Attention: SPOILERS for the Sandman
The famous comedy star voices Matthew the Raven in the Netflix series “The Sandman”. “The Sandman,” executive produced by Neil Gaiman, is a long-awaited adaptation of his favorite DC Comics graphic novels. The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge as the Dream of the Infinite, also known as Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, Boyd Holbrook as the Corinthian, Kirby Howell-Baptist as Death and Jenna Coleman as Lady Joanna Constantine. But one of the central figures of the dark supernatural fantasy is Dream’s raven, Matthew, whom the voice actors only hear, but never see.
At the beginning of The Sandman, Morpheus is captured by a British magician named Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance). The self-styled Magician intended to link Death to his will, but instead inadvertently caught a Dream. Deprived of his powerful control tools, helmet, ruby and sandbag of dreams, Morpheus has been in captivity for more than a century. When he finally escapes, Dream sets out to find the stolen items and restore his ruined kingdom, Dreams. This mission takes the Sandman to the waking world and even to Hell itself, where Sleep must confront the ruler of the underworld Lucifer Morningstar (Gwendoline Christie). Fortunately, throughout Morpheus’ adventures, Matthew, his faithful raven, accompanies him.
In The Sandman, Patton Oswalt’s voice cannot be confused with the voice of Matthew the Raven. The popular comedian is a passionate fan of comics with impeccable authority in computer games. Along with his revered stand-up comedy and appearances in popular comedies such as Parks and Recreation, Oswalt also portrayed many of the Koenig siblings in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In fact, Oswalt was the first actor to play in The Sandman, even before Tom Sturridge got the role of Sleep. Oswalt voices Matthew as confused and literally excited, as he has just died and turned into a supernatural raven when he meets Morpheus in the Sandman. Matthew doesn’t even realize who his boss is when he reports to the librarian of Dreams, Lucien (Vivienne Achampong), although Matthew’s goal is to be close to the Dream as his eyes and ears.
Who was Matthew Cable before he became a raven
Matthew the Raven connects the Sandman to the larger DC universe. Gaiman borrowed Matthew for the Sandman comic strip from Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, where he was a man named Matthew Cable before he died and turned into the Raven of Sleep. In the Swamp Thing comics, Matthew Cable was an investigative agent who teamed up with Abigail Arcane to pursue a monster known as Swamp Thing. Cable died and was reborn as Matthew Raven in The Sandman. Matthew was played by Henderson Wade in the series “Swamp Thing” of the DC universe. Although Matthew Oswalt was supposed to be the same character in origin, this is a new and separate incarnation. However, it’s possible that the Swamp Thing exists in Netflix’s Sandman universe just as the two supernatural characters are part of the DC Comics universe.
The reason Matthew becomes a raven in The Sandman is to replace Dream’s previous raven, Jessamy. In the Sandman comics, Jessamy was Morpheus’ faithful raven in the 1700s, and Matthew is his raven today. Netflix’s “Sandman” features Jessamy in the premiere episode “The Righteous Man’s Dream,” and raven follows Dream while he is held captive by Roderick Burgess. But when Jessamy is killed by Roderick’s son Alex (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), the unfortunate Dream decides that he should not have another raven. Fortunately, Matthew arrives anyway to take his place next to Dream as his raven, and Morpheus’ jokes with Patton Oswalt’s Matthew Raven lend a certain prized levity to The Sandman.