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When We First Met – The Cast of Sandman

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ’em out!

An announcement of sorts. This will be the last weekly When We First Met for the foreseeable future. It will likely still pop up as an occasional feature, but not every week. Next year you’ll see what takes it place in the weekly rotation!

We send the feature out with a whopper of a column! The debuts of the various cast members of Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking series, Sandman! Well, not ALL of them, of course, as that’d be nuts, but as many notable ones as I can think of!

We’ll begin with the Endless, the family that really drives the series (well, specifically, Dream of the Endless).

Dream is the star of Sandman, and he naturally debuted in the first issue. We first see him as he is captured by some occultists in the beginning of the issue…



Here he is, freed, at the end of the issue…



Death, Dream’s older sister, makes her debut in Sandman #8…



Destiny, the eldest of the Endless, is the only one who debuted before Sandman. He first showed up in Weird Mystery Tales #1, drawn by Berni Wrightson as he introduces an old Jack Kirby horror story…


Desire and Despair both showed up in Sandman #10…



Delirium showed up in Sandman #21, where the siblings all meet up, save for the missing Destruction.



We finally meet Destruction (in a flashback) in the excellent Sandman Special #1 in 1991…



Cain and Abel are two of the more notable inhabitants of the Dreaming.

We first meet Cain in House of Mystery #175 in 1968…


His brother, Abel, eventually took over the House of Secrets, but first we meet him in this 1969 story in DC Special #4…


Lucien the Librarian appeared in an ad in Weird Mystery Tales #18, but his proper first appearance was in the first issue of Tales of Ghost Castle (we learn in Sandman that the Ghost Castle is owned by Dream)…


I didn’t know Paul Levitz created him. That’s pretty cool for Paul to see his character become such a major supporting character in Sandman.

Lucifer became a major character after Gaiman introduced his version on the character in Sandman #4…


Mike Carey did a great series starring Lucifer after Sandman finished.

Another major character in Carey’s series was Lucifer’s greatest ally, Mazikeen, who debuted in Sandman #22…


(The whole “half her skull exposed” bit was eventually dropped via the use of a face mask, like the guy on Boardwalk Empire)

Matthew Cable was a longtime Swamp Thing supporting character who made his debut in Swamp Thing #1 as the guy in charge of security for Alec and Linda Holland (suffice to say that Matt did not do his job too well).


After his death, he became Matthew the Raven in the Dreaming. He debuted in Sandman #11…



Merv Pumpkinhead is, in my opinion, all that is great about comics. He showed up as a throwaway gag in Sandman #5….


and yet eventually became a prominent enough supporting character that he got his own one-shot special!!! I love that unpredictability. Sort of like how you never know if that scrappy little Canadian guy fighting the Hulk might become one of the most famous comic book characters ever.

Gregory the Gargoyle made his first appearance in the same issue that Cain debuted, House of Mystery #175. He is the child of two gargoyles…


In Sandman #2, we meet Gregory all grown…


In that same issue, Gregory gets a friend when Cain gives Abel a pet gargoyle…


Abel names it Goldie later in the issue…


The immortal Hob Gadling first showed up in Sandman #13, where he talked smack about Death at just the wrong time…




Fimally, here’s Thessaly, the witch who Dream fell for big time. She made her bow in Sandman #32, and you’d never guess how big of a role she’d end up playing from this first appearance…


There’s obviously other great characters, but well, haven’t you had enough already, you greedy people you?