If you haven’t already watched the Netflix adaptation of DC’s The Sandman, you’ve certainly heard some of the hype. The series is based upon the comic book written by Neil Gaiman, which ran for 75 issues from 1989 through 1996. The series was just released on August 5th, and is already being praised for its casting, production value, and visual effects. Fans are also pleased that the series closely follows the original source material. The 10-episode series is available in its entirety on Netflix, and is certainly worth a watch for fans of the original comic book. However, if this is the first you’ve heard of the Sandman, or if you want to know more about the original comic book, then we’ve got you covered.
The Origins of the Sandman
Neil Gaiman created the Sandman after proposing the revival of DC’s 1974–1976 series of the same name, which was written by comic book legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Gaiman was tasked with bringing a new version to life, which he did so successfully. On November 29, 1988, the first issue was released. The series was described as a mature dark fantasy. It blended history, mythology, and horror all together into one fantasy epic. The Sandman was a major hit, and even made it to The New York Times Best Seller list, a feat that was very rare for graphic novels at the time.
Dream of the Endless
The main character of the comic book, and subsequent series, is Dream, one of seven supremely powerful entities known as the Endless. Sometimes known as Morpheus or the Lord of Dreams, the story details his capture in an occult ritual where he is held captive for 106 years. It follows his journey after he escapes, as he attempts to right the wrongs from his past. Neil Gaiman created the character in the image of a young man who was pale, thin, with long dark hair. Dream is known to be somewhat insensitive and self-obsessed, though he possesses a strong sense of honor as well. This is revealed in his endless quest to make amends for his past.
A Faithful Adaptation
Though the Netflix series is not a 100% faithful adaptation of the comic book, it follows the source material quite closely. The series adapts material from the first two graphic novels, Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll’s House. If you’re looking to read up on the original comic before watching the series, that would be the best starting point.