Review: The Sandman Overture #1
It is finally here! Sandman Overture #1 is now in stores for you to pick up as soon as possible, which you really should get to doing right now. This comic is the best comic I have read all year. As a longtime Sandman fan and Neil Gaiman fan, I was blown away by this first issue and I give it a high score because of how absolutely beautiful this is. (mild spoilers within)
Overture is a prequel to the Sandman series. If you have not read the main series you are not missing out on vital information but at the same token if you have read the original series then you will love the appearances of Death, Destiny, Lucien, and The Corinthian. This issue is all set-up. The comic opens with Dream on another planet on another galaxy, far, far, away. Something very wrong has happened here but we are not sure what. Gaiman sets up different threads throughout the whole issue. Death and Destiny speak about Dream. Death kids around with Destiny in her typical way and he like most of the other Endless has very little sense of humor.
My favorite part of this comic is the conversation between Dream and The Corinthian. I love the way Gaiman writes this conversation with the new reader and longtime reader in mind. As a longtime reader I was excited to see him in a prequel because I know what happens with his story later on. The Corinthian is beginning to get very independent. From what I understood he has already begun killing. Dream is about to destroy him but is literally pulled away for some reason.
I think this was genius on Gaiman’s part to include because of what happens in the main series. As I said before, you don’t need to read the main series to read the prequel but this was an interesting turn of events. Dreams ends up being directly responsible for what The Corinthian creates and does in the main series in “The Doll’s House” arc because he acts too slow.
Sandman Overture also gives us a quick return of Lucien and Mervyn Pumpkinhead who is back to cracking jokes like usual. Lucien is concerned with Dream when he comes back to the palace. This is a small few panels but this plays into the bigger picture here that although it has been a long time since a new issue of The Sandman, Neil Gaiman has not lost a single step and still has a wonderful handle on his characters.
I want to address the art but what I wish I could do is show you what J.H. Williams does because describing the book does not do it justice. If you read Batwoman then you know what Williams is capable of doing. His work here is absolutely stunning. This is by far the most beautiful book I’ve looked at in a very long time. There is legitimate movement in his drawing. When Death comes through the painting into Destiny’s realm is as close to movement as you can get in a comic book. The conversation between The Corinthian and Dream felt as if I was watching a movie and not looking at a stationary object.
J.H Williams does something in this comic that I have never seen before. I wish I could show it to you but even a screenshot would not do it justice. Towards the end of the comic there is a fold out page. There are two pages that open up to reveal a very large splash page. What was so interesting about this was that the two pages that open up are connected. It is Dream being pulled into this void and when you open it you see where he ends up. It is a very impressive feat.