The Sandman is one of the best comics out there. Neil Gaiman is more than a writer; he is an absorber of everything that is the human condition. He crafts complex narratives spanning across reality and the depths of dream, resulting in a work of pure genius.
The Sandman is about Morpheus, AKA the Sandman, AKA Dream. He is one of the 7 Siblings of the Endless, along with Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Destiny and Delirium. Morpheus weaves in and out of a complex tale involving family values and choosing his fate. There are occasional self-contained stories as well. Historical figures, myths, legends, comic book characters, living gods and forgotten gods help or hinder Morpheus as he deals with the mistakes of his past.
Morpheus is Dream. He controls the dreaming. Dreams can take you anywhere and they convey that in the books. There are stories set in Shakespeare’s day, in 1850’s San Francisco, in modern times, in ancient times, this story takes you places and across time. And it all fits and serves the story.
This is a very dense saga that takes place over 75 issues, and separated into ten volumes. Each volume could be read by itself, but there is an overall narrative. You should read the entire series to fully appreciate Gaiman’s talent. There is a lot more than you could possible take in during one read. You need to read the entire series at least 3 times to truly appreciate how complex and well thought out the story is. There are many story arcs and subplots involving Morpheus and the ones whose lives he has effected. The whole story comes full circle and the story arcs established in the first volume get completed in a satisfactory way.
The Sandman is more than a comic. It is a celebration of history, myths, literature, and human nature. It is a philosophical workout. It is a masterpiece.
Critically Rated at 15/17