The Sandman Complete - Volume 9: The Kindly Ones
352 pages | Vertigo | Pub. date September 1, 1996 | ISBN: 1563892057 | Rapidshare | 73 MB
5 stars - Sandman's grand finale
By P. Nicholas Keppler "rorscach12" (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania United States)
Although it is actually its second-to-last story arc, The Kindly Ones is, for all intents and purposes, the climax of Sandman, Neil Gaiman's acclaimed fantasy comic book starring Morpheus, a glum, superhuman entity who rules over the realm of dreams (The subsequent The Wake is like a long epilogue). While no previous Sandman story arc seemed like a continuation of a preceding one, The Kindly Ones is a meta-sequel of sorts that features characters and plot threads from Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll's House, Season of Mists, A Game of You and Brief Lives. Likewise, new readers should best begin with one of the aforementioned volumes but those who have already devoured two of three of the preceding Sandman story arcs, will delight in this excellent conclusion.
The Kindly Ones features sub plots galore. But the main story concerns the abduction of three-year old Daniel Hall. Daniel is the child of Lyta and the late Hector Hall, who as The Fury and The Silver Scarab, respectively, were part of the superhero team Infinity Inc. In a series of events too complicated to recount here (see The Doll's House), the Halls were swept-up into the Dream World for most of Lyta's pregnancy. Because of this, Morpheus considers Daniel "his" and when the child is kidnapped, Lyta believes the Dream King the culprit. After the real captors trick her into believing that Daniel has been killed, Lyta seeks out the Kindly Ones, avenging spirits who torment and slay those who have killed their kin. Because he committed the mercy killing of his own son (see Brief Lives), Morpheus has little defense against the Kindly Ones as they ravage through the dream world.
Meanwhile, Nuala, a faerie princess who was made a "gift" to Morpheus (see Season of Mists) reluctantly returns to her homeland; Delirium, Morpheus' loopy kid sister who governs the realm of insanity, searches for her lost pet dog; Lucifer, who renounced the throne of Hell (also in Season of Mists), opens an LA nightclub and Rose Walker, the young American woman who was once a "dream vortex" (see The Doll's House) trots across the Atlantic.
One can surely deduce from the above recap that The Kindly Ones is a sprawling and ambitious opus (at 13 issues it is the longest Sandman story arc). And it works. Gaiman masterfully weaves together each facet of the tale, leading to a conclusion that does not disappoint. Marc Hempel's super-cartoony art is controversial among Sandman fans, but he has won me over. His images are bright, alluring and strangely conducive to the matter-of-fact manor in which Gaiman tells of fantastic creatures and events. The Kindly Ones was obviously meant to be the grand finale that capstones the Sandman experience and it succeeds on every level.
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