Neil Gaiman's series of graphic novels, The Sandman, marked a milestone in the comic book industry when it premiered in 1988, and 30 years later, the author is expanding that world into his own complete mini-universe. Nicknamed The Sandman Universe, the series will be part of the DC Vertigo imprint, and will consist of four new series of individual comics, each run by a different writer, with the whole thing starting on August 8.
"I found Vertigo at a time when I was bored with comics, then I read Sandman and my head exploded," Vertigo executive editor Mark Doyle said in a press release. "Suddenly, I saw all these endless possibilities of telling stories, I knew I had to go into comics, and I had to go into Vertigo." Back to the imprint and working with Neil Gaiman to expand Sandman's universe, it's truly a dream come true reality ".
Sandman's original series focused on Dream, a god-like creature who embodied the dreams themselves, who was faced with the task of rebuilding his kingdom, The Dreaming, after being held captive for decades. The series was extended until 1996, incorporating horror, fantasy, dark comedy and the impressive work of art to create a unique work that left an indelible cultural impression. Gaiman has periodically returned to the world in recent years since the series ended, but this broader concept of the expanded universe represents a much more ambitious approach to this world than he had ever tried before.
The initiative will begin with The Sandman Universe # 1, which has a story by Gaiman, but will be written by his four collaborators on the project: the novelists Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring) and Kat Howard (Roses and Rot), and the comic writers Si Spurrier (Suicide Squad) and Dan Watters (Limbo). It establishes the basic premise of the new universe: Daniel, who became the lord of dreams at the end of Sandman's career, has vanished, leading to chaos. Each of the new books will pick up a thread of history from there.
The Dreaming, which will be written by Spurrier, takes place in the realm of Dream, where "crimes and calamities" are unleashed in Daniel's absence. The comic will focus on three characters: Lucien, the librarian, a "monstress" named Dora, and Nuala of Faerie, as they try to find Daniel and return him to his rightful place of power, while darkness threatens to fall into the realm.
The House of Secrets and the House of Mystery were prominent places in Sandman's knowledge, and the second book in the series will present another. In the center of House of Whispers there is a woman named Latoya, who is trapped in a coma. In an effort to help her, Latoya's girlfriend and her two sisters turn to the Book of Whispers, accidentally stealing the "essence" of a voodoo deity in the process. He makes his home crash into the realm of Dream, while in the real world, Latoya wakes up. The problem is that Latoya thinks she is dead.
Lucifer by Dan Watters seems to be one of the most direct titles of the new collection. It is, yes, the same devil, who is believed to have disappeared. It turns out that he is in a small town, has lost his memory and stuck in the body of a frail old man. But in Los Angeles, a policeman who is fighting against brain cancer finds himself with a rather specific mission: to find Lucifer and kill him.
Completing the collection is Books of Magic, by Kat Howard. There is a particularly Harry Potter-esque atmosphere on the cover of the first issue, and it is also reflected in the story. It tells the story of Timothy Hunter, a London teenager who is destined to become "the most powerful magician in the universe." However, magic seems to get in the way of school and talk to girls, like a group of cultists, who wants to kill him preemptively before he can become too powerful. But a new substitute teacher joins his school, and offers to show Timothy the way to master his powers.
While Sandman was always known for a rather specific kind of temperamental tone, the new books seem to cover the gamut, from the ethereal and the dreamlike, to the difficult and the fantastic. It is not yet clear how much the different titles will overlap, in the style of a traditional comic book universe, or whether the stories will remain relatively isolated in themselves. However, from the different premises of the four books, it seems there will be a lot of territory to explore in any case. Sandman fans can start reading on August 8.