Off the Shelf: The Sandman: Overture, #6

The Sandman: Overture (2013-) #6The Sandman: Overture (2013-) #6 by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This final issue of Overture opens on Hope as she navigates the ship of gathered survivors anchored in Destiny’s garden. She speaks to Dream briefly about what they are all doing there before he goes to see Delirium, who’s noticed the influx of entities into her realm. After a revealing conversation, Dream returns to the ship & asks Hope to be his spokesperson to the group. Their task: to dream a new reality, one where he put the Mad Star out of it’s misery instead of letting it live. While they do so, Dream must steer the ship from one reality to another, but not before he confronts his Cat-self. Cat-Dream is actually Desire working with him to help save the universe from annihilation. Dream overcomes his trials bringing the new existence into being & Glory of the First Circle greets him at the edge of the new universe. Dream gathers himself to return to his realm but is ensnared by Roderick Burgess’s magic, to be imprisoned for decades to come. A small epilogue lets Desire have the last word before the previous reality is forgotten.

A surprisingly satisfying ending to this series. I wasn’t sure how everything was going to get wrapped up & while there are still plenty of smaller questions about certain details, the bulk of Overture gives readers insight into why Dream had to change and the previous consequences of his inflexibility. There are plenty of poignant moments that amplify the plots in the series proper, especially Dream giving Hope back her name, the ship of survivors trying to weather the total chaos around them, and the synchronized dreams of a few thousand believers. The meeting with Delirium is also full of small clues that tantalize like the statements at the center of one panel that read: Delight was Sad/Delight went Mad.

A few small flaws that took me out of the story: the moment where Dream & Hope talk about her name is already powerful, especially if you know the series proper. Glory adding in the advice that “maybe one day her name will save you” seems a little over the top. Also, I know that a totally nude Dream is meant to convey how vulnerable he is in the moment, but to actually see him with a penis made me giggle. I never really thought of him as actually having one unless he needed it for whatever reason & trying to bring a new reality into being doesn’t seem like one of those reasons. But these are small gripes.

Overture really does make me want to read the entire series over again & puzzle all the small clues out. A prequel that actually enhances the series instead of indulges the existing audience? I’m pleasantly surprised.

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