21 August 2011

Faster than a DC Bullet: The Sandman Spin-Offs, Part XII: The Furies

Comic hardcover, n.pag.
Published 2002 (contents: 2002)

Borrowed from the library
Read August 2011
The Sandman Presents: The Furies

Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: John Bolton
Letterer: Todd Klein

Lyta Hall is probably my third-favorite character in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. Which is weird, because she isn't exactly up to much. (Though what she is up turns out to be quite important.) She used to be superhero Fury of Infinity, Inc., but within The Sandman, she's the poor woman whose husband turns out to be long dead, manipulated by nightmares escaped from the Dreaming, whose child is taken from her by Dream to become the next Dream, and who is manipulated by agents outside mortal comprehension to bring about Dream's death. Poor woman-- no wonder she's a bit overwhelmed, and I like the idea of the character, gone from being a powerful young superheroine to a plaything of the gods through a ridiculous series of bad circumstances.

Anyway, I was excited to read a book focusing on her, and Mike Carey and John Bolton's graphic novel did not disappoint. The Furies sees the Greek god Cronus returning with a complicated plan to destroy the Furies so that he can become the new Furies, in which Lyta Hall, thanks to the link forged between herself and the Furies in The Sandman, is the lynchpin. It's half a tale of gods and monsters like Neil Gaiman would have told, half a woman trying to figure out her crazy life, but you get the feeling that Carey treats the mythology more seriously than Gaiman ever did and that Lyta might actually acquire some agency for once. Endowed with superstrength, and she finally manages to do something super, even if it's just getting her life back a bit.

John Bolton's painted art was very nice, sort of Alex Rossian, but with a little less majesty. It's maybe too realistic: his depiction of Dream (there's Daniel Hall again!, though he seems to have forgotten his mother) and some of the other supernatural characters looked a little goofy because they looked so normal, making their supernatural characteristics a little awkward. On the other hand, Lyta's journey in the underworld and the appearance of the Furies themselves were fantastic.

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