The Sandman Universe #1 // Review
Return back to The Dreaming, thirty years after the debut of Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece, with The Sandman Universe #1, and fall in love all over again. Through the guide of Matthew the Raven, explore the four upcoming titles from the brand new imprint by DC comics. A jam session issue, it mainly serves the purpose of being a primer for the ongoing series “The Dreaming,” while blending narrative with the other three upcoming titles: “Books of Magic,” “Lucifer,” and “House of Whispers.” Including a handful of different writers and artists all working together on a single book is a feat in and of itself, but this issue blends seamlessly between each of the respective titles, making for one solid story on its own and leaving readers wanting more.
Si Spurrier, Nalo Hopkinson, Kay Howard, Dan Watters, Bilquis Evely, Domo Stanton, Tom Fowler, Max and Sebastian Fiumara all manage to work as a team, under the guide of Neil Gaiman, and collectively knock this issue out of the park. In the vain of DC Rebirth #1, this issue gives readers small snippets of each new title while delving into the current status quo as the story unfolds. Matthew the Raven is used as a narrative device to help frame each new book as he travels between the Dreaming and Waking World, displaying simple premises for each series, leaving just enough information to peek interests from readers.
Si Spurrier, Nalo Hopkinson, Kay Howard and Dan Watters synchronize into one single voice on scripts for Matthew as he travels between each respective title of the imprint. With this oversized issue, twice the size of the average comic, a longer, more cohesive story is able to be told in a more natural way, without anything feeling compressed or forced in. Each section of the issue is allowed a chance to highlight the individual upcoming titles. From Lucifer to Tim Hunter and even characters new, all these years the Sandman Universe still lives waiting to be tread again as this team breathes new life into a modern masterpiece.
The collective artistry from Bilquis Evely, Domo Stanton, Tom Fowler, Max Fiumara and Sebastian Fiumara accentuate each separate title displaying what makes them unique and separate from the others while still maintaining an overall connection. Revisiting classic aesthetics such as Lucifer Morningstar being an homage to David Bowie, as well as reimaginings of fan favorite Timothy Hunter, are a delightful ‘welcome back’ while still feeling new and different. Following the mystery of Daniel Hall, the current Dream of The Endless, and why he has gone to the waking world, will be covered in The Dreaming, making it the book to pick up for more of The Sandman proper from this line of books.
As great as the issue is, it leaves only small cracks for new readers looking to jump into certain titles. Being built as a primer for the new books while also being complete fanservice for readers long since invested in the Sandman Universe, makes this a bit harder to break into than the typical DC comic. The hardest nut to crack, The Dreaming, is the culmination of thirty years of Sandman continuity, giving new readers a run for their money. The Sandman Universe #1 weaves a tapestry of tales kicking off this brand-new imprint, as readers finally return back to Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece one more time.