Art from ‘The Sandman’ #21 by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III.
Gobbledygeek episode 189, “The Sandman: Vol IV – Season of Mists (feat. K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Just taking a guess here, but you probably don’t want to go to Hell. Probably don’t want to rule it, either. And neither does Lucifer, the original fallen angel himself, which sets in motion the events of The Sandman: Vol IV – Season of Mists. Pop culture academics (and Wanna Cook? authors) K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey join Paul and AJ for another installment of their Four-Color Flashback series exploring Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. The gang finds much to discuss, whether it be the assortment of mythological envoys sent to The Dreaming, Dream’s reunion with one-time lover Nada, or even, uh, the Merkin. Plus, Dale and Ensley went to Slayage, which was the opposite of Hell. Though the squirrels might beg to differ.
Next: we’ll be chatting about independent film and local business with Kurtiss Hare of Akron, Ohio’s brand new Nightlight Cinema.
(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol IV – Season of Mists.”)
Welcome to the final week in our analysis of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on Uncanny X-Men. The first four weeks can be found here, here, here, and here.
Fearless readers, we have come to the end of Claremont/Byrne’s classic run on Uncanny X-Men. There are some very emotional points in these issues, but on the whole, this doesn’t feel like an ending so much as it does yet another springboard for future storylines. And that’s what it is: after all, Uncanny X-Men is still going 30 years later, and even with Byrne’s departure, Claremont had another ten years left on the title. What’s more, Claremont and Byrne had things planned out for a further seven issues until Byrne decided to leave. But more on that later. For now, we’ll dive headfirst into the final eight issues of their run together.
When last we left our merry mutants, Dark Phoenix was preparing to return to Earth, her appetite for destruction not sated by consuming a whole star. In advance of her return, Lilandra’s Grand Council plans her demise, President Carter (for whom Claremont brings back his regrettable dialects) tells Jarvis to assemble the Avengers, and Beast devises a “mnemonic scrambler” which the X-Men can place on Phoenix to limit her powers. The first place Jean goes upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere is her family’s home in Annandale-on-Hudson. Claremont’s captions say that “[t]his is Jean Grey’s home, not Dark Phoenix’s,” “[y]et Jean Grey is Dark Phoenix.” Her parents, and her sister, are woken from their beds in the middle of the night, their minds now an open book for Jean to unwillingly read. She senses their fear of her, and lashes out, turning a potted plant to crystal as an example of her terrible power. And she would have done more were it not for an unnatural fog produced by Storm that draws Jean out of the house, allowing Kurt to slap the mnemonic scrambler on her.