Morpheus has done a lot of regrettable things in his existence, but this issue features one of his most remorseful as his son, Orpheus, comes to terms with his place in the Endless family--and his own limits--in a gruesome, standalone parable.
In a retelling of the Greek myth, the Endless gather for the wedding of Dream's son, Orpheus. Tragedy strikes afterward, however, when the new bride, Eurydice, is bitten by a snake while avoiding the attentions of the drunken satyr Aristaeus and dies. Grief-stricken, Orpheus demands his aunt, Death, to return Eurydice to him. She tells him she cannot, but tells him of a gate to the underworld when he won't take no for an answer.
Once there, Orpheus convinces Hades to let his deceased wife return, but there is a catch. He must walk back to the world above with Eurydice silently following him and mustn't look back the entire journey. He almost makes it, but just as he sees daylight ahead, his suspicion that he has been tricked by Hades and is walking alone becomes certainty. He looks back, and sees his wife for the last time.
With no will to live after that, Orpheus ignores his mother Calliope's warning that the Bacchante, savage worshipers of the Greek god Dionysus, are headed his way. They tear him limb from limb, leaving nothing but his disembodied but still living head. Dream finds what's left of his son on a beach, and Orpheus asks his father to kill him. Dream refuses, pointing out that Orpheus had told him he was no longer his son when he wouldn't bring Eurydice back from the dead, and leaves him there to live the rest of his life as a decapitated head.
*Note: Cover has glow-in-the-dark material to create a face.
Gallery illustrations in back:
- Destiny - Tom Canty
- Death - Dave McKean
- Dream - Barry Windsor-Smith
- Desire - Craig Russell
- Despair - Duncan Fegredo
- Delirium - Simon Bisley
- Matthew and Eve - Kent Williams
- Cain and Abel - Sergio Aragonés