The Sandman Overture #1

This is possibly the most uncool thing I’ve ever written, so please bear with me as I strip my entire essence of irony and put on a mask of unabashed passion.

OH MY GOD NEIL GAIMAN’S “SANDMAN: OVERTURE” IS FINALLY HERE! I have been waiting for this moment ever since my innocence was ruined by reading the “Sandman” comic series a little too young.  For more information on said series, head on over to boring John Mendiola’s article, because only true fans belong here.

To give a little insight into my experience purchasing this graphic novel, I’d like to explain that I called three separate Barnes & Noble locations the day before it was released to inquire about whether or not they would be selling “Sandman: Overture” by Neil Gaiman before or after midnight.  I didn’t get many positive responses.  Alas, I had to wait a whole day until I could buy the book, much like Morpheus had to wait seventy-two years to be freed from the magician’s basement.

“Sandman: Overture” will supposedly be tying up loose ends that Gaiman purposefully left unknown.  These secrets include how Morpheus was captured, what triggered the emotional journey he took throughout the series and many aspects of the Endless that were never explained.  Personally, I hope he doesn’t reveal too much information, as I do enjoy the aura of mystery that surrounds the series.  The reader doesn’t totally understand everything, but what’s happening is happening to immortal beings whose levels of comprehension are far beyond our own.  I don’t want Gaiman to water down his works for the sake of the reader understanding every bit of the universe.

The story starts off with Morpheus exploring a different planet as the dream of a species of plants.  It reiterates the overall epicness and mystery of the Endless”” they are powerful, but do they exist on all different planets? Universes? Dimensions?  Also, while I personally enjoyed this beginning, it was definitely one for people who had read the series already.  This issue never gives a concrete introduction to most of the characters, including Morpheus and his sister Death, but delves into their dialogue.  Those who try to read the Overture first will most likely be confused.

The story progresses to Destiny looking into his book and foreseeing a conversation he will have with Death regarding Morpheus.  The setting then shifts to 1916 London, where Morpheus is about to “uncreate” the Corinthian, a character from the previous novels whose plotline is central for much of the writings.  Before he has a chance to execute the Corinthian, Morpheus is summoned by an unknown source.  The tale ends with Morpheus coming upon a congregation of various mythical creatures.

One aspect of this novel that struck me was the illustration.  The pages look so vibrant and beautiful, contrasting the often muted and gloomy approach taken in past novels.  Gaiman also wrote about the old characters with surprising familiarity.  It is almost like no time has elapsed since the final novel was published.