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kindly

The Sandman: The Kindly Ones

The Kindly Ones (1996) is the ninth collection of issues in the DC Comics series, The Sandman. Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Marc Hempel, Richard Case, D'Israeli, Teddy Kristiansen, Glyn Dillon, Charles Vess, Dean Ormston and Kevin Nowlan, coloured by Danny Vozzo, and lettered by Todd Klein.

The issues in the collection first appeared in 1993, 1994 and 1995. The collection first appeared in paperback and hardback in 1996.

Marc Hempel is the primary penciller, inked variously by himself, D'Israeli and Richard Case. He is relieved at different points in the story by Teddy Kristiansen, Glyn Dillon and Dean Ormston, and Charles Vess draws a story-within-a-story sequence. Kevin Nowlan draws a short story which originally appeared in a Vertigo promo book.

Synopsis



It belongs with the second collection, The Doll's House, and the seventh, Brief Lives, in that it finishes off a story that mostly originated in these collections. Parts from other collections are also important to its story, however, notably elements from Season of Mists and the story of Orpheus, told mostly in Fables and Reflections.

The most structurally ambitious of the collections, The Kindly Ones is a single storyline written as a Greek tragedy, with Morpheus as its doomed hero and an aspect of the triad of witches, the Erinyes, as the Greek chorus. It pulls together various threads left dangling throughout the series, notably the grudges against Morpheus of several characters: Hippolyta Hall, whose child, Daniel, was claimed by Morpheus; the witches themselves; the Norse god Loki; the witch Thessaly. After Daniel disappears, Hippolyta convinces herself that Morpheus must be responsible, although this may not be the case; the child is apparently stolen by Loki and Robin Goodfellow (the Puck). Hippolyta sets out to destroy Morpheus, and is eventually led to the witches themselves, in their aspect as the Furies. They are empowered to destroy Morpheus by the fact that he has shed the blood of one of his family (that of his son, Orpheus, when he granted him the boon of death). In many places, Lyta is depicted as Medusa (and she meets the two sisters, Stheno and Euryale).

The Kindly Ones also continues several other stories, including that of Cluracan of Faerie and his sister Nuala, and that of Rose Walker and her former landlord Hal. It also features Lucifer, now playing piano in a nightclub, although he is loath to take requests.

Throughout the story the greatest mystery is the motivation of Morpheus; it is never exactly clear to what extent he is aware of the course on which he has, to some extent, set himself, and how serious are his attempts to save himself. In a telling sequence, he finally lays himself open to the Furies by leaving his kingdom to fulfill a boon he had granted to Nuala, even though he knows that his own end will likely be the consequence; once more his refusal to shirk what he perceives as his responsibility for any reason is a turning point in the story. In an affecting sequence, the main story ends with Morpheus and his sister Death on a desolate peak, echoing a sequence from one of the series' early high points, "The Sound of her Wings" (issue #8). Death asks for Morpheus' hand, and he simply disappears, in a flash of light.

Immediately afterwards, Daniel metamorphoses into a new version of Dream, with white clothes and hair, and an emerald instead of a ruby.

Issues collected

Issue Title Writer Penciller Inker Colorist Letterer Ast Editor Editor
Vertigo Jan 1 The Castle Neil Gaiman Kevin Nowlan Kevin Nowlan Daniel Vozzo Kevin Nowlan Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
57 The Kindly Ones - 1 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel Marc Hempel Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
58 The Kindly Ones - 2 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel D'Israeli Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
59 The Kindly Ones - 3 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel D'Israeli Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
60 The Kindly Ones - 4 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel D'Israeli Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
61 The Kindly Ones - 5 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel Marc Hempel / D'Israeli Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
62 The Kindly Ones - 6 Neil Gaiman Glyn Dillon / Charles Vess / Dean Ornston Glyn Dillon / Charles Vess / D'Israeli Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
63 The Kindly Ones - 7 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel Marc Hempel Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
64 The Kindly Ones - 8 Neil Gaiman Teddy Kristiansen Teddy Kristiansen Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
65 The Kindly Ones - 9 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel Richard Case Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
66 The Kindly Ones - 10 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel Richard Case Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
67 The Kindly Ones - 11 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel Richard Case Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
68 The Kindly Ones - 12 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel / Richard Case Richard Case Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger
69 The Kindly Ones - 13 Neil Gaiman Marc Hempel Marc Hempel Daniel Vozzo Todd Klein Shelly Roeberg Karen Berger

References

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