As reported in recent months, Netflix is producing a series based on Sandman, with several elements originally seen in the comics developed by Neil Gaiman. In fact, the British writer is one of the executive producers of the project and promises to please all fans of the work.
Published by DC Comics’ Vertigo label in the late 1980s, the collection has around 75 canonical editions, as well as special spin-offs, prequels and graphic novels. Several well-known characters in this fictional universe emerged in adventures full of dynamism and impressive illustrations.
Learn more about the reading order of these must-see comics.
Sandman: where to start?
Although the stories were created by Neil Gaiman, other people collaborated in the writing process for the magazines, such as Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg. Graphics and character designs were created by a great group, including artists such as Jill Thompson, JH Williams III, Milo Manara, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave McKean, Charles Vess, Miguelanxo Prado, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel and Michael Zulli .
By diving into the world of dreams and nightmares, the plots were built around the figure of Morpheus, also known as Dream, one of the seven perpetuals. This group, which is composed of Fate, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Delirium and Death — brothers of Morpheus — basically consists of the anthropomorphic representation of these feelings that help in maintaining reality.
Sandman’s first volume presents the arc “Preludes and Nocturnes”, from 1989, made up of eight editions. It is worth noting that this and some of the first arcs are condensed in the Definitive Sandman edition, published in Brazil in hardcover by Panini Comics.
The narrative shows the protagonist’s vulnerability as he tries to regain his strength. It is curious to note that this plot already features some of the characters that later stand out throughout the stories, such as Lucifer, who won his own comic book.
Other well-known DC figures have also appeared with guest appearances in early editions, such as Mister Miracle, Mars Hunter, Etrigan, Wesley Dodds and even John Constantine.
Sandman: How many volumes are there in the comics?
In all, Sandman has 75 editions.
The arcs that followed were “The Doll’s House” (issues 9 to 16), considered by many to be the best of Sandman’s stories; “Land of Dreams” (from the 17th to the 20th edition); “Estação das Brumas” (from edition 21 to 28); “Distant Mirrors” (from 29th to 31st and 50th editions); “A game with you” (from issue 32 to 37); “Convergence” (from issue 38 to 40); and “Vidas Breves” (from issue 41 to 49).
“End of the Worlds” (from edition 51 to 56); “Beloved Ones” (from issue 57 to 69); “Awakening” (from issue 70 to 73); “Exile” (edition 74); and finally “The Storm” (edition 75) were also published. If readers use this narrative line, they will be able to understand the story as it was originally conceived.
way beyond chronology
Neil Gaiman also defined the argument of some spin-offs, such as O Sonhar, focused on the land of dreams; Lucifer, who introduced the character from the Netflix series; The Mystery Theater, developed by Matt Wagner and Steven T. Seagle; and Dead Boy Detectives, by Toby Litt and Mark Buckingham, starring Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine.
The miniseries and specials comprise unique stories, such as The Girl Who Would Be Death, released in 1999, which focused, over four volumes, on the origin of the character Death and the group of Perpétuos. The character was even the main protagonist of other short stories published during the 1990s.
In the Sandman Presents category, sorts of illustrated tales were also covered, such as one about Lucifer, released between March and May 1999. In it, authors Mike Carey and Scott Hampton work with a very exciting investigation plot for the Lord of Hell. In the field of short stories, 11 stories were published.