Story by: Neil Gaiman
Written by: Si Spurrier, Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters, and Kat Howard
Art by: Bilquis Evely, Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Max Fiumara, Seba Fiumara and Tom Fowler
Colors by: Mat Lopes
Lettering by: Simon Bowland
Cover by: Jae Lee
Like most comic geeks my age, Sandman was a gateway for me into the world of comics. It’s up there with Johnny the Homicidal Maniac for me when it comes to nostalgia evoking feels. Needless to say, I was excited that the Sandman was coming back. Even with just Neil Gaiman’s blessing and not his direct involvement, it was still great to see this comic was coming back. The fact that it’s actually four different books coming out in the Sandman Universe is even better for a reader like me, who likes comics heavy on plot and big on the worldbuilding.
I read the first issue, and it’s a big double issue. 50 pages almost in length. It sets up the four new books. The Dreaming, Books of Magic, The House of Whispers, and Lucifer. And while the book does a great job at capturing the original style of the Sandman run, I feel like it fails to capture the heart of it. Comes off a little fanfiction-y. However, given the fact that each book had less than 15 pages each to showcase their story they did a good job. It just wasn’t long enough for some of them.
Both Lucifer and Books of Magic do a good job of setting up their basic plot and characters. I want to read more of those runs, as they managed to hook me with enough intrigue that makes me curious as to where this is going to go next. The House of Whispers? Eh, not as much. But it does feature two gay women of color as the main characters, so I’m about it. I just wanted a little more than what I was given. Finally, the Dreaming. It was used as a framing device in this double issue debut. However, it drags. It still manages to capture the kookiness of the Sandman comics. I don’t find myself caring about any of the characters presented in it. Perhaps that is by design, and as the story progresses that will change. However, nothing in it beside the look of the Dreaming captured my attention.
The writing is good. It fits the tone and structure of the original Sandman run. It has the same epic dark fantasy feel to it. And that’s important for me as I love Gaiman’s style. I’m glad that no one tried to fix something that isn’t broken. The art has the same style as well, but as that wasn’t one of the strong parts of the original run, I’m not as excited about it. A lot of full page splashes. I am not saying that the artists aren’t doing a fantastic job, in fact, they are, however, I do not like how busy it all is.