Well that was well done. We also got some nice closure on some things and of course a tale or two to round things out.
“The Wake” follows Dream’s family as they prepare to say goodbye along with others.
I thought this was great. Gaiman does a great job and has shown us before that the Endless can often “die” and another form of them comes about. We know that the Despair we have known in this series, was not the first, and even know that Delirium has changed over time. Even so, the Endless family in their own way miss him and go about making the preparations that they need to do when one of them dies. As many of the characters we have known start to fall asleep, they find themselves in the Dreaming and say their own goodbyes to Dream.
We also of course get the former Daniel Hall as the new Dream. I liked this character and could have read more issues about him. We know that he is the new Dream, but seems more careful, hesitant of hurting people’s feelings. He does a kind thing for Lyta. I think Dream (the former) would have hard shrugged about her.
Matthew was a stand-in for readers I think. The readers who are angry about Dream’s death and refusing to deal with someone new. I loved Matthew’s last words for Dream.
“A lot of sorrow. A little regret. And the memory of the coolest, strangest, most infuriating boss, friend…boss…I ever had. That’s what.”
And of course we don’t get to read Death’s words for Dream, but we are left with the feelings of those that heard it.
The writing was sad, but also joyful at times, with many seeing Death not as an end, but as another thing that is going to come to pass for all of us. I did think it was pretty funny that Gaiman decides to not show us the new Dream sitting down with his family. We are left with an illustration of them all in the hall, waiting for him though.
After “The Wake” we do get other stories, we get to see Hob with a new girlfriend at a renaissance faire called “An Epilogue, Sunday Mourning”. There’s a story “Exiles” following a man in China who was cast out by the Emperor due to what his son has done. And then we end with William Shakespeare in “The Tempest”. Dream appears in all of these stories, and the story taking place in China we get our two versions of Dream.
The flow was great though the “Exiles” story dragged a bit for me. I also had a hard time reading some of the text. I really need to get a magnifying glass.
The end came with a whimper, not with a bang.