Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition

   It's 1917 and Morpheus, the Sandman, is on a most desperate mission. A sentient star has gone insane and is threatening the very existence of the universe. Normally, to a member of the eternal Endless, a problem such as the end of a plane of existence is no big loss. But the cause of this crisis is purely Dream's fault and he must act quickly to correct the situation. Morpheus' mission will be perilous and take him to the very edge of Night and the through countless annuals of Time. But the Sandman will not be going at it alone, as he is joined by the feline concept of Dreams and a young girl named Hope.

    The Sandman: Overture is both a sequel to the multi-award winning Vertigo series The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. But it's also a prequel to the direct events that occur just prior to the very first page of Sandman #1, January 1989. It's for this very reason that I think Neil Gaiman is the Lewis Carrol of the Modern Age.

   Gaiman's works put your average concept of reality and spin it on its ear. Up is down, yet in reverse down might not always be up. Though it's all based to quote Obi-Wan Kenobi 'on a certain point of view,' every twist and turn in a Gaiman story have a rhyme behind its reasonings. Thankfully, Gaiman doesn't seem to be as obsessed mathematics like Carrol is. But then again, maybe he is and I just don't know it!

   I love Gaiman! I may not understand every little concept he's trying to put into place with his works, but I never find myself at the end going 'what in the hell did I just read?' He's also one of the very few writers that I don't mind taking a break from to research the themes and symbolism of his works nor does it frustrate or bore me to read his stuff over and over. It's like re-watching an episode of the Simpsons, as you always find something new, even if you've seen it a hundred times prior. Thus, I'm going to violate my own personal reading rule and I'm going to give Gaiman's original The Sandman another read. 

   Obviously, this graphic novel is the perfect starting point. Featuring covers by Dave McKean, coloring by Dave Stewart, and lettering by Todd Klein, along with series creator and writer Gaiman, Overture isn't a reboot but a revival. The only difference is the inclusion of new (to the Sandman) artist JH Williams III (Batwoman) but to be honest, I couldn't tell. I felt like Williams had been the only Sandman artist with how seamless and timeless he made the art in the miniseries. OH, and be sure to read all of the 'direct's cut' material in the back of this edition.  Every article is worth the read!

   A true masterpiece that can only be improved through multiple readings.

   Worth Consuming

   Rating: 10 out of 10 stars.


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