Neil Gaiman is perhaps one of the most versatile and fantastically gifted writers on the planet. The guy has written everything from novels and comic books to scripts and screenplays. He is one of those few wonderful individuals worthy of the title, genius. He's gifted the world of fiction with some of the most incredible worlds with even more unbelievable characters.
From talking cats to the angel of death, Gaiman is responsible for turning pages, genres, and heads with his incredible cast of characters. That's why we're going to unpack some of the writer's most fantastic faces and bewitching beings. These are the top ten Neil Gaiman characters.
10 The Beldam
"Hush and shush, for the Beldam might be listening..." This spindly, spidery dish of nightmare-fuel is the primary antagonist in Neil Gaiman's Coraline. She's a child-hungry monster from another world lurking within the walls of a boarding house. She might be tenth on our list, but she's Gaiman's number one name in terror.
If the novel wasn't creepy enough for you, the stop-motion version by Henry Selick definitely ups the creep factor. Proof that creepy dolls and spiders don't mix, the Beldam is one disturbing creature we're checking our closets for tonight. Best to avoid any weird little doors in the future.
You know we had to include a character that spawned a legal battle with Todd McFarlane. Angela is an angelic bounty-hunter with a high fantasy edge. Whether she's hunting down the legions of Hell or saving Asgard with her bro, Thor, you can bet she'll do it with a hard-hitting righteous fury.
The angel has gone from Image to Marvel Comics, but she has still remained a pillar of Gaiman's comic career. With her super-strength, divine blessing, and celestial abilities, no demon or monster from the pit stands a chance against her. But we're still just scratching the surface of Gaiman's character roster.
8 Lucifer Morningstar
Whether you like your lord of Hell as the blonde, David Bowie-Esque, comic book version, or the live-action series version played by Tom Ellis, you have the great Gaiman to thank. Gaiman's interpretation of the devil is uniquely charming but at the same time, appropriately sinister. To put it bluntly, Lucifer just works.
Whether he's ruling over Hell with Belial and Beelzebub or hunting down sinners with a little help from the LAPD, Lucifer Morningstar is not the devil your mother warned you about. Gaiman's ruler of the damned is certainly unlike many comic book adaptations of the entity of all evil, yet we can't help but like him.
7 Crowley & Aziraphale
While we're on the subject of the divine and the damnable, let's talk about the unlikely bromance that is Crowley and Aziraphale. Created by Gaiman and fellow fantasy master Terry Pratchet, this unlikely pair of heroes star in the black-comedy novel, and Amazon series, Good Omens.
These two make for comedy gold as they do all within their powers - both profane and sacred - to survive the apocalypse. He's a demon with a taste for fancy cars, silk suits, and a little mayhem. The other is an angel who loves sushi, vintage books, and quaint little shops. And both of them have to stop the end of days, what could possibly go wrong?
Who knew death could be so lively? This beautiful, gothic Psychopomp turns the personification of the reaper on its head. Despite being the representation of death, she's much more approachable and friendly than her occupation would otherwise deem.
If you're looking for someone to cross over with you to the other side, maybe a gorgeous goth gal is a better alternative to a skeleton with a scythe. Gaiman's Death is an icon of gothic style and one of the most popular characters in the Sandman series. We certainly wouldn't mind a brush with Death.
5 The Cat
Imagine if the Cheshire Cat had a classier, charming, and black-furred brother and you'd get the cat from Coraline. The cat is the Virgil to Coraline's Dante in the underworld that is the Other World. With all the traps and tricks the Beldam has in store for Coraline, she's gonna need a friendly paw.
Voiced in the film adaptation by the always-charming Keith David, the cat serves not only as a guide but almost a symbol of the film/novel. Things are not always as simple or friendly as they appear, and the cat is our favorite four-legged example of the unexpected.
4 Mr. Clever
If you thought Gaiman's novels and comics were great, wait till you see him take on Doctor Who. In "Nightmare in Silver," the Doctor and his companions travel to an abandoned amusement park on another planet. Sounds like a Gaiman plot already, doesn't it?
The Doctor faces off against Mr. Clever, an entity of the Cybermen who possesses half the Doctor's body and must be beaten in a battle of wits. Take the cold cruelty of the Cybermen with the wacky stylings of the 11th Doctor and you get Mr. Clever. We highly recommend checking out this episode.
3 Mr. Wednesday
Though we were tempted to put Shadow Moon in this spot, we felt like Mr. Wednesday is more fun. Wednesday is the living personification of Odin the Allfather in Gaiman's epic fantasy, American Gods. Brought to life in the TV adaptation by the incredible Ian McShane, wily old Wednesday proves he still has some old tricks left to play.
Father of the Norse gods or world's greatest con man, you decide. Either way, we can't help but love Wednesday for his charm, wit, and wisdom. Easily the most memorable character in the novel and quite possibly the show as well.
2 Coraline Jones
Our next spot goes to the protagonist from Gaiman's famous children's novel of the same name, Coraline. There are not many children's books that terrify even adult readers, but Coraline is easily one of the strongest protagonists on our list. Pitted against creatures from another world with only her wits, Coraline is a character we can all get behind.
In Henry Selick's film adaptation, which nearly matches the book's already high creep factor, we get a more colorful but just as lovable version portrayed by Dakota Fanning. With her blue hair and yellow raincoat, she's nearly the most identifiable Gaiman creation. Second only to our last contender, of course.
Dream, Morpheus, Prince of Stories, Sandman - whatever you call him - you probably know him as Gaiman's most famous comic book creation. With his wild hair, starry eyes, and black flowing robes, he is essentially the face of Gaiman's fantasy career. Mystic and mysterious, he's definitely our favorite entity of the Endless.
The gaunt and sometimes ghoulish Master of Dreams goes on a myriad of mystifying adventures in his titular comic series, interacting with heroes, villains, gods, and monsters alike. If you haven't plunged yourself into arguably Gaiman's greatest publication, it is time for a wakeup call. We highly encourage reading this series.