Sandman 6: Fables and Reflections
P. Craig Russell
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Sandman 6: Fables and ReflectionsThis collection of shorter stories, like those in Dream Country, are the breathers between sections of the main Sandman plot. As a result, you might think they won't add anything specific to the overall series per se and, as with Dream Country, someone trying to follow the series could conceivably leave this book out entirely. Don't do it! One of the stories, The Song of Orpheus, originally published in a Sandman Special, contains information about Morpheus' son Orpheus and the missing brother who has been alluded to throughout the series, which fans won't want to miss.
As usual, the other stories add more to the mix too, further fleshing out Gaiman's universe and tying his god of dream into the history, mythology and religions of our own world. Gaiman is extremely skilled at this, mixing the fantastic with the everyday until it's hard to tell which is which. It makes for engaging, empathetic, human stories, despite the god-like nature of its characters and the particularly cool, aloof exterior of Morpheus himself.
The varying stories offer a variety of artists the chance to turn their talents to illustrative duties, each offering a different style with different strengths. We particularly enjoyed P. Craig Russell's work on Ramadan, though all the artists are worthy of their places.
It's in this short story format that we find Gaiman at his most entertaining. With less of a requirement to set up and follow through complicated plots, he can explore new characters, settings and situations, while simultaneously refining the characters we're actually paying to see. Subtle, clever and gloriously addictive, Gaiman's re-writing of our mythological landscape is rarely more pleasurable than in this short story format.
DC Comics (US)
Titan Books (UK)
Originally published as
The Sandman 29-31, 38-40, 50, Sandman Special 1, Vertigo Preview
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Sandman 5: A Game of You
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Sandman 7: Brief Lives