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The Absolute Sandman Volume Four by Neil…
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The Absolute Sandman Volume Four

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: Richard Case (Illustrator), D'Israeli (Illustrator), Glyn Dillon (Illustrator), Marc Hempel (Illustrator), Teddy Kristiansen (Illustrator)5 more, Jon J. Muth (Illustrator), Kevin Nowlan (Illustrator), Dean Ormston (Illustrator), Charles Vess (Illustrator), Michael Zulli (Illustrator)

Series: The Absolute Sandman (4), The Sandman (Omnibus of issues 57-75), Absolute Edition

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
"The Kindly Ones" was an excellent story, a great plodding tragedy only slightly hampered by Marc Hempel's art -- never been a fan.

"The Wake"'s art on the other hand was so drastically different that it was a bit jarring. It ties together a lot of the loose threads of Gaiman's complex universe. Overall Volume 4 was by necessity more cohesive so it was an improvement over the scattered brilliance of the last one. I could see how it could have been a satisfying conclusion to the series.

But there's more! ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Just as great as the first three volumes. ( )
  ScoLgo | Aug 7, 2015 |
This volume contains the longest story arc of the series, The Kindly Ones and the next arc, The Wake but starts with an extra story where a dreamer (you, perhaps?) gets a tour of The Castle (from Vertigo Jam #1). Guided by Lucien with interjections from a few of the more recognizable inhabitants of The Dreaming. Then follows the 13 episode story in which the Furies have a score to settle with Dream. Lots of the old story arcs are revisited here with many great characters returning to create an ending and leave enough hope for a new beginning. This hope is further enhanced with the 4 episodes of the wake which has everyone coming to terms with previous events and their continuance, or not, in the scheme of things. Exiles sees Dream encounter an old Chinese philosopher who's been sent away from his emperor for the misdeeds of his son. The volume closes with a revisit to William Shakespeare as he completes the second play promised to Dream and so produces The Tempest.

Another excellent bunch of extra material follows which includes a Sandman timeline which goes through the major events from story pitch to the end of the stories published in this volume. Scripts (with thumbnails, pencils and promotional art) are provided for issue 57 (Kindly Ones Part 1) and issue 75 (The Tempest). There's also a couple of features on the collectibles that were made available over the course of this series' production (some of which I wouldn't mind owning). And finally the obligatory biographies of the people that made it happen.

This won't go down as my favourite book, the artist's style for The Kindly Ones I don't think did the story justice but was excellent for The Wake. Oh! I really wish they'd put spoiler warnings in the introductions. Don't read this one if you don't know what's going to happen in the stories contained in this volume. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Jun 4, 2012 |
With this volume, The Sandman storyline hurtles to its inevitable conclusion. I had this spoiled for me ages ago, but it still totally works, and besides, Volume Three has a sequence that gives the game away anyway. The story is slow to start, but it really comes together as it goes, and as we see people throughout the universe of the series react to what is about to happen to Dream-- or what Dream is about to do? The final storyline makes a lot of sense of Dream's inactivity throughout the series (though I don't know that it excuses it as good storytelling), and I was happy to see Lyta Hall, wife of the 1980s Sandman, make a return. As the series' longest storyline yet, The Kindly Ones really works: I was riveted as I read, wanting to know what was going to happen next even thought I knew. There were lots of great little moments, especially the last stand of Merv Pumpkinhead during the assault on the Dreaming, and Cain's grief at what has happened to Abel. Marc Hempel has a different pencilling style from most of the other artists on the series, which would have been fine-- except that it often made it difficult to recognize brief appearances by preestablished characters. Though not quite as good as Brief Lives in Volume Three, The Kindly Ones provides an excellent finale to the series.

I need to say a few words about Matthew the Raven. Though Merv makes me laugh the most, Matthew is my favorite of the characters to inhabit the Dreaming, a mortal man who died and was offered a chance to live on in dreams as Dream's raven. He's your "average guy" amongst the far-fetched characters of the Dreaming, a little baffled but often able to cut through the crap. He got some good material in Volume Three, and he shines here in Volume Four, providing a human anchor for the massive events unfolding. The climax of the The Kindly Ones wouldn't be nearly as powerful without him, and he's what makes the last storyline in the book, The Wake, work as well as it does, as he struggles to come to terms with what happened. A great supporting character.

Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
  Stevil2001 | Oct 24, 2010 |
This is really quite a lovely book. It has the bittersweetness of an ending that is a beginning, sadness but no grief. I quite enjoyed the whole series, but this is the best of the lot. ( )
  Helcura | Jun 10, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Case, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
D'IsraeliIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, GlynIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hempel, MarcIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kristiansen, TeddyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muth, Jon J.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nowlan, KevinIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ormston, DeanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zulli, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Collects The Sandman #57-75 and "The Castle" from Vertigo Jam #1. Contains: The castle (from Vertigo Jam #1) -- The Kindly ones: part 1 -- The Kindly ones: part 2 -- The Kindly ones: part 3 -- The Kindly ones: part 4 -- The Kindly ones: part 5 -- The Kindly ones: part 6 -- The Kindly ones: part 7 -- The Kindly ones: part 8 -- The Kindly ones: part 9 -- The Kindly ones: part 10 -- The Kindly ones: part 11 -- The Kindly ones: part 12 -- The Kindly ones: part 13 -- The wake: chapter 1 -- The wake: chapter 2 -- The wake: chapter 3 -- The wake: an epilogue -- Exiles -- The tempest -- A Sandman miscellany -- Afterwords / by Neil Gaiman -- Biographies.
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"This final volume includes behind-the-scenes extras plus issues #57-75 and a story from VERTIGO JAM #1. Don't miss the end of what Playboy called 'a modern myth, as well as a precis on why the stories we tell matter so much'" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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