20 November 2012

Faster than a DC Bullet: The Sandman Spin-Offs, Part XXV: God Save the Queen

Comic hardcover, n.pag.
Published 2007
Borrowed from the library
Read October 2012
God Save the Queen

Written by Mike Carey
Painted by John Bolton
Lettering by Todd Klein

When I remarked to my wife (who has not read any of The Sandman, but has patiently listened to me gab about it for over two years now) that the faerie elements of The Sandman had never been among my favorite, she said that must be true, for she'd never heard me mention them at all. And it was then that I realized how little I cared for Titania, Auberon, and the rest. Gaiman's original jaunt into this realm (the one with Shakespeare) hadn't done much for me, World Fantasy Award nonwithstanding, and neither had its various reapperances. I like Nualla, but it's her separation from Faerie that keeps her interesting, and if I like Cluracan, it's mostly because of a vague feeling that I ought to like characters like him.

So it turns out that not even Mike Carey and John Bolton, who previously came together for the excellent Sandman spin-off The Furies, can make Faerie very interesting. Though there's some good artwork here, the Faerie politics are a big fat load of "who cares?" I don't care if Titania or Mab rules Faerie, and the climax is a big load of nonsense. There's some okay stuff about a teenage girl acting out, and Bolton's art is good when it's not being exploitative, but for this story to be interesting would have required more than the 96 pages it was given; everything has to be sped through too fast to be interesting. The best part, as in so many Sandman spin-offs, is the brief jaunt into the Dreaming, not the actual story.

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