Season of Mists is the fourth volume of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, collecting issues #21-28. It’s about Morpheus trying to correct a past mistake and ending up with the key to Hell. Word gets out, and a bunch of gods, demons, and entities all try to convince the Dream King to give them control of Hell. It would make a great reality show.
Ten thousand years ago Morpheus had a lover who pissed him off, so he banished her to Hell. When his sister tells him that it was kind of a dick move, he decides to set things right by going to Hell and freeing Nada. He shows up in Hell expecting Lucifer to put up a fight and instead finds him in the process of shutting everything down. He’s bored of his job and doesn’t want to do it anymore. He gives Morpheus the key to the empty realm and tells him to do what he wants with it.
Morpheus returns to the Dreaming and gets a bunch of visitors who all want Hell for their own selfish reasons. Odin, Loki, Thor, Order, Chaos, Anubis, Bast, a few demons, a few representatives from Faerie, and various other mythical and religious icons show up and all try to bribe, manipulate, or threaten Morpheus into giving them the key to Hell. But who will he choose and why? You’ll just have to read the comic and find out. Or you can just look it up online, but it won’t be as satisfying.
While Morpheus is dealing with all that shit, the banished Hell dwellers start coming back to life as ghosts. There’s a quick story about a kid named Charles Rowland and how his crappy life at a miserable boarding school gets worse when evil ghosts start torturing him. It’s a highlight of the series.
Season of Mists is one of the more important volumes in The Sandman. You find out a lot about Morpheus. Most of the important characters are featured or at least referenced in some way. It either introduces or reminds you of important plot points and foreshadows events that don’t happen until the later volumes. It’s a fact that The Sandman is one of the best comics of all time. Season of Mists is one of the reasons why.
Critically Rated at 15/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young