He’s back. And he’s being written by his rightful author. The Sandman, one of the most beloved and groundbreaking characters in comics history, the moody member of the Endless who made it safe to be a goth in comics and secured Neil Gaiman as one of the greatest living mythmakers, is returning in a 25th Anniversary event: Sandman: Overture is a six-issue miniseries written by Sandman creator Gaiman and drawn by J.H Williams that reveals one of the great unknown stories of the Sandman-verse; just what was the battle that had so drained Morpheus as issue #1 began?
For those looking to get into the Sandman mythos, a digital comics sale is on, with every issue of the original 75 issue run on sale for 99 cents until November 4th.
For those already enmeshed in Sandman’s complex mythology, all you need to know is that old favorites The Corinthian, Merv Pumpkinhead, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, and Destiny will all be in the story.
Gaiman’s been spitting out impish observations in various interviews, like this from the CBR preview (which we knicked below):
“People have often asked me what happened to Morpheus to make it possible for him to be captured in THE SANDMAN #1,” Gaiman said. “And now they get to find out. And finding out, they get to learn secrets of the Endless that I’ve kept to myself for 25 years. Family secrets. And I should warn you: one of the Endless dies on page five.”
But these aren’t the only secrets Gaiman has in waiting–although the rest may have to wait anther 25 years: “If we ever get to the 50th anniversary, I may tell the story of how the character of Delight became Delirium, or the story of how the first Despair died,” Gaiman told Fast Company. “But that’s the 50th anniversary, so there’s plenty of time.”
Or here’s what he told the AP:
Gaiman said it wasn’t hard to get back on the bicycle, but now there’s a huge audience. Imagine, he said, “if the first time you learned to bicycle and had ridden your bicycle around it was just you,” and then “gradually a few people went ‘Look, I really like the way he rides the bicycle.'”
“It was a small, organic phenomenon, but over the years your bicycle riding had become kind of legendary. Now, you’re in a world in which 25 million people are going ‘Oh my god, he’s getting back on the bicycle!’ There’s a little bit of worrying how wobbly your bicycle riding is going to be.”
Our copy of the book is waiting in an envelope somewhere so while you wait for the review, here are all the preview pages we could scrape together from various sites, as well as the variant covers by Jim Lee and Dave McKean.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.