The Sandman: Worlds' End

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Dark fantasy

Worlds' End (1994) is the eighth collection of issues in the DC Comics series The Sandman. Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Michael Allred, Gary Amaro, Mark Buckingham, Dick Giordano, Tony Harris, Steve Leialoha, Vince Locke, Shea Anton Pensa, Alec Stevens, Bryan Talbot, John Watkiss and Michael Zulli, colored by Danny Vozzo, and lettered by Todd Klein. The events in it are loosely associated with Zero Hour [1]. The collection's title, setting and a number of its themes and images are also found in G. K. Chesterton's poem A Child of the Snows.

The stories in the collection first appeared in 1993. The collection first appeared in paperback and hardback in 1994.



Like volumes 3 and 6, Dream Country and Fables and Reflections, this is a collection of (mostly) single-issue short stories, mostly not directly related to the main storyline of the series. Unlike those collections, however, the issues in World's End were clearly written with this end in mind, and as a set form a frame tale.

This is the story of Brant Tucker and Charlene Mooney, who are involved in a car crash during what seems to be a snowstorm (in the Northern Summer). Charlene is badly hurt, and Brant is directed by a Mysterious Voice (a hedgehog) to a strange inn - "Worlds' End, a free house", as the pub sign outside declares it. It transpires later that this is one of four inns where travellers between dimensions, between realms and kingdoms, shelter during reality storms - the consequences of particularly momentous events. Throughout the reading of the collection, then, the reader is aware that some kind of momentous event has occurred, and the conclusion of the collection gives us an inkling of what it is; the revellers at the inn gather by its windows to watch a funeral procession cross the sky, which ends with Death looking sadly into the inn and then looking down sadly at her crossed hands, as the crescent moon behind her slowly turns red. The framing sequence is penciled by Bryan Talbot and inked by Mark Buckingham, Dick Giordano and Steve Leialoha, with the exception of the funeral procession, which is penciled by Gary Amaro and inked by Tony Harris.

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