LOKI, I AM YOUR FATHER
The epitaph of "Loki Sky-Walker" is interesting. Apparently this is one of the less accepted translations of the original Norse phrase, which is more often translated to "Loki Sky-Traveller" or "Loki Air-Traveller"(I'm just waiting for some Norse airline to make that the name of their frequent flyers' program!).
So for Gaiman to choose this translation suggests a specific call-back to Luke Skywalker and Star Wars. I don't yet know what that is, but I'll look out for it (if you know what it is, please enlighten me).
PUT A BIRD ON IT
There are a number of birds popping up throughout this issue, not just Matthew our friendly raven, but in various decorations, on wall sconces, and the prevalence of the griffins with their eagle heads.
It's worth paying attention to the title of this particular book: "season of mists." The phrase comes from a Keats poem called "On Autumn."
Let's look at the last stanza:
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too. -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
And who sings the songs of Spring? Birds do. The Sandman's castle is teeming with them, the birds of spring, stuck waiting to see what might happen next under the "barred clouds". Then the "gathering swallows twitter in the skies." Who can the gathering swallows be but the many guests, speaking their curious languages of request?
Morpheus is at a literal crossroads, with many options to govern Hell. It seems more than fitting that two of the applicants are Order and Chaos, though it seems that one of the two will win no matter who wins the keys to Hell.
ON THE MANY FASHIONS OF DREAM
Dream goes through more costume changes in this issue than Madonna in concert. Given the importance of visuals to the comic book medium, I have to assume that these are not just aesthetic choices on the part of the artist. What do his many outfits mean?
There you go. Six distinct outfits worn. Let's go through them one by one.
1. I Am Dream, Sea Anemone - We've seen this one throughout Season of Mists. It seems to be his travel uniform, though we haven't seen it before this book. His billowing robes are full of secrets...and probably a lot of wind. Perhap it offers some sort of organic protection as he travels through the void.
2. In my emo moments, I listen to The Cure - I find it interesting that his casual outfit is very contemporary. You'd think he'd revert back to some casual clothing of his early years. Also, it seems impossible that this guy ever relaxes.
3. My hair, it grows! - This is an interesting panel. His hair seems to twist and turn, almost Medusa-like, and he simultaneously covers his eyes, as one would do when facing a Medusa. It almost suggests that he's looking back at himself, and what he sees is his own destruction. Foreshadowing?
4. Le Bourgeouis Gentilhomme - This week, Morpheus's idea of formality involves fashioning his hair into a giant cabbage. It's interesting that he makes the formal gestures even for the one sibling who resolutely does not care about formality (after all, is anyone really dignified in death?). Nonetheless, I love the way her face comes out of the mirror.
5. Just Chilling. Again.
6. Courtly Robes - There's a lot going on here that's quite interesting. The robes themselves seem drawn from Aztec designs, but the way that Dream is posed is very reminiscent of ancient Hindu carvings. Only, instead of a Shanga and Chakra, he's holding his staff and the key to Hell. Perhaps clues will be revealed in the next issue as to this design.
NEXT TIME: Banquets, bitchery and skull-duggery, woohoo!