Wednesday, August 8, 2018

THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 by Neil Gaiman, Dan Watters, Kat Howard, Nalo Hopkinson, and Simon Spurrier - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: From the mind of New York Times #1 bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a new world filled with dreams, nightmares and wonderful characters living together in a shared universe for a new story unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

A rift between worlds has opened, revealing a space beyond the Dreaming. Meanwhile, a book from Lucien’s library is discovered by a group of children in the waking world where it should not exist. Lucien calls for Matthew the Raven to seek out their master, Daniel, Lord of Dreams.

As Matthew flies across the Waking World and others, he finds a young boy named Timothy Hunter who, in his dreams, has become the world’s most powerful magician—but in his nightmares he is the world’s greatest villain. A new House has appeared in the realm of the Dreaming: the House of Whispers, with its proprietor, a fortune-teller called Erzulie. And elsewhere, Lucifer has fallen again, only this time he might be trapped in a Hell of his own design.

Spiraling out of this special issue will be four all-new series set in the Sandman Universe. It all starts here!

The Sandman Universe #1 by Neil Gaiman and a host of writers is the first Vertigo title in some time. It seems to have two functions: first, it reintroduces the world of the Sandman, which Gaiman made famous and might be the most famous of Vertigo's many popular titles; and two, it's sort of a sampler of the some of the upcoming comics that will officially relaunch the Vertigo imprint.

As far as the story itself, Matthew the Raven goes on a quest for Daniel, aka Sandman, aka the King of Dreams. Strange things are happening in the Dreaming and Daniel is no where to be found. This framing device catches the reader up on many old friends from the Sandman books, while also providing a glimpse into the new stories. During his search, Matthew runs into Timothy Hunter, who has had his own series and is destined to become the greatest wizard in the world. Lucifer, who also had his own series, is on the lookout for the mother of his son. The House of Whispers and its proprietor has joined the Houses of Mystery and Secrets. And the last book focuses on the Dreaming itself, and the crisis its facing in the absence of its ruler.

In the past, I was a big fan of the Sandman and its related stories, and based off this issue, I think those (The Dreaming and maybe Timothy Hunter) might be the books I would gravitate towards, while the others don't really peak my interest. It's not that they might not be terrific; they're just not might cup of tea. In that sense, I appreciate The Sandman Universe #1 and the fact I can sample the various new tales without a big commitment.

Overall, I think The Sandman Universe #1 is a great entry (or re-entry) point into both the Sandman linked universe and Vertigo overall. I'm looking forward to seeing just what's going to happen, particularly to Daniel. I would recommend this book to anyone who was a fan of Sandman in the past, or who enjoys Vertigo's books.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics and Vertigo in exchange for an honest review.

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