It's so hard to believe how long it's been since SANDMAN started and then ended. Neil Gaiman is back and brings along J.H. Williams III for the art in this six-issue prequel story. At first the idea of a story taking place before the series felt like a slight letdown. After giving it some thought and reading this first issue, it makes perfect sense. This is the Sandman we remember. Even if it's been years since you've read the series, you'll feel right at home.
There are so many moments where you'll find yourself mesmerized by the art. Williams doesn't miss a beat in recreating this world so many of us deeply adore. The amount of intricate detail in individual panels along with the variation in styles (depending on the scene) is something you'll want to stop and simply admire. As if the art couldn't get any better, the inclusion of Dave Stewart's colors blasts it over the top. This is an amazingly beautiful comic.
The story gives us the hauntingly return of Morpheus. For me, it's been many years since I've read the series. It's one of those series I really enjoyed and just want to hang onto the memory of that enjoyment rather than take the risk of parts feeling dated after all these years. As you read and you catch that first glimpse of a familiar character, you'll practically jump out of your seat with each recognition. It's not a matter of throwing in certain characters to appeal to our nostalgia, they each serve a purpose and you'll be glued to the pages to see what happens next. And wait until you see the fold out pages.
There is always that little problem with prequels in knowing where the story has to end up. At the same time, there simply is so much we do not know. That is what this series will be - the journey to a moment I've always been fascinated with.
The bi-monthly schedule is going to be tough. It will be worth the wait but it's going to be tough.
SANDMAN is back and it's everything you'd hoped it would be. Neil Gaiman is the only one that could pull this off and he does effortlessly. J.H. Williams III art and Dave Stewart's colors are phenomenal. We may have been waiting a long time to return to these characters and world but it feels like it was just yesterday we last saw it all. Gaiman does a great job bring us back into the story and never misses a beat in the storytelling. We get a great set up with the mystery building as the story progresses. It will be hard to wait for the next issue but we've already waited this long. SANDMAN was a great series and Gaiman once again reminds us why with this first issue.