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Season of Mists

(The Sandman #4)

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  63,826 ratings  ·  1,929 reviews
Ten thousand years ago, Morpheus condemned a woman who loved him to Hell. Now the other members of his immortal family, The Endless, have convinced the Dream King that this was an injustice. To make it right, Morpheus must return to Hell to rescue his banished love -- and Hell's ruler, the fallen angel Lucifer, has already sworn to destroy him.

Collects THE SANDMAN #21-28.
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published March 10th 1999 by Vertigo (first published 1990)
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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 ·  63,826 ratings  ·  1,929 reviews

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Bill Kerwin

Neil Gaiman is at his best when his imagination is peopled with gods and demons—magnificent, outsize personalities, ranging from the eerily transcendent to the surprisingly human—and the tale he chooses to tell in “Season of Mists” gives him ample room to create a godly and superior fantasy.

The plot is simple. Lucifer abdicates the throne of Hell, sending the damned back to earth, and turns the keys over to Dream. Dream doesn’t really want the property—too vast, too hard to keep up—but a lot of
Sean Barrs
I find myself at a loss for words whenever I come to review a volume of this series, simply because it is just that good. What is there to talk of that will do it justice? Could I speak of the intelligent weaving of mythological figures with distinctively human personalities? No. Not enough. Could I speak of the literary allusions and most apt references to long dead poets and writers? No. Not enough. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that Gaiman is a genius.

This is by far the b
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the point in the series where shit gets real.

For one thing, this is the first glimpse you have of how truly mythically all-encompasing this series is. You have Odin, the Lucifer, some Faeries, Demons, a Japanese storm god, Bast and Anubis, two angelic presences, and other assorted powers all hanging out, not just in the same story. But on the same page.

And it makes sense. You're left thinking, oh, yeah. Sure. Why wouldn't Thor be hitting on Bast?

Even more importantly, this is the poin
The story goes to Hell, in more than one sense.

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Kelly Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt & P. Craig Russell

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


Yet another impressive introduction to the TPB by Harlan Ellison, denoting again that The Sandman is something else in the middle of the genre of comic books.

Sometimes we can choose t
Re-Read, 4/4/20:

Oh, honestly, I shivered throughout the re-read. This is SUCH an important volume for the rest of the tale. And I really can't top my original review, either.

What a great twist this volume is. :)

Original Review:

Now the good stuff really gets started.

Introducing most of the Endless, we discover intrigue with Destiny, some deep sadness in Delirium, friendship in Death, capriciousness in Desire, and maybe a bit of reasonableness in Despair. Dream is there, of course, and he's right
Ms. Smartarse
After a particularly unpleasant family reunion, Morpheus finds himself planning yet another journey to Hell. Considering the resounding defeat of the demon Choronzon back in Preludes & Nocturnes, Dream is understandably preparing for the worst. Such as moving a meet-up 99 years ahead, should he fail to make the next rendezvous.

Farewell toast

With volume 3 leaving me closer to unimpressed than actual enjoyment, I had almost resigned myself to forgetting about the series, but then I remembered that I still have
Johann (jobis89)
"I think hell’s something you carry around with you. Not somewhere you go."

Season of Mists is the fourth volume in the Sandman graphic novel series. Lucifer has given Dream the key to Hell, however Dream has a lot of other responsibilities and so decides the key should be given to someone else - but who?

Oh man, this has definitely been my favourite volume so far in the series. I have been enjoying Sandman a lot, but this was the point at which I really began to understand the hype behind it. Sea
Dave Schaafsma
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A 2020 reread.

Okay, when I first read I thought: this is obviously very good, but unlike most of the Gaiman universe, I liked the intimacy of volume 3 more than this huge, epic, operatic occasion where Morpheus decides what to do with Hell after Lucifer hands it over to him. But this time I see that this is what Gaiman does best, to alternate between a grand operatic canvas and the intimacy of the simple story. And it is a simple story, a kind of mythical allegory: With some poignancy Dream dete
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
“So I'm back, to the velvet underground
Back to the floor, that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was
To the gypsy... that I was
And it all comes down to you
Well, you know that it does
Well, lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
Ah, and it lights up the night” (Nicks: Welsh Witch Music)

When I think about Neil Gaiman’s work, it all comes back to American Gods. This is the book by him that to me is the most identifiable of his canon and the work upon so much
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This is where the series really hits its stride. We finally meet the rest of the Endless as they get together to tell Dream what a dick move it was to condemn his ex-girlfriend to Hell. This sets off the story as Dream sets out to go to Hell and get Nada back. He fully expects Lucifer will kill him which is what makes the issue where Dream does get to Hell so great. (This story also lays the groundwork for Mike Carey's fantastic Lucifer book that will come about a few years later.) And then thos ...more
Sean Gibson
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been gradually warming to this series as it’s picked up momentum, and Vol. 4 proved to be a glorious realization of its vast potential. What begins as the weirdest family reunion of all time takes a turn when Dream’s family calls him out for the very douche bag move of condemning his ex-girlfriend to eternal damnation in a fit of pique because she totally wanted to date other people. Dream decides to journey to Hell to save her soul and hijinks ensue, not the least of which involves (view s ...more
Anthony Chavez
What happens when Lucifer decides to leave hell? Season of Mists, the fourth volume of The Sandman answers that question as Dream heads to Hell once again, this time to release a former lover who has been imprisoned and tortured for thousands of years. Upon arrival, he finds Hell deserted, and Lucifer ushering out the stragglers he has banished from the lands, he then hands dream the key to the kingdom.

This is the best of the first four volumes in the series, with "A Doll's House" a close secon
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorites, 2013
The speech of Lucifer Morningstar on giving up his responsibilities in Hell would be good enough to justify the five stars review, but there is a lot more to like in this new book of the Sandman comic. Like the old fashioned chapter headings, teasers of events to come and plot twists to discover:

issue 21 : In which a Family reunion occasions certain recriminations; assorted events are set in motion; and a relationship thought long done with proves to have much relevance today.

The prologue brin
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is my favorite entry in the Sandman series so far!

Here we learn a lot-for instance, all the supposed stand alone stories in Sandman 3: The Dream Country, were NOT all stand alones. Some of them do have connections that are referenced here.

The introduction by the irascible Harlan Ellison was fantastic. I know he's a curmudgeon, but I adore the man. His description of what happened when one of Gaiman's comic book stories won the World Fantasy Award was freaking hilarious.

I didn't enjoy the
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This 4th volume in the series starts with the Endless gathering. We learn there is one who left their company, a brother they all miss. But that is neither here nor there (at first). Destiny, who initiated the meeting after the Fates talked to him, doesn't tell them what it's about until it has happened. Death (my favourite) teaches her brother Morpheus a thing or two about manners and pride - a long overdue lesson if you ask me - and thus the Dream Lord finally realizes what fool he's been abou ...more
Auntie Terror
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga-comic
Possibly my favourite part so far.
Paul E. Morph
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Writing’s still amazing. Artwork’s still a bit ropey in places, although Dringenberg’s stuff is getting a lot better.

What more do you want from me? Read it yourself.
After reading more of Neil Gaiman’s classic “Sandman” series, I never would have thought that the stories would get better and better and the fourth volume “Season of Mists” certainly did not disappoint me! Dream (Morpheus) definitely got his hands full in this volume that will reveal many shocking surprises for the fans of the fantastic “Sandman” series!

In this volume “Season of Mists,” when a family meeting between the Endless ends up revealing Dream’s past horrible deed of condemning the woma
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Beware of gifts from the Devil, a lesson that Dream learned too late when he entered the realm of Hell, ready to do battle with Lucifer if necessary, only to have the Lord of Hell tell his gift he was closing shop. There was to be no battle unless Dream wanted it so and only a gift for his guest, the key of Hell. Now the reluctant owner of a prime piece of psychic real estate, Morpheus gets embroiled by a series of supplicants from various pantheons seeking the key and eager to offer gifts, thre ...more
J.G. Keely
It is unfortunate that Gaiman seems to be unable to surrender his archetypal cast to either humanity or inhumanity, but lets them sit awkwardly in the middle. Though he often presents Dream and his siblings as falling to love or petty squabbling, their reactions to such are often not to work towards decision, but to subside. In those cases where they do act, it becomes merely a meaningless exercise to continue the story. When this is done for the purpose of framing other tales and interweaving i ...more
Caro the Helmet Lady
It was so, SO good, it left me in weird state of mind - it's like you're high, but not really.

Remember the guy from vol. 3, the writer, who was punished by Morpheus by having too many ideas? I think it's Gaiman himself, having all those ideas, but not being unhappy because of that in the slightest.

He proves all the time that he actually can build the worlds and create all those characters with their own worlds, and although it's not in the story, you get a taste of that, that the box contains
The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists: Deities scramble to fill a vacancy in Hell

After the stand-alone stories of Vol 3, many of which only feature Morpheus in the background, in Vol 4 the Sandman takes center stage once again. The Prologue sets the stage for a new story-arc, as Destiny strolls through his barren garden, in his monk’s cowl and with his huge book, and encounters the three Fates. As usual, they drop some cryptic clues that big events are afoot and then depart. Destiny checks his bo
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite in the series so far.
Himanshu Karmacharya
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Seasons of Mist is not only the best book in the series so far, but also one of the finest works of Neil Gaiman.

Lucifer abdicates the throne of Hell and leaves its keys to Morpheus. Now it is upto him to decide who should rule Hell next.

Beautifully written, with some thought provoking questions and dialogues at times. The art may seem weird, but it fits well with the overall atmosphere of the graphic novel.

An essential read.
My favorite since the first one.

It's been over thirty years since this was published, and it still managed to do things that surprised me. Morpheus, or Dream the Endless, has been informed that consigning his human lover Nada to hell for 10,000 years for the crime of rejecting him and wounding his pride was a not great thing to do, so he sets out to make things as right as he can, which means once again descending into hell and facing Lucifer. He makes his preparations, says his goodbyes, fully
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fourth Sandman volume, collecting a seven-part story arc, revisits Queen Nada, the woman who rejected Morpheus ten thousand years ago and spent that time condemned to Hell for it. In a fantastic prologue, we are finally introduced to the remaining Endless siblings when the oldest, Destiny, calls for a family meeting in his realm—where it is pointed out to Morpheus that he may have overreacted. To right this wrong, Dream resolves to return to Hell to forgive and free Nada... but Lucifer hatch ...more
James DeSantis
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sandman continues pushing into new territory as we get a confrontation I wasn't expecting. Lucifer and Dream.

See it starts off with Dream and all his siblings getting together. He reflects on his pass action of sending Nada, a mortal he once loved to hell. In doing so he decides he must travel to hell to rescue her. A typical mission of a "hero" on his way to save his long lost "lover" for condemning her to hell turns into a very interesting "Who rules what now" in a way I never expected.

The f
Wing Kee
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mind explodingly good.

World: The art of the series has been fantastic, atmospheric, creative and just beautiful. The world building here I can't even explain how it made my brain explode. The depth, the creativity, I can't truly express it in words that would do it justice. Just read it (I'm sorry for being vague).

Story: The story is a payoff for a single issue tale that came before and it's fantastic. The idea of Hell and what happens there and the entire story is astoundingly creatively good.
Jesse Field
May 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
"But even if Destiny could tell you, he will not. Destiny holds his secrets. The Garden of Destiny. You would know it if you saw it. After all, you wander it until you die. Or Beyond. For the paths are long, and even in death, there is no ending to them."


It's really too bad I didn't get a chance to read Sandman when I was about 14. Gaiman's clunky, endless scene-setting ("assorted events are set in motion; and a relationship thought long done with proves to have much relevance today") is mea
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Other books in the series

The Sandman (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)
  • The Doll's House (The Sandman, #2)
  • Dream Country (The Sandman, #3)
  • A Game of You (The Sandman, #5)
  • Fables & Reflections (The Sandman, #6)
  • Brief Lives (The Sandman, #7)
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