Sandman Retrospective Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

th

We have no nightmares. We are the hounds of Hades.  Gods fear us. Demons fear us.  We have hounded kings and angels. We have taken vengeance on worlds and on universes. We are the Kindly Ones”–the Furies

The story of Sandman’s penultimate and ninth volume was hinted throughout the series.  Everything was building up to it.   Desire’s lust for power. Hector Hal’s wife Hippolyta’s hatred of Dream. Her infant son Daniel even visited the House of Mystery in a previous volume.  This is the main reason Vertigo was my favorite thing about DC. They gave the creators more freedom than DC’s main line titles. Gaiman was allowed to decide when his story would end. DC could’ve pressured him to keep it going longer than he wished, but they let him decide its finale.

This story has Loki and Robin Goodfellow do the unthinkable. This is not the Loki from Marvel’s comics. That Loki is a misrepresented god of evil, complete with horns. No, the Loki of Norse myths was a god of mischief, not evil.  As for Robin Goodfellow, he is another example of Shakespeare’s influence on Gaiman.  This is the same Robin Goodfellow from his famous comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In that story, Robin played pranks on the other characters and reveled in the events that resulted from them.  He did not seem to care about the consequences of his actions, as should be expected of a trickster. Robin is a great representation of the “chaotic neutral” alignment. The chaotic neutral character is often a trickster, who doesn’t side with either good or evil, and instead operates in total freedom.  And it is this carelessness that threatens the very fabric of the Dreaming. It is so dire that Dream even conjures another Corinthian, the very same twisted creature who feasted on eyeballs. This time, however, Dream erases the Corinthian’s will so that he will be completely loyal to his creator and sends him, with Matthew as his keeper, to locate the missing infant.  (Against Matthew’s wishes, I should add.) Continue reading “Sandman Retrospective Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones”

Advertisements