Blogs | Sandman Overture #1

Keith | 10/30/2013 12:44 am

Without trying too hard, I can find something each week in comics that I can read.  I've read too many comics to any longer want to read them all, as there just isn't enough time.  And when I read more, I learned that my personal tastes dictate to me what I want to read, and that narrows down the stack even further.  Sometimes I HAVE to read one comic or another (occupational hazard), but when I GET to read the comics I like, it is so much more rewarding; a point I've tried to use in all my recommendations, because without the desire to continue to keep reading that which you like, you will eventually not want to read anything.

Sandman Overture #1 Cover

So here we are, the week of Halloween, and DC puts out there best shot at a Vertigo title that plays well with the theme.

SANDMAN OVERTURE is out!  And I can't recommend any other book this week higher.

Why Sandman?
I was looking forward to this, that part is easy.  I read the entire run of Neil Gaiman's Sandman about 2 years ago, and was blown away by it.  In the very first issue, Gaiman does what I have very rarely seen any writer do... establish his character, his way, without destroying anything about the previous versions.  The DC character Sandman existed in both the Golden Age (detective Wesley Dodds) and the Bronze/Modern Age (both Garrett Sanford and Hector Hall) and Gaiman's version (Dream of the Endless) seemingly has nothing to do with these previous versions.  But instead of doing what is too popular and easy for some writers to do, he gives meaning to why his versions exists, how it relates to the past versions, and does nothing to destroy any of the works of past creators so that he can have the character he wants.  Instantly, I became a fan of Gaiman because he respects the medium and the work that came before.

And while that is enough to earn my respect, the character of Dream enthralls me very quickly.  Have you read a story that feels so much grander than you, but relates to your imagination in a way you couldn't even realize, like it is something you should have remembered before you even knew it existed?  I love the entire family of the Endless, and i feel like I understand the psychology of all the members of the clan without having to be spoon-fed it.  I had previously heard so much about Death, Dream's sister and sometimes fan favorite of the family, but I was engrossed by Destiny, the older brother that is the least used character.  It is that depth of the story that kept me engaged through the entire run.

And now it returns...
I was in San Diego last year when this was announced.  And while that would be enough for me to be interested, they also announced that the artist selected for the challenge/task to bring it to life is J.H. Williams III.  This was an amazing choice, as many of you know from his runs on Batwoman and Promethea that he brings more than just art, he is a master of using the visual layer to tell more about the tale than you realize.  Just using paneling to incorporate the Batwoman logo, or the sense of drowning, or creating a never-ending page, he is a master of the arts.

Sandman Overture #1 Panel

And also the announcement was that this would be a prequel story, which gives a little more flexibility to the writing and characters considering the disposition of them at the end of the run.  The first run is a complete story, but this brings the hope that we can revisit our favorites just once more.

My review...
This is a total payoff.  The style is all there, with an AMAZING paneling sequence, not once but twice, in the first issue and a fold out spread.  Some of my favorites are back, and nothing feels lost.  The writing is top notch, like we would expect, and the story is something I want to see the next book right away.  I didn't have to wait between issues, and this will be even more waiting with the book coming out bi-monthly (basically).  But like a trip to your favorite hangout as a child, all the old feelings of fun are back, and I am so happy to be back.

I recommend this to one and all, old fans of Dream and those that have never read it before.  This is the type of book that is worth the wait, but feel free to enjoy it today.

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