‘The Sandman’ Fulfills Neil Gaiman’s Long-Awaited Dream

The Netflix adaptation turns its back on the goth roots of the original material, but it does embrace its dark heart via its casting.


Although Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth’s The Sandman had long been deemed “unfilmable,” the DC comic book series has finally been brought to the small screen by Netflix, and reviewer Erin Maxwell writes that the result “should bring a sinister smile to any Gaiman fan or lover of the dark fantasy genre.”

Maxwell notes that when The Sandman comic debuted in 1989, it was unique, something special that was “a far cry from the spandex superheroes that overflowed from comic store shelves. It had a gothic brooding anti-hero who seemed to speak directly to outcasts who donned black leather and lace. The main character was inspired directly by Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy, according to Gaiman. Its appeal was more Cure than Captain America, more Siouxsie than Spider-Man… you get the idea. The book had a musical quality and practically smelled of Clove cigarettes.”

The story in the new Netflix series follows, as did the original comic, the adventures of Morpheus, aka Dream, the Endless, aka the Sandman—the lord over all dreams and stories. Maxwell covers the backstory of Morpheus and his siblings (which include Death, Desire, and Despair), and points out that although the series at times lifts scenes word for word directly from the original comic panels, the show also merges, alters, and shifts some of the key storylines, “making Morpheus’s realm seem more alien than transcendent or ethereal.”

Click here to read Maxwell’s full story and to see the trailer and videos about the Sandman Universe. —VV editors






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