The Sandman: Overture 1
Neil Gaiman, J. H. Williams III
Spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned!
There is a reason Neil Gaiman is the master. Has he ever written anything bad? Well, not that I’ve found. His prose, his poetry, and his comics are pretty much, for lack of a better way to put it, perfect. And with his return not only to comics, but one of his best and most beloved creations, he teams with artist J. H. Williams III to produce something that I thought would be impossible: Another perfect Sandman story. I know it sounds a bit premature, but let’s be honest: It’s Vertigo. It’s Gaiman. And my god does it look beautiful. Even if it’s just the first part, if the others are even remotely close to the premiere issue, we are definitely in for a treat.
The story, much like that of all Gaiman’s works, is complex enough that it warrants multiple reads (and most likely additional ones after the inevitable conclusion) but not so confusing that you want to give up and put it back on the shelves. It is, dare I say, smart. This time around, The Sandman: Overture gives us a hidden or “lost” tale from the past of Dream of the Endless. And even though we know that this story “doesn’t matter,” (Spoiler: He dies at the end of the series.) we still can’t help but be immediately pulled into a story that encompasses another world of humanoid plants that think and feel, the first nightmare (huzzah for an extra creepy Corinthian portrayal), Destiny’s ever-tempting jokester of a sister giving him a hard time about “looking ahead” and cheating fate, and, of course, Death herself, in all her plucky happy-go-lucky goodness. And then there’s that ending. The “twist” that somehow I didn’t see coming and just made me fall even more in love with Gaiman’s writing than I ever thought possible. As Morpheus himself exclaims, “What?” I couldn’t agree more, my doomed friend.
So we have a wonderful piece of art that is going to reinvigorate the industry, bring back some steam to two creators’ comic book careers, and hopefully bring some thought into the everyday superhero comic reader. Not to mention that, even though I’m sure it won’t work out well in the end, part of me still hopes that there will be enough twists and turns throughout the tale to give me even the slightest glimmer of hope that the original Sandman might not be dead. I mean, come on… Who wouldn’t want a new modern-day ongoing Sandman series? Excluding maybe Neil Gaiman. Which, I guess is probably pretty important. All kidding aside, there is no question in my mind. This is, by far, the pick of my week. And quite honestly, the month. Well done.
My Rating: 5/5