Some years ago, Neil Gaiman had a Dream. A Dream of what comics could be. Something different, something a bit more mature and a bit more fantastical. An so he penned Sandman. And it was all that it could be and more. A magnificent saga about Dream of the Endless. A splendid tale that spanned seventy-five issues.
But that was then. This is now. Last November we were treated to the first issue of Sandman Overture, one last tale that Gaiman regretted never telling. It was a great issue. The problem was that it took many months for the second issue to arrive, creating a dissonance with the narrative, and concerns with the readers that (like many such projects) it will merely fall along the wayside and never finish.
But behold, the day came this week when the second issue of Overture came and trust me, it’s quite good. Good enough to justify such a long wait? Hard to say, it was a rather long time. But it is a quality product. Both Gaiman and Williams are masters of their respective crafts. It picks up where the first issue left off: with a multitude of Sandmen. But before that it jumps to the present and has an intriguing bit with Daniel and Mad Hattie.
While this series is a prequel, it does vastly help to have prior knowledge of the series. Characters aren’t given new introductions, but assume the reader will recognize them. This does work in favor of the narrative and helps prevent Claremont-itis. Honestly, if you haven’t read Sandman yet, do so then read this. It really is worth your time.
Comic fans such as myself love to have the discussion of ‘what would be your dream book and team’ with other fans. Mine include things like Gillen and McKelvie’s Runaways, Gail Simone’s Blackbat and Spoiler, or Warren Ellis’s anything. That sort of thing. Sandman Overture is one of the dream projects that actually exists. Neil Gaiman is one of the most talented storytellers of this literary generation, and I’ll tell anyone that JH William III is my favorite artist, hands down. And they mix together to create a book that is as wonderful as it should be.
So yes, I’ll give them late if it makes for a better story. I want Overture to be beautiful, engaging and a joy to ready. And two issues in, they are doing it. It really is simply wonderful. I eagerly await the next issue.