'The Sandman: Overture': Neil Gaiman dreams up a new tale

"The Sandman: Overture," a new mini-series launched today, marks Gaiman's return to his legendary creation for the first time in 10 years.

DC Comics
The Sandman: Overture Issue #1, out today is priced at $4.99.

When Neil Gaiman finished his series "The Sandman," he left behind a wondrous world of endless imaginings that's become one of the most beloved comic book series of the last 25 years. DC Comics, under its more adult Vertigo line of comics, has been mining this fantasy about Dream, the Sandman, and his siblings – Death, Delirium, Desire, Despair, Destiny, and Destruction – for years.

But it seems Gaiman has one more story of Dream left to tell.

"The Sandman: Overture" is a new mini-series written by Gaiman and illustrated by J.H. Williams III. The first issue comes out today.

This new tale is a prequel in which Gaiman promises to explain what happened to Dream that allowed him to be captured at the beginning of the original series. I won't give too much away but it does start off with an ominous threat to Dream that has even this timeless being concerned. The final spread is a shocker not only to the reader but to Dream himself.

It's an amazing start to what promises to be memorable classic. Gaiman's writing has never been more eloquent. He knows the voices of his characters so well that it's as if he never took a break from writing them. Besides Dream, Gaiman brings along many of his beloved supporting characters including Merv, Lucien, The Corinthian, and Dream's sister Death.

The art by Williams is gorgeous with many elaborately designed layouts. He's perfectly suited to breathe life into Gaiman's imagination of alien worlds and surreal realities.

If you haven't read this wonderful series you'll need to before you jump into this new tale. But for those of us who have read "The Sandman," this is a return that we've been … well … dreaming about.

Rich Clabaugh is a Monitor staff artist.

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