Best Sandman Stories to Read After Watching Netflix Series

Neil Gaiman’s Sand sellers is a magnificent wonder. Part pulp thriller, part urban fantasy comic with Shakespearean and mythical guests, the comic covers a lot of ground with a host of characters both mundane and otherworldly. What began as a story about Morpheus, the Immortal King of Dreams, and his journey of redemption gradually evolved into something even bigger: a tale of the nature of stories. and their essential relationship with humanity.

The original 75-volume series, along with the various series and spin-offs, is a diverse anthology of brilliantly told and beautifully illustrated stories that run to the tune of chilling cold. bones to stir the soul.

To celebrate the long-awaited live-action drama Sand sellers, which premieres this weekend on Netflix, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite episodes and issues from the comics for those looking to explore the original series’ universe in more detail. Sweet dreams, and happy reading.

24 Hours (No. 6)

A page from issue 6 of The Sandman,

Image: Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg / DC Comics

Sand sellers started its life as a horror comic before it becomes something more. “24 Hours” is the horror version of Sandman at the height of its power: malice, obsession, and annoyance, a one-action game in which diner patrons slowly go crazy with each other.

The story is mostly stand-alone: ​​John Dee, a DC Comics D-List villain, obtains Dream’s ruby, which holds many of his powers to fulfill other people’s dreams. . Originally a twisted soul, Dee was further corrupted by the ruby, which transformed his body into its present ghostly form. Recently freed from captivity, Dee rushes into a diner and makes its patrons his first victims – using the ruby’s power to manipulate their desires and turn them over. into monsters, or subject them to slavery and admiration.

From where it started, Sandman make it clear that dreams and nightmares go hand in hand, and that one cannot exist without the other. “24 Hours” applies that rule to the kind of dreams we have when we are awake: hidden ambitions, desires, and fame. They’re what we build our lives on, but they’re also what we undo – and the scariest thing about them is that we don’t need John Dee’s ruthless supernatural impulse to be consumed by them. consume. —Joshua Rivera

The Sound of Her Wings (No. 8)

A page from issue 8, “The Sound of Her Wings,” from The Sandman.

Image: Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg / DC Comics

No other problems about Sand sellers stands out much more in my mind than number 8, “The Sound of Her Wings”. This doesn’t have much to do with the specifics of the story, but rather serves as a smaller or lesser part of the larger story of Dream’s return to power after a century of incarceration. hold. “The Sound of Her Wings” is significant because it marks the moment when the fledgling fantasy comic series finally found its own voice, or rather, the moment Neil Gaiman stopped trying so hard. to write a DC Comics story and instead allow myself to write a full Neil Gaiman story. Take it from Gaiman himself, who said in a recent interview“I absolutely love still The Sound of Her Wings, ‘Death’s first encounter, because it was the first time I felt like I was.’

The matter follows Dream, who is listless on a mission to restore lost symbols of ministry, followed by his sister – the human personification of death – as she goes on a mission to bring the dead. who had just passed away into the “land without sunshine” in the afterlife. It is a symphony of melodies, at times sudden and melancholy, macabre and life-affirming, heartbreaking and poignant. “The Sound of Her Wings” is the story of an immortal being who gains perspective through close-up observation of humans and a reaffirmed understanding of the value and meaning of all life. and death. —Toussaint Egan

Lucky Men (Number 13)

A three-thirds page from Men of Good Fortune, number 38 from The Sandman.

Image: Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli / DC Comics

“Men of Good Fortune” has one of my favorite premise that is basically a pretty basic short story: In 1389, Robert “Hob” Gadling, a loud, boisterous pub patron, was brag to everyone who will hear about his latest idea. He said that death is “a game of the cup,” something people do because everyone else does it, and they’re all crazy about it. But Hob Gadling, he’s not as bad as the rest of us. He won’t die.

Unbeknownst to him, Death and his brother Dream were also in the pub, and they decided it would be interesting to see Hob obey his orders. So Dream sat down and called out to Hob with his confused look, saying that if Hob intended not to die, he would have to tell Dream about it, and meet him at the same pub after 100 Another year. So that’s what they do, for centuries.

Created by Michael Zulli, whose rich pencils will reappear transparent Sand sellers“Men of Good Fortune” does something Sand sellersHis stand-alone short stories excelled at this: taking the eternal scale of the Endless universe and using it to make the smaller stories resonate more than that. For all its power and magic, Dream’s story is only compelling for the ways it intersects with us, even if all he does is walk into a bar and get out. same friend. —JR

Seasons of Mists (Episode 4)

Image: Neil Gaiman, Kelley Jones / DC Comics

Spoiler alert about a possible upcoming part of Sand sellers: Casting Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer is a pretty sure sign that the creative team is hoping to do more with the character. And that means taking on the stellar Season of Mists storyline, where Lucifer kicks everyone out of hell, demons, and the souls of the damned alike, then locks it up and hands over the key. It’s a particularly sophisticated revenge plan, aimed squarely at Dream’s unflinching sense of responsibility: He can’t get away with hellish ownership, but as it turns out, it’s a piece of real estate that has value, and everyone from the defunct holy demons to the forces of Chaos want it, and want to bribe or blackmail or kill him to get it.

How Dream navigated the situation through Season of Mist the collection tells us more than we previously knew about who he is and how he handles his responsibilities and field. But the real joy of the arc is learning so much more about Sandman universe – about the main players, how they work and what they want, and what the plot between heaven, hell, and the courts of the Angels looks like. –Tasha Robinson

Brief Lives (Volume 7)

Dream, entering the realm of my sister Delirium in The Sandman: Brief Lives.

Image: Neil Gaiman, Jill Thompson / DC Comics

There are very, very few lessons in the 10 volumes that make up the complete series Sandman, and each of them is slightly different. But none of them combine the best of all aspects of the comics like vol. 7, Life is short. There is the family movie Endless. The world wakes up. Old gods in a modern context. Interesting and disturbing interactions between mortals and immortals. A severed head speaks and a dog is mocked.

Most of all, it is the story of a long road trip about two estranged brothers looking for a third person, and two brothers who are at the same time omnipotent beings far beyond the limits of humans and cannot be found. know how to drive a car. —Susana Polo

Epilogue, Sunday Funeral (No. 73)

A page from issue 73,

Image: Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli / DC Comics

The best character in Sand sellers was Hob Gadling, the Englishman from the 1300s who swore never to die and then didn’t. Both of his feature issues are great in their own right. But there is a special place in my heart for the last issue he appeared in, where this realistic medieval-born guy goes to a Renaissance fairy, cranky and homesick. everything he sees. Of course, there’s an emotional core to the story of Hob’s unrelenting passion for living and his own pain of outliving everyone he’s ever loved – but beyond that, every time I come At a Renaissance fair, I had Hob Gadling in mind again, complaining that beer was served cold, nothing was covered with feces, and no one walked around with an untreated facial tumor. . —SP

The Sandman: Overture (Limited Line)

Spacious double page layout from issue 2 of The Sandman: Overture.

Image: Neil Gaiman, JH Williams III / Vertigo

While the series is limited to six numbers The Sandman: Overture serves as an immediate opening to the first issue of SandmanIt’s best to read it as an epilogue to a 10-volume series. Overture details the story of the “great battle” that leaves Dream in such a weakened state that we find him in “Sleep of the Just,” chronicling his journey to a galaxy far, far away to control investigate the murder of one of his facets by a renegade star suffering from insanity. metastasize into a “dream vortex” that threatens all existence.

It’s a sweeping adventure across a vast universe rife with primordial singularities and strange allies, expressed through JH Williams III’s impeccable visual storytelling (Batwoman, Promethea), features epic spacious panels and layouts that evoke the total artistic ambitions of the original series in breathtaking detail. The Sandman: Overture is a beautiful elliptical bookend to a story over a quarter of a century crafted and a brilliant capstone to Neil Gaiman’s magnum opus. —TE

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