Sandman - The time of the fog

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The Season of Mists (OT Season of Mists ) is the fourth collection in The Sandman comic series (# 21-28 ) , written by Neil Gaiman , illustrated by Kelley Jones , Mike Dringenberg , Malcolm Jones III , Matt Wagner , Dick Giordano , George Pratt and Fr. Craig Russell , lettered by Todd Klein .

The individual episodes first appeared in 1990 and 1991. The anthology was first published in 1992 as paperback and hardcover . The title is the opening phrase of John Keats ' Ode to Autumn .


The fourth collection, next to the first, perhaps focuses most of all on Morpheus himself. The plot begins with a family reunion of the Eternals, through which the sometimes very conflict-laden relationship between the six siblings is portrayed. Desire accuses Morpheus of his intolerant and cruel behavior towards his former lover Nada (see The Dollhouse ). Death agrees to Desire, which initially upsets Morpheus. However, his great respect for his older sister leads him to travel to hell to demand that Lucifer surrender Nada. Since Lucifer has announced that one day he will be killed (cf. Preludes and Notturni ), he first sends Cain , who lives in his dream kingdom, as a messenger to Lucifer. Cain brings the message that Morpheus is going to hell one more time. Lucifer is still filled with vengeance against Morpheus, only the Cain's mark prevents him from killing Cain.

Despite the danger, Morpheus does not hesitate for a moment to put his plan into action, which highlights one of his main character traits: responsibility must be met, no matter what it costs.

However, his caution was unjustified. When he arrives at the gates of hell, Lucifer is just locking it. After 10 billion years, he no longer feels like serving as a pretext for all the tormenting souls. Morpheus initially suspects a bad trick by Lucifer, but he means it quite seriously. After driving out three remaining demons and one last human resister who absolutely wants to be tortured for his long-forgotten deeds, he lets the now convinced Morpheus cut off his wings. Lucifer then hands Morpheus the key to hell with a satisfied smile.

A short time later, representatives of many groups gather in his castle, expressing their interest in the keys to hell and even claiming them. Morpheus now listens to the arguments of the individual parties in turn. Among the parties are the well-known fairies , represented by Cluracan and his sister Nuala. In addition, the representatives of the principles of chaos and order as well as the Nordic gods , represented by Odin , Loki and Thor , the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet , the Japanese god Susanoo and a delegation of demons expelled from the underworld. Two angels are also present, representatives of God , who are to oversee the negotiations.

After a period of reflection, Morpheus hands over the key to the two angels, who then take possession of hell and lead it back to its old destination.

In the epilogue of the collection, Dream speaks to Nada again. He asks her if she's changed her mind about living at Dream's side, but she says no. Later we see Nada being reborn on earth and Dream standing by her bed to tell her that although she won't remember him, he will never forget her.

The collection ends with Lucifer lying on Perth Beach in the setting sun and being approached by an older man. Life stole his wife and both sons from him. He always comes to this beach so that he can experience the unique sunsets. This is the only thing that keeps him alive: God's great sunsets at Perth. Lucifer leans back and grins maliciously as he admits to God (whom he calls "Bastard") that his sunsets are really great.

As in almost every one of the collections, there is an episode whose content has little to do with the actual background story, but is closely linked to it in terms of motif. It's the dark boarding school story In Which the Dead Returns; and Charles Rowland Concludes His Education , which Gaiman uses to depict the earthly consequences of closing Hell. Rowland, who died in the end, sums up the motif in his remark that nobody has to stay in one place forever, not even in hell, one just has to find the courage to go.

At the center of the collection is the development of Dream's character, which leads to the tragic end of the series. It also introduces some of the more important supporting characters and their motives, including Loki, who will play a major role in the upcoming events. The beginning of this parallel plot begins with a key line of the series, which is based on the Gylfaginning :

There is a cavern beneath the world. (This is true . You must know in your bones that this is true, although all logic argues against it.) Translation: There is a cave under the world. (This is true . You must feel in your bones that it is true, even though all logic speaks against it.)

This line refers to one of the key motifs of the series: All reality is ultimately subjective and defined by (human) ideas and stories.


The fact that Gaiman depicts Cain and Abel as residents of the dream realm is further evidence of the enormous apparatus of cultural references that Gaiman uses in Sandman. According to the Bible, Cain lived in the land of Nod after his brother was murdered . The English word nod means "to slumber".

See also