Blogging The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes, Part 7
Up until now, I’ve had my doubts about our protagonist. He seems just like any other mythological demigod I’ve read about (and rather disliked) in countless slightly disquieting storybooks. He’s powerful, sure. But he’s also fickle, egotistical, manipulative, and vengeful. And as we learned from this post, he’s also a really bad ex-boyfriend.
At the end of that horribly distressing “24 Hours,” I was almost glad that Dream can be such a ruthless punisher, simply because I’m so utterly disgusted by the actions of Dr. Destiny. Finally, I’ll be able to cheer on Dream when he kicks the living noodles out of that villain! So, after taking a moment to recover from the sheer yuckery of last time, we’re on to “Sound and Fury.”
I turn the page, ready to see some serious payback, but Dream is sitting across the table from this nutso, trying to reason with him. He asks him why he wants to hurt everyone in the world, pleading for him to stop.
Dream, since when do you plead?
Dream then tries to explain exactly what the ruby is, as if a better understanding of this power will miraculously cause this psychopath to feel guilt. My face contorted in all kinds of confusion, I flip back to the previous events. Am I even reading the same comic book?
This guy mentally and physically tortured a group of people for 24 hours straight. He knows what he’s doing is wrong, and he just doesn’t care. So why are you trying to convert him? Perhaps he sees some splinter of humanity left in Dr. Destiny that I fail to see.
Surprise, surprise, Destiny isn’t interested in seeing the light and tells Dream that he is going to kill him with the power of his own magical ruby. Donning his recently acquired helm, Dream opens up a portal to Dreamland insisting, “If you would steal a dreamlord’s power, then you shall do it in the dreamlord’s realm.” Yep, that sounds more than fair.
The two of them battle through a series of nonsensical, disturbing dreams (would you expect anything less from this book?), and it takes Destiny a little while to even remember he’s dreaming. When he does, however, the fight rages on in earnest. The inhabitants of Dreamland, including Cain, Abel, and their gargoyle friend, hide as their world quakes. Meanwhile, every human on Earth stirs violently in their sleep.
In one final attempt to kill Dream, Dr. Destiny destroys the ruby. The attack backfires, however, as all of the power Dream had stored up inside the ruby returns to him. Even Dream is surprised, as he forgot how much power he had been functioning without for so long.
Alright! Time to crush that piece of scum Dr. Destiny, right? Right?!
I guess I’m wrong. Turns out dream is a more merciful person than I thought, and probably a more merciful person than I am.
Back in total control of the world of dreams, Morpheus puts the entire world into a much-needed sleep full of peace and tranquility—including Dr. Destiny. No wrath, no fury, no vengeance. He simply returns the very sick man to Arkham Asylum, says hullo to the Scarecrow while he’s there, and puts them all into a deep, restful slumber. Just when you think you know a demigod, you don’t.
Dream, you never cease to amaze me.
1. Has it been too long since we’ve had a pop quiz?
a) *Enthusiastic nod*
b) *Adamant head shake*
2. Is Dream kind of a nice guy or kind of a bad guy?
b) *eye roll*
3. Do I judge comic book characters too harshly too soon?
b) *stroke beard*
Essay Question: Would you have unleashed vengeance upon Dr. Destiny as I would have? (This question is worth 580% of your grade, no partial credit given.)