Sandman - Worlds' End
Worlds' End is the eighth edition of the DC Comics series, The Sandman . Written by Neil Gaiman , illustrated by Michael Allred , Gary Amaro , Mark Buckingham , Dick Giordano , Tony Harris , Steve Leialoha , Vince Locke , Shea Anton Pensa , Alec Stevens , Bryan Talbot , John Watkiss and Michael Zulli and lettered by Todd Klein .
The main plot is the story of Brant Tucker and Charlene Mooney, who on a trip from Seattle to Chicago on midsummer night get caught in a snow storm and have a serious car accident avoiding a bizarre mythical creature. Charlene is injured and Brant carries her to a hidden inn, guided by mysterious voices. Worlds' End, a free house (German: End of the worlds, a free house ) it says on the inn sign. Later one learns that this is one of the four vacant houses, which offers travelers between dimensions, times and realms protection from storms of reality that are the result of cosmologically important events. The various figures are gathered in the inn, including the Centaur Cheiron , who heals the injured Charlene. The guests tell stories to pass the time. Stephen King's introduction to this volume specifically mentions Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as a model . This ensures completely different narrative styles and perspectives, which are also represented by very different drawing styles. Some of these narratives are framing further narratives.
The first story breaks the traditional comic book style. The story is told without speech bubbles and presents a single image for each paragraph, which comments rather than depicts the story. The story is about a city dweller who one day gets lost in his city on the way home and can't find out what it is until he discovers that he has landed in a dream of the city. Everything is familiar, but nothing is known.
The second story is a classic fantasy tale, told by the elf Cluracan (see Season of Mists ). He is sent as an ambassador to the city of Aurelian to represent the political interests of the Elven Empire. He prophesies a bad end for the ruler of Aurelian and is imprisoned for this insolence. Morpheus frees him since Cluracan's sister Nuala is now his servant and asked him to do so. After his liberation, Cluracan instigates an uprising against the ruler to whom he falls victim. He finally confesses to his audience at the inn that several details and events of his story are made up and thus proves to be an unreliable narrator .
The third story is a sailor's tale told by a cabin boy . The highlight is the appearance of a gigantic sea serpent, a Leviathan . Towards the end it turns out that the narrator is a girl who disguised herself to be able to go to sea. In the story, Hob Gadling reappears, the man Death in The Doll's House promised not to bring him until he wants to.
The fourth story is told to Brant not in the company of the other guests, but solely by another traveler on the upper floors of the inn. It is about an America that does not vote Richard Nixon in 1972 , but an 18-year-old, non-party boy named Prez Rickard, the protagonist of a short-lived DC comic series from the 1970s. Prez is proving to be the ideal president who will create peace in the Middle East, resolve the energy crisis, and restore America to its ideals and integrity. His antagonist is Boss Smiley . Gaiman takes up a short-lived comic series from the 1970s, but modifies it: In the end it turns out that Prez 'world is created and controlled by Boss Smiley. When Prez dies in this world, he is saved by Morpheus.
The fifth story is told by an apprentice from the Litharge necropolis , a city that devotes its entire existence to perfecting the art of burial. Its inhabitants know innumerable details about burial rituals of all imaginable cultures and civilizations. Petrefax, the apprentice, tells of a task he was given and the stories he was told while completing that task. One of these stories revolves around Destruction , which tells of an earlier, less vigilant necropolis that was undone by its lack of accuracy.
At the end, the reader learns which event triggered the storm of reality. The guests of the free house watch a funeral procession in the sky without being able to explain it to themselves. The reader is however urged by the presentation to the assumption that Morpheus himself is buried here. The corresponding gap in the plot is filled by the next volume Sandman - Die Gütigen , the finale of the series.
Charlene Mooney, who has no story to tell but complains that all of the stories told are from a male perspective, decides to stay at the inn instead of returning to her unhappy life. The tape ends with Brant Tucker telling a bartender in Chicago about her disappearance until she closes her bar late at night. The entire text of the volume thus proves to be his report to the bartender.