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A Year of Cool Comics – Day 201

by  in Comic News Comment

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

As an aside, the comic book speculation market of the early 1990s has totally ruined the number 201 for me.

Today we look at the first volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Preludes and Nocturnes…

Enjoy!

Preludes and Nocturnes often gets a bit of a bad rap. Not that it is BAD, per se, but clearly, if you compare the first volume of Sandman versus the rest of Sandman, there’s a pretty dramatic difference, as Gaiman got more control over the book and was able to do whatever he wanted without concern over the DC Universe ties (to wit, no Justice League International cameos)

But while it might not be as good as the REST of Sandman, Preludes and Nocturnes is still pretty darn good.

Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg were the artists, and they did good work.

After escaping captivity, Morpheus goes to the dreamscape, where Gaiman cleverly ties Sandman/Dream/Morpheus into the established DC history of the Houses of Mystery and Secrets, and their proprietors, Cain and Abel…



We learn that all of those old comics took place in a dreamworld, a dreamworld that has fallen apart since Morpheus went missing…


In order to regain control of his kingdom, Morpheus must regain three items of power. Three witches show him where they are…


While the story involving John Constantine was certainly quite good, the story in hell is likely the most famous of the arc, as Gaiman does work with hell that will resonate throughout his run on Sandman AND into Mike Carey’s run on Lucifer…


Here’s the famous battle between Morpehus and the demon who stole his property…






That leaves Doctor Destiny, the old Justice League villain.

Gaimain was compelled to use the JLI, but boy, he sure does a good job with them, like Mister Miracle’s dreams…



As it turns out, Doctor Destiny has gone off the deep end. See this diner filled with people?



Well, in a memorable issue #6, Destiny destroys them all in mind, spirit and finally body, leading to a climactic showdown with Destiny and Morpheus in #7.

Really powerful work.

EDITED TO ADD: I see there has been some concern over the use of the word “forced.” I see now that it was too strong of a word. My bad. I simply meant that Gaiman was compelled to set his book in the DC Universe to star to ease readers into his universe, and once he did so, he mostly dropped those trappings. Still, the word forced does imply that it was not his own doing, so I’ve edited it to the more appropriate “compelled.”