Once, when I was much younger, I was having a particularly hard time recovering from my illness and needed something to distract me. My friend brought over his Sandman comics and showed them to me. I fell in love right away. I got to know Dream and the rest of The Endless through these books. Not only is there Dream but Death, Destiny, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. These seven personifications make up The Endless and cover all aspects of life. One of the comics I read was Preludes and Nocturnes. I know today that a “comic” this size is actually a graphic novel. Twenty years after first reading it, my husband surprises me with a copy of my very own. I am here to share it with you. The Sandman was written by Neil Gaiman and he does a wonderful job bringing someone of The Endless to us mere mortals.
The graphic novel that is now sitting next to me is actually a collection of comics from between 1989 and 1996. They are put together in what looks like chapters in this incarnation. The chapters, as you would have them are Sleep Of The Just, Imperfect Hosts, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, A Hope In Hell, Passengers, 24 Hours, Sound And Fury and The Sound Of Her Wings. I love the chapter names. Each of these, though actually separate comics further the same story.
In Sleep Of The Just, it sets up the story. We are told of what some humans are trying to do and how they capture Dream. They put him in what amounts to a glass box and leave him there to die or not and come in to gloat, demand answers and trying to figure out why he won’t age or die. He is imprisoned for seventy years. Many of his things were taken from him. Most importantly his bag of sand, his helm, and his ruby.
In Imperfect Host, Dream must find out where his items are. To find them he calls the Hecateae or the Weird Sisters. They allow him one question and one answer per sister. He must find Constantine, go to Hell and meet the Justice League (yes I mean as in Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman and all them).
In Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Morpheus meets John Constantine. Yes of Constantine fame from both the big and smalls screens as well as written. He is the same cocky asshole we know and love. John knows of the item which Dream seeks. Also, Morpheus helps Constantine with a pesky problem of his. In A Hope In Hell the Dream Lord must fight a battle of some weird game with a demon under Beelzebub’s horde. Then he must bluff to get out of Hell. Hopefully with his item with him.
In Passengers Dream doesn’t meet Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman. He meets J’onn Jones. J’onn knows Morpheus as a God from his own planet and is more than happy and willing to help. J’onn points him in the right direction. Unfortunately, Dream is unable to take back what is his and this allows Dee to concoct quite the twisted situation in 24 Hours which is just horrible and bloody.
The pursuit of Dee starts in Passengers and goes all the way through Sound And Fury. I have read this so many times before and I have never figured out if the conclusion to the chase is Damn! Or Whew! Dee really gives Dream a run for his money though. In Sound Of Her Wings, Dream spends a day with his big sister Death.