Classic Comic Book Canon: The Sandman. Issues 5-8

Welcome to a series that I am continuing. I am going to go through Neil Gaiman’s now-classic series The Sandman

Issue #5

Title: “Passengers”

Artist: Sam Keith and Malcom Jones III

Collected in: Preludes and Nocturnes

Plot: John Dee escapes from Arkham. Naked, he car jacks a woman at gunpoint. Despite his appearance and behaviour, Rosemary begins to take pity on the man who has her at gunpoint. He explains that he had been placed in Arkham and forgotten by the Justice League, after he tried to pretend he was a costumed hero.

Scott Free wakes from a vivid nightmare and is surprised to see Dream searching for his ruby. Scott uses the embassy’s computers to search their files for the ruby, and he racks his brain until he realizes that he knows someone who might know. They wake up Martian Manhunter, who instantly recognizes Dream as the martian god of dreams Lord L’zoril. J’onn admits that the ruby Dream seeks is in storage in a warehouse in a town called Mayhew near Gotham City.

Dream arrives at the storage facility first, but upon finding the ruby, he experiences a negative reaction, and collapses. John Dee explains that he had used science to render the ruby he found unusable by anyone but him. They arrive at the facility, and after killing Rosemary, Dee steals the ruby back, leaving Dream crumpled on the floor. Dee wanders into a 24 hour diner, and waits for the end of the world.

First appearance: Mervyn Pumpkinhead 1

DC characters Mister Miracle and the Martian Manhunter meet Dream at their headquarters. In Scott’s dream he dreams of Granny Goodness, Auralie, Bravo, and Weldun. Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, sees Dee on his way out and mentions the Joker.

My take it broke my heart when Dee shot Rosemary, but of course it wasn’t going to end any other way for her.


Issue #6

Title: “24 Hours”

Artist: Mike Dringenberg and Malcom Jones III

Collected in: Preludes and Nocturnes

Plot: In an all night diner, John Dee waits to challenge Dream. While he waits, he toys with the minds of the six inhabitants of the diner, keeping them prisioner and torturing them. It ends with the death by murder and suicide of all six of them. Dream finally recovers and enters the diner to challenge Dee in his weakened state.

First appearance: The hapless victims of the diner: Bettie, Marsh, Judy, Mark, Garry, and Kate

Keep an eye on: The two people Judy calls are her friend Rose Walker, and her girlfriend Donna. Rose is the focus of the Doll’s House storyline, and Donna will be calling herself Foxglove during the A Game of You storyline.

My take I always found the moment when Judy stabs out her eyes particularly distrubing. I like how Bettie sees herself as a writer, but ends up changing her subjects to the mostly treacely, sanitized version possible.


Issue #7

Title: “Sound and Fury”

Artist: Mike Dringenberg and Malcom Jones III Collected in: Preludes and Nocturnes

Plot: The world is in violent turmoil and chaos under the influence of John Dee and the Dreamstone. Dream offers that if Dee reverses the changes he made to the stone that prevent its maker from using it, he will take it back and right all of the wrongs that have been wrought. However, when John Dee realizes who he is speaking to, he determines to kill the Lord of Dreams, and take the Dreaming for himself. Dream dons his Helm, and enters the Dreaming, beckoning his adversary to follow.

Dee enters the dream world with the ruby in hand. Dee wreaks havoc, causing the dreams of the humans on earth to become nightmares. Dee screams that he will take all of the power of dreams and kill Dream himself. Using the ruby against Dream, he uses more and more of the power until it cracks and is destroyed in a massive explosion. Dee believes that he has killed the Lord of Dreams and gained control of the Dreaming. However, destroying the ruby returned what power was trapped within it to its maker. Complacently, Dream returns Dee to Arkham Asylum, offering some forgiveness. Before leaving, he gives restful sleep and good dreams to all the world, including those in the asylum.

DC characters The Scarecrow makes another appearance. He mentions Harvey “Two-Face” Dent. Destiny of The Endless is shown following the events of the issue.

My take I find it interesting that Morpheus doesn’t punish Dee, feeling that the dreamstone damaged his mind, even though he murdered several people



Issue # 8

Title: “The Sound of Her Wings”

Artist: Mike Dringenberg and Malcom Jones III

Collected in: Preludes and Nocturnes

Plot: Dream is moping in Washington Square Park. His sister Death comes to see how he is doing. Morpheus feels listless now that he has regained his power. She offers to allow him to come with her as she visits people who are about to die. With each death, she talks to the person, and guides them to the afterlife. Death leaves Dream with a little more peace of mind

First appearance:Death of the Endless

DC characters The comedian mentions Batman and Robin

Keep an eye on: The meeting between these two will be recalled when Morpheus meets his sister for the last time.

My take: I think we all fell in love with Death. I like the idea that when you die there is someone there who will comfort you and guide you on your way. Her miniseries Death: The High Cost of Living was my gateway into the Sandman universe.