, of course, and he's rightly annoyed with his siblings.

    He is, after all, the one who had perpetrated a great crime. Who are they to taunt him?

    Ah, Nada. Such a tragic figure.

    And she's only a plot hook!

    Oh Hell... I'm not going to spoil Hell, but Dream goe

    Now the good stuff really gets started.

    Introducing most of the Eternals, we discover intrigue with Destiny, some deep sadness in Delirium, friendship in Death, capriciousness in Desire, and maybe a bit of reasonableness in Despair. Dream is there, of course, and he's rightly annoyed with his siblings.

    He is, after all, the one who had perpetrated a great crime. Who are they to taunt him?

    Ah, Nada. Such a tragic figure.

    And she's only a plot hook!

    Oh Hell... I'm not going to spoil Hell, but Dream goes back to right his great wrong.

    I was so surprised with the outcome. Delighted. Flabbergasted. The implications were enormous and made me giddy with anticipation.

    If the Eternals weren't enough to make things interesting, we also get the Aesir, Angels, Chaos, Chinese Gods, Devils, Fae, and Order knocking on Dream's door to threaten, bribe, plead. So totally delicious.

    I read American Gods before Sandman, so I was grooving to this tune and this twist in a big way. Hell, this Volume epitomizes everything I love about the Sandman Series. When it thinks big, it thinks BIG. Let's not piddle around the the little crap, shall we? Let's move Heaven and Earth.

    Woo! Woo! If only all comics could get this grandiose! (Of course, I later learned that some could get pretty close, but this is my first taste of something really good.)

  • Algernon

    The speech of Lucifer Morningstar on giving up his responsibilities in Hell would be good enough to justify the five stars review, but there is a lot more to like in this new book of the Sandman comic. Like the old fashioned chapter headings, teasers of events to come and plot twists to discover:

    issue 21 :

    The prologue brin

    The speech of Lucifer Morningstar on giving up his responsibilities in Hell would be good enough to justify the five stars review, but there is a lot more to like in this new book of the Sandman comic. Like the old fashioned chapter headings, teasers of events to come and plot twists to discover:

    issue 21 :

    The prologue brings together for the first time the Sandman's family, at the behest of the Fates (The Maid / Mother / Crone triumvirate we have already met):

    is the oldest of the Endless; he sees the fine traceries the galaxies make as they spiral through the void, he watches the intricate patterns living things make on their journey through time. Destiny smells of dust and the libraries of night.

    He leaves no footprints.

    He casts no shadow.

    Never a possession, always the possessor, with skin as pale as smoke, and eyes tawny and sharp like yellow wine: Desire is everything you ever wanted. Whoever you are. Whatever you are. Everything.

    It is said that scattered through

    domain are a multitude of tiny windows, hanging in the void. Each window looks out on a different scene, being, in our world, a mirror. Sometimes you will look into a mirror and feel the eyes of

    upon you, feel her hook catch and snag on your heart.

    is the youngest of the Endless. She smells of sweat, sour wines, late nights, old leather.

    is rake-thin, with skin the colour of falling snow. He acumulates names to himself like others make friends; but he permits himself few friends.

    There is a tale that one day in every century

    takes on mortal flesh, better to comprehend what the lives she takes must feel like, to taste the bitter tang of mortality; that this is the price she must pay for being the divider of the living from all that has gone before, all that must come after.

    The seventh Endless is lost, or playing truant, but that's a tale for another time. For now, Dream has to return to Hell and claim back, Nada, the mortal he sent there after she refused his love.

    issue 22:

    The Sandman says good bye to his friends, he knows he may not return from the place he was warned off in an earlier issue. He also makes preparations for his succession: a child born in the realm of dreams is offered as a possible solution. Hob Gadling, one of the few mortal friends of the Sandman makes a cameo appearance and a toast:

    My favorite panels in this issue are about The Library od Dreams, a place similar in a way to Jasper Fforde's Well of Lost Plots or to Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I hope I will see more of it in future issues.

    issue 23:

    This is probably the best single issue in the series so far. It looks at the realm of hell as the shadow of Heaven,

    I'll quote his rant in full, because it is too good to miss or truncate:

    Lucifer has had enough, he quits, empties Hell of all its inhabitants, locks out the realm and leaves Morpheus to sort out the mess.

    I'll stop now with the chapter headings and with the detailed synopsis, after all, it would not do to spoil all the plot points. Suffice to say that Morpheus has a hot potato in his hands and must pass on the responsibilities for managing Hell before the demons and the dead returning to life invade the other realms. He will host a banquet in the Dreaming for all the parties interested - mythical creatures from all ages and cultures (Faerie, Valhalla, Egypt, the Roman Empire, angels, demons, oriental heroes, chaos and order avatars). He will be offered bribes and blackmail and he will have to fight to impose his will on this unruly crowd.

    Great stuff with a dose of black humor to temper the horror parts, capital writing, decent graphics that may be sometimes a letdown for me, but are easy to ignore as I follow the story.

    Onward to book five.

  • Patrick

    This is the point in the series where shit gets real.

    For one thing, this is the first glimpse you have of how truly mythically all-encompasing this series is. You have Odin, the Lucifer, some Faeries, Demons, a Japanese storm god, Bast and Anubis, two angelic presences, and other assorted powers all hanging out, not just in the same story. But on the same page.

    And it makes sense. You're left thinking, oh, yeah. Sure. Why wouldn't Thor be hitting on Bast?

    Even more importantly, this is the poin

    This is the point in the series where shit gets real.

    For one thing, this is the first glimpse you have of how truly mythically all-encompasing this series is. You have Odin, the Lucifer, some Faeries, Demons, a Japanese storm god, Bast and Anubis, two angelic presences, and other assorted powers all hanging out, not just in the same story. But on the same page.

    And it makes sense. You're left thinking, oh, yeah. Sure. Why wouldn't Thor be hitting on Bast?

    Even more importantly, this is the point where, when I first read it, I thought. "Wait. What? Do you mean that all those cool little stand-alone stories *weren't* stand alone stories? Are you telling me that all these tiny stories (which I loved, and would have left me completely blissed and satisfied all by themselves) are actually all part of a bigger story?"

    My mind was blown. And it still kinda is. I'd never seen this done before, and I've never seen it done as well since.

  • Bill  Kerwin

    Neil Gaiman is at his best when his imagination is peopled with gods and demons—magnificent, outsize personalities, ranging from the eerily transcendent to the surprisingly human—and the tale he chooses to tell in “Season of Mists” gives him ample room to create a godly and superior fantasy.

    The plot is simple. Lucifer abdicates Hell, sending the damned back to earth, and turns the keys over to Dream. Dream doesn’t really want the property—too vast, too hard to keep up—but a lot if other beings d

    Neil Gaiman is at his best when his imagination is peopled with gods and demons—magnificent, outsize personalities, ranging from the eerily transcendent to the surprisingly human—and the tale he chooses to tell in “Season of Mists” gives him ample room to create a godly and superior fantasy.

    The plot is simple. Lucifer abdicates Hell, sending the damned back to earth, and turns the keys over to Dream. Dream doesn’t really want the property—too vast, too hard to keep up—but a lot if other beings do, including demons, angels, fairies, and (yes, of course) gods): Odin, Thor, Loki, Anubis, Bes, Bast, the Shinto storm god Susano-o-no-Mikoto, and the personifications of Order (a cardboard box carried by a genie) and Chaos (a little girl dressed like a clown). The delightful center of the tale is a grand banquet in the house of Dream, where these beings offer their bids and bribes for the prize of an empty Hell. One of these offers interests Dream greatly: a chance to rescue his lover Queen Nada from the consequences of his youthful anger.

    The central story is handled expertly, and the major digression—about dead schoolboys and masters returning to their boarding school during vacation—is very good too.

    Gaiman's inspiration for

    was a remark of Jesuit theologian and anthropologist Teilhard de Chardin: “You have told me, O God, to believe in hell. But you have forbidden me to think...of any man as damned.” An easily resolved paradox, Gaiman thought to himself, provided you empty Hell. The title is derived from Keat’s “Autumn”: “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Although the association of “mellow fruitfulness” with Hell may seem ironic, I believe its message is straightforward. In

    , Dream does become more "mellow'" dying to unwelcome burdens and ancient rages, and gaining the fruits—a small portion, at least—of peace, reconciliation and love.

    Finally, I would like to share with you my favorite part of

    . Isn’t it funny how often a minor character can fascinate you so much he almost blots out the rest? For me, that character is Breschau of Livonia. This imaginary Eastern European noble (I know he’s imaginary, having looked him up in vain) proudly insists he remain in Hell because of the enormity of his deeds, which he relates in detail, proclaiming “I am Breschau of Livonia.” Lucifer dismisses him with these words: “But no one today remembers Breschau. No one. I doubt one living mortal in a hundred thousand could even point to where Livonia used to be, on a map. The world has forgotten you.”

    Not I, Lord Breschau, not I.

  • Bookdragon Sean

    I find myself at a loss for words whenever I come to review a volume of this series, simply because it is just that good. What is there to talk of that will do it justice? Could I speak of the intelligent weaving of mythological figures with distinctively human personalities? No. Not enough. Could I speak of the literary allusions and most apt references to long dead poets and writers? No. Not enough. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that

    This is by far the bes

    I find myself at a loss for words whenever I come to review a volume of this series, simply because it is just that good. What is there to talk of that will do it justice? Could I speak of the intelligent weaving of mythological figures with distinctively human personalities? No. Not enough. Could I speak of the literary allusions and most apt references to long dead poets and writers? No. Not enough. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that

    This is by far the best thing he has written. As great as some of his other writing is,

    series is on a whole new level. The writing here tackles marvellously big concepts in such a clear and careful way. Dream, Death, Fate, Desire, Delirium, Despair and Destruction are powerful concepts that move human existence. In part, they help to define it. Gaiman represents them as a dysfunctional family, as forces, working to keep the balance within the universe.

    Central to this series is Dream. And everybody does it, even the Devil himself. Lucifer has had enough of ruling in hell and wants to go and experience a few new things, only natural really after ruling in the fire pit for thousands of years. Dream grants his request and as such is left with the keys to hell itself as Lucifer goes on seemingly indefinite vacation.

    But Dream has his own responsibilities; he can’t be the new lord of hell. So he gives the keys away, though who could be suitable for such a task? All manner of beings come to claim them. Anubis, Thor and Odin, The King of Fay, some demons from hell and even a few of god’s chose angels come to observe the decision making. All appear unequal to the task; they all have their own personal motives and seek nothing but more power. They attempt to manipulate Dream; they use death threats, bribery and even resort to the use of hostages in order to sway him.

    Dream, however, is revolute and understands that all power must be balanced within the universe. The central story is very strong, though what I saw here was the beginning of all the loose threads coming together. As grand as this story felt, it is clearly just a small chapter in a much larger story that is only just starting to reveal itself. This series seems to be picking up some momentum. Good things are sure to be ahead.

  • Sean Gibson

    I’ve been gradually warming to this series as it’s picked up momentum, and Vol. 4 proved to be a glorious realization of its vast potential. What begins as the weirdest family reunion of all time takes a turn when Dream’s family calls him out for the very douche bag move of condemning his ex-girlfriend to eternal damnation in a fit of pique because she totally wanted to date other people. Dream decides to journey to Hell to save her soul and hijinks ensue, not the least of which involves

    I’ve been gradually warming to this series as it’s picked up momentum, and Vol. 4 proved to be a glorious realization of its vast potential. What begins as the weirdest family reunion of all time takes a turn when Dream’s family calls him out for the very douche bag move of condemning his ex-girlfriend to eternal damnation in a fit of pique because she totally wanted to date other people. Dream decides to journey to Hell to save her soul and hijinks ensue, not the least of which involves

    I’m not especially enamored of Kelley Jones’s art, but it suits the tone of Sandman well enough to tell a story that is, by turns, dark and twisty and light and absurd. It’s delightful good fun.

    Onward to Vol. 5!

  • Kyriaki

    3,5*

    Σε αυτό τον τέταρτο τόμο είχαμε μια οικογενειακή συνάντηση των Endless, την εμφάνιση μιας παλιάς αγαπημένης, τον Lucifer που βαρέθηκε να είναι ο κυρίαρχος της Κόλασης, νεκρούς που κυκλοφορούν ελεύθεροι, ένα κλειδί και πολύ κόσμο που το διεκδικεί. Πολλά πράγματα μαζεμένα, είχε κάποια πολύ ωραία κομμάτια που είχαν ενδιαφέρον αλλά κάποιες άλλες φορές βαριόμουν και λίγο........γούστο είχε αλλά όχι από τους αγαπημένους μου τόμους.......

    (*επίσης οι άγγελοι ελπίζω να μην ξαναεμφανιστούν! τα γράμματ

    3,5*

    Σε αυτό τον τέταρτο τόμο είχαμε μια οικογενειακή συνάντηση των Endless, την εμφάνιση μιας παλιάς αγαπημένης, τον Lucifer που βαρέθηκε να είναι ο κυρίαρχος της Κόλασης, νεκρούς που κυκλοφορούν ελεύθεροι, ένα κλειδί και πολύ κόσμο που το διεκδικεί. Πολλά πράγματα μαζεμένα, είχε κάποια πολύ ωραία κομμάτια που είχαν ενδιαφέρον αλλά κάποιες άλλες φορές βαριόμουν και λίγο........γούστο είχε αλλά όχι από τους αγαπημένους μου τόμους.......

    (*επίσης οι άγγελοι ελπίζω να μην ξαναεμφανιστούν! τα γράμματα με τα οποία μιλούσαν με πέθαναν!!)

  • Alejandro

    Writer: Neil Gaiman

    Illustrators: Kelly Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt & P. Craig Russell

    Covers: Dave McKean

    Letterer: Todd Klein

    Yet another impressive introduction to the TPB by Harlan Ellison, denoting again that

    is something else in the middle of the genre of comic books.

    Writer: Neil Gaiman

    Illustrators: Kelly Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt & P. Craig Russell

    Covers: Dave McKean

    Letterer: Todd Klein

    Yet another impressive introduction to the TPB by Harlan Ellison, denoting again that

    is something else in the middle of the genre of comic books.

    This volume has an epic beginning with a reunión of the members of the Endless, well all of them except the “prodigal Destruction” who went awol lefting behind his responsibilities.

    This family reunión of the Endless is easily the strongest section of the TPB and a real pleasure to read.

    The rest of the TPB and the main storyline developed in this volume has a wonderful premise but that I humbly think that it wasn’t properly exploited to its full potential.

    Morpheus, the embodiment of Dream committed an injustice long time ago.

    In the volumen

    is told the tragic love story of Queen Nada, a mythical ruler of a vey ancient kingdom, and whose sad tale has been transmitted through generations when men reached maturity age. Nada fell in love with Dream, but loving an Endless member is something... complicated to say the least.

    Morpheus is going to Hell looking for Nada, since he found her there in his previous trip to the Hellish realm while he was looking for his mask to gather all his lost power during his imprisonment by magic.

    Hell is empty. Lucifer quit. Really.

    And now Morpheus is left with the Key to Hell. Literally the key to open or to close, Hell.

    This unprecedent event will provoke an unique gathering of gods and divine envoys of many origins (Norse, Japanese, Egyptian, Christian, etc...) even embodiments of primal forces.

    Everybody wants the Key to Hell and Morpheus is the one who will decide!

    At that point, I was astonished, my mind was in neuronal fireworks!

    The developing of that hallucinative premise was, mmh... how to say it? ... Simple? Lacking of a real challenge to the main character (Morpheus)?

    There were so many possibilities, so many paths to take, a wide open field of odds, and at the end (without spoiling anything) is like... mmh... okay... while more the things change, more remain the same?

    Oh, and in the middle of that, you will find also a cool ghost story happening in a boarding school that I enjoyed a lot.

    So, while it contains incredible cool characters and a smart narrative, I found the ending, weak and unadventurous.

    Certainly I will keep reading this epic run of

    , you can bet on that!

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