Well, the second collection in The Sandman series is now under my belt.
Again, the story that felt the most Gaiman-esque to me, the one that had the least to do with the overriding plot of the series, was the one I liked the most. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the main plot revolving around Rose Walker, but to me the most thought-provoking and interesting of the comics was “Men of Fortune,” in which Morpheus is in a medieval tavern and hears a man boasting that death is a fool’s game and he has no intention of ever dying. Morpheus asks the man if he’s serious, and when he’s answered in the affirmative, asks that the man meet him, in that very inn, in another 100 years. The rest of the comic consists of the duo meeting every 100 years and the man telling Morpheus how the last century has treated him — sometimes he’s on top of the world, sometimes he’s hit rock bottom. It’s a totally different story from the rest of the collection, so perhaps it’s that change of pace that makes me appreciate the story so much.
My other favorite part was the serial killers’ convention, which was darkly humorous, especially some of the forum topics they discussed.
Morpheus is kind of an interesting protagonist because to this point he seems omnipotent, so Gaiman had to center the story around Rose, who is obviously vulnerable to some of the creatures around her, so while we as readers weren’t at all concerned about Morpheus’ safety, Gaiman established the stakes all around Rose and her well-being. Saying that, of course, we’re given a hint that Morpheus may be vulnerable, so that may be something to watch for in future issues.