Created by Daniel, Lord Dream of the Endless, Ruin was intended to be part of the menagerie of nightmares which trouble humans as they sleep. Daniel looked upon his creation and sadly proclaimed to the Dreaming’s librarian Lucien that his creation was a “complete ruin”. Despite this disappointment, Dream dispatched the newly named Ruin to fulfill his purpose where he encountered the lion headed, six winged archangel Jophiel charged by Yahweh to ensure the dreamer is suitably terrified in order to begin a momentous spiritual journey.
In contrast to Dream’s reaction at his creation being ruined, Ruin becomes entranced by the dreaming man’s beauty and declared him “perfect, like a sunbeam”. However, Ruin’s effort to lessen the man’s nightmare fails and he accidentally makes it more terrifying. Distressed by this failure leads Ruin to believe he can be something else than a literal nightmare, something positive and he determines to leave his place in the Box of Nightmares in the Dreaming and cross into the waking world in a hopeful search of the young man and starting a new life. G Willow Wilson begins to flesh out this character: his name is Ben and he’s on the crux of making a life changing decision about whether to continue his seminary studies or leave to focus his life on other matters.
Ruin’s escape creates a new problem when he encounters a lucid dreamer, a single mother and grad student named Lindy Morris working on her Shakespeare focused disstertation, who then becomes trapped in the Dreaming. Feeling responsible for Lindy’s perilous situation, Ruin vows to rescue her from the Dreaming and seeks out Jophiel to help him. They in turn ask a young sorcerer named Heather After for help crossing into the Dreaming. New challenges and dangers present themselves by traveling to and through the Faerie realm as a round about means to reach the Dreaming. Heather After’s profile can be found here.
Whether Ruin is successful in finding Ben and what may be in store for them as both individuals and possibly as a couple will be learned as the story continues to unfold.
Ruin is an interesting character thanks to the contrasts given him by writer/ creator G Willow Wilson and artist/ creator Nick Robles. As a nightmare the expectation is that he would accept the singular task of haunting people’s sleep rather than overcoming such strict limitations and wanting to be something positive and uplifting. He is entranced by Ben’s beauty and driven to find him while also taking responsibility for the unforeseen consequences of his choice and actions. By accepting an offer from Dream, Ruin fully embraces emotions and the uncertainties of the Waking world. It’s reasonable to think a nightmare would look, well, nightmarish like Brute, Glob, and other nightmares contained within the Box of Nightmares. And like Jophiel, Ruin does have a horrifying form though they’re primarily drawn as young and attractive men as they try to blend into the human world.
Ruin first appeared in The Dreaming Waking Hours #1. Ruin may be gay or pansexual. There just isn’t enough information to be definitive.
Created by G Willow Wilson and Nick Robles. Line art by Nick Robles. Color art by Mat Lopes.
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