Posted August 10, 2018 by Flipgeeks Contributors in Comics

Sandman Universe #1: 5 Thoughts as We Re-Enter the Dreaming

We just finished reading Sandman Universe and we are stoked. This is a world we have missed and couldn’t wait to get back into. Here are our first 5 thoughts.

The Sandman Universe

1. Thinking Creator Involvement

Before getting into any of the book’s actual content, as a reader I can’t read this and not think about how DC has treated the original creations of another comic book great. In recent years not only has Watchmen been constantly used to keep it under the publisher’s control, but they’ve developed a lot of new content—a lot of it in my opinion of quality far inferior the source material—without any input from Alan Moore (and he has a lot to say about this which I won’t get into). I know that ownership and creator rights are really murky topics, but as we move into the future I am hoping that publisher acknowledge and better appreciate and compensate the creators to whom we all owe so much.

2. Neil Gaiman’s in the Game!

While original Sandman creator Neil Gaiman isn’t writing “Sandman Universe”, he is deeply involved in its development. He even played a part in choosing the creators who would be taking the reins. And it’s something to appreciate and to which we should call attention. This “feels” like Sandman, even if it’s moving in different directions. It’s an important thing to note; just because you use someone’s characters doesn’t mean you’re getting it right (throwing a little shade over at Doomsday Clock). This gets it though. To be clear I’m not looking for reverence of the original creator, and for people to just try and write like Neil Gaiman. Which brings us to our next point.

3. Waking up in the New Dreaming

While this “feels” like Sandman, in the sense that it gets the world, and the universe, right, it goes in very distinct directions, introducing new characters alongside much loved favorites. The various creative teams on the project are taking the great stuff that Gaiman set up and moving it into directions all their own. That’s really exciting and it plays off of the concepts that Gaiman set up, where Sandman could be a platform for any kind of story. In the hands of new creators, the world is revitalized.

4. It’s Going to Be Four Books

Sandman Universe #1 isn’t a series, but rather it’s the launching pad for four new series rooted in the Sandman universe (okay that sounds tautological but go with me here). What we get in this book is a big framing device of the Dreaming falling to pieces in Morpheus’ absence, and the different directions that this event will lead to. The challenge with a book like this, of course, is that it’s packing a lot of stuff and the various storylines, plus the framing device, have to share pages. It’s a tasting menu of what we will be getting in the future, and in that sense it’s pretty good.

5. Looking for the King of Dreams

The crux of it all is that Morpheus is missing. Let’s not forget that this same conflict served as springboard for the original series too. Sandman was not about the character, but an extended meditation on stories, on storytelling, and on the power of these things to create and destroy, to cause despair and to inspire. Some of the best stories featured Morpheus in the periphery, and if this follows that formula, we should have an interesting set of books on our hands.

Sandman Universe #1 is on sale now!

Reviewed by Carljoe Javier. He loves comics. He is Managing Editor of Anino Comics, writes comics and prose, and teaches at the Ateneo Department of Fine Arts. He is also the Creative Director for Smarter Good.

Flipgeeks Contributors