Sandman Universe 1 – the Dream Lives Again
Although it’s two months early, 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Sandman and what would become the Vertigo Universe. Longtime readers know that Vertigo has been struggling with their publications for the last couple of years, with the conclusion of Hellblazer and Fables. Who better than the Endless (Dream/Sandman, for new folks) who started it all to bring the imprint back to its former glory?
Sandman Universe serves as the lead-in to the resurrection of the classic Vertigo universe. In this one-shot, the land of the Dreaming is cracking – literally – as a huge crack appears across the sky. Cain, Abel, and Lucien are on the case as they try to summon Dream, but he’s not answering. Matthew the Raven begins his search across reality, meeting new people such as Dora and the possible tenants of the House of Whispers, and Vertigo classics, such as Lucifer and Tim Hunter. Will Matthew find Dream? And where does everybody go from here?
The story itself is plotted by Neil Gaiman, with each section written by the titles’ respective writers, Si Spurrier, Kat Howard, Nalo Hopkinson, and Dan Watters. Overall, the comic reads like a classic Vertigo comic. That is, it’s a heavy read. This allows the reader to really take in, not only what they read, but the art, too (more on that shortly). Each tale has its own distinct character and flows smoothly from one leg of Matthew’s journey to the next. Additionally, each leg is also a delight to read. One of the critical aspects of the comic is that each character is correct; that is, Vertigo traditionalists shouldn’t complain too much about any character acting unlike themselves, with the exception of Tim Hunter, who seems to have been rebooted. The art also lives up to Vertigo standards, Bilquis Evely, Dominike Stanton, Tom Fowler, and Max and Sebastian Fiumara, create beautiful scenery to enjoy through the heavy content. Each artist provides their own distinct personality to each character and the reader comes out ahead.
I was already excited about the new Sandman Universe line of comics, but this has only made my excitement even greater. Vertigo brings back its incredible, unique characters with strong story and beautiful art to give new life to the once great tradition. Morpheus may still be gone, but the Dream lives on!
Colors: Mat Lopes
Publisher: DC Comics