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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Sandman 5 - Jed moves in with his aunt and uncle

Fleisher. Kirby and Wood change things up a bit in Sandman 5 (Oct/Nov 75), giving a very different feel to the book by the end of it.

Right at the top of the story Jed and his grandfather are out fishing when they get attacked by a sea serpent. Sandman comes to Jed's rescue, but by the time he reaches them the grandfather has already died.

Jed's Aunt Clarice and Uncle Barnaby happen to come for a visit, learn that the grandfather is dead, and convince Jed to come live with them on their farm. They make it sound very nice, but when Jed gets there they stick him in the attic, feed him only oatmeal, insult and abuse him.

His cousins are both rotten kids who provoke Jed and steal from him, and when he tries to fight back the aunt and uncle come down on him for attacking their beloved children. It's an over the top nightmare.

Jed is assigned to chop a huge pile of wood, and falls asleep while doing so. Sandman meets Jed in his dreams, and they have a wonderfully fairy tale adventure with a frog king. Now the Sandman scenes feel like the fantasies of an abused child, in contrast with Jed's new living situation.

At the end Jed is awoken by his aunt. To her surprise, the wood is all chopped. The reader sees that Brute and Glob did this, though none of the others are aware of it. Overall, this has become a darker and more disturbing book with this issue, and a much better one.

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