The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists

The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, George Pratt, Malcolm Jones III, Dick Giordano, Kelley Jones, Todd Klein, Matt Wagner, Mike Dringenberg, P. Craig Russell Seasons of mist is definitely the best of the Sandman series so far, Destiny of the Endless is visited by the Fates and as a result calls a family meeting. Present are Destiny, Dream, Death, the twins Desire and Despair, and Delirium, only one of the Endless is missing which is an intriguing fact by itself.

Destiny tells them of his meeting with the Fates and sets of a significant chain of events, Desire argues with Dream about one of Dream's past romances, a young tribal woman named Nada who he banished to Hell ten thousand years ago on refusing his proposal. Dream finally admits that his decision was wrong and sets out to put things right, a visit to Hell is necessary and after his last trip there, things may not end well at all.

Prepared for a battle from which he may not return, Dream is some what surprised to find when he arrives at the gates of Hell that Lucifer has decided to abdicate the throne of Hell and is in the process of evicting the ranks of demons and the damned before locking the gates and deserting his post forever. Unfortunately, with no where to go the dead will return to the living, with catastrophic results.

As a final gesture Lucifer gifts Dream with the key to Hell, its the last thing that Dream wants and its the start of many visitors to the Dreamland all with various proposals, bribes and threats for the Key to Hell.
An excellent story, interesting character development, we meet the majority of the Endless and Dream has some tough decisions to make. A nice touch is the ending with Lucifer watching the sunset on an Australian beach