MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Sandman is an acclaimed DC comic written by Neil Gaiman (now a hit Netflix series!). It centers around the King of Dreams, Morpheus aka Dream and his duty to protect the Dreaming. In the second half of this article, we continue to break down some of what makes this comic a dream come true for many fans.
Dream is depicted as an introverted, inflexible, and stoic character. Not exactly a charismatic personality yet somehow Neil Gaiman is able to make him a fascinating character. He does this by giving Morpheus a dilemma that we can all connect with: the burden of our duties in life. In many of his stories, Dream is torn between his responsibilities as the King of Dreams and his emotions. He usually makes the right choice with horrible consequences for some — protecting the Dreaming as well as the Universe at the cost of a few lives. It’s this struggle to avoid these unbearable choices that makes Dream realize he must find a way to evolve.
That supporting cast!
While Dream’s conflicts are compelling, they can make for a heavy read. Fortunately, the characters that gravitate towards him are great palate cleansers for his pathos. Whether it’s the lightness and warmth of older sister Death, the blue-collar gruffness of Mervyn Pumpkinhead, the immortal Hob Gadling’s zest for life or Matthew the Raven’s humorous reactions to the Dreaming, these colorful characters lighten up the grim proceedings that Morpheus finds himself in. And despite how otherworldly some of the supporting cast is, Gaiman imbues them with layers of humanity so when great and horrific fates befall on any of them, we readers feel great empathy for them.
The intriguing overall story arc
The Sandman’s epic journey is composed of several tales — some episodic while others grand sagas in themselves. There’s entertainment value in taking in each story, big and small. And yet there’s even greater pleasure to be derived from seeing how Gaiman has weaved a sweeping and all-encompassing tapestry that ties all these stories together through brilliant story threads. On top of that, the storytelling provides many open-ended mysteries for the readers to solve. There are many clues provided but the distinct joy of reading Sandman is reading between the lines (panels in this case), much like interpreting a dream.
Check out part 1 of this review where Comic Book Guy JV discusses even more reasons why you should check out The Sandman comics!