Aug 18, 2009

[Comics] The Sandman Vol. 7 - Brief Lives

The Sandman Vol. 7 - Brief LivesThe irony of The Sandman comics is that it often barely features the title character and the rest of the Endless. Thus you know it's not like every other mainstream comic of its time when you really have to focus on your lead and just build his or her surrounding universe. What Neil Gaiman did was to create a world to write stories in, one that did sometimes feature Dream to some degree, but he wasn't necessarily the main focus.

The Sandman comics just focused on the nature of the stories themselves, the players, the events, the environments all put together. That's part of the brilliance of it all - what makes the stories so inviting is the very infuriating fact that they don't follow the typical "formula" by holding back on the characters people most want to learn about.

To some degree, this title changed that since this one story arc focused on The Endless more than any other, and in a very intriguing manner as well.

The Sandman: Brief Lives is the 7th collection of the critically acclaimed series. The volume compiles issues 41-49 and is built around a very Endless-centric story.

In Brief Lives, Dream's younger sister Delirium (once Delight) decides to go on a quest to find their lost brother, Destruction, and attempts to enlist the other Endless in her quest. After being denied by the others, ultimately Dream agrees to accompany her through The Dreaming, the Waking World and beyond to find their lost brother. At the same time, some unseen force appears to be acting against them by killing off all mortals who might possibly aid them in their quest or have some inkling of where Destruction might be.

Delirium (DC Comics)Image via Wikipedia

The real "scene-stealer" of this story is definitely Delirium, whose unique way of thinking is both endearing yet disturbing at the same time. Why exactly the universe needs a manifestation of insanity is anyone's guess but whatever that reason is, Delirium certainly fulfills her role very, very well. I have to admit she became pretty much my favorite of The Endless after I read this arc.

On a side note, I can so imagine Evanna Lynch playing Delirium based on her Harry Potter performance, if ever someone is mad enough to attempt a movie about The Endless.

It's a very creative story and a gripping one at that. While The Sandman books are more known for their diversity and their ability to often stand independently of one another, when Gaiman commits his characters to strong storyline, he does so very, very well.

The resolution at the end of the book is both shocking and satisfying, an event that has major repercussions towards the end of the series. I find myself continually contrasting when describing this book, which is ironically fitting enough. It's a book that has its fair share of Light and Dark and things are balanced quite well such that you come to and ending that is tinged with gray. It becomes up to you to determine what you think of things and so you can ultimately evaluate the story as a whole.

Brief Lives is one of my favorite collections of the series and it definitely gets 5 floating fish out of a possible 5.

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