Sandman: Overture 2

Anything written by Neil Gaiman is always worth waiting for. It’s been almost four months since the first issue of Sandman: Overture came out, and I have the second issue next to me on the couch as I type this; I bought it late last week, and have since read it twice. Overture will clearly read better in the collected “graphic novel” edition than it does when reading it one issue at a time, but I’m still enjoying it immensely.

A thread of plot from the first issue–Morpheus meeting multiple, divergent versions of himself–is here explored more thoroughly. There’s also a meeting with Mad Hettie, as well as the introduction of a new, nameless character whose kind holds grudges. Perhaps most of interest to fans of the original, seminal Sandman story, this issue relates to the cosmic issues behind The Doll’s House. But the Sandman series works so well because it balanced stories of grandeur with tales of individual lives. After reading a volume of the series I often came away feeling that everyday life was somehow less mundane. While Overture story takes place before the main series, there’s a subplot that takes place afterwards; I’m hoping that we’ll meet some old friends. Maybe Rose Walker will meet Daniel, the Sandman of our time; perhaps we’ll even run into Fiddler’s Green.

The artwork is, if anything, even more stunning than in the first issue. J.H. Williams III indulges in imagery and framing that brings us thoroughly into the world of dreams and the mythology of the Endless. Overture is clearly turning into a very gloriously cosmic tale, but one that threatens to become detached and hard to relate to. While a subplot with the Corinthian and George, the unsuspecting caretaker of Morpheus’s Earthly offices, isn’t in this issue, I suspect it will return soon to ground the story.


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