1.an introduction to something more substantial.
Sandman: Overture, and I mean the whole series, not just #6, because it is something that you really need to read all of to not understand it, is the story of what happened leading up to Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes, which was the first story that was put out in 1989.
The general plot is that the universes are dying and Dream wants to escape the destruction and goes on a quest to find a way to survive. It’s a rather Lovecraftian tail in the truest sense of the word. Lovecraft gets applied often to tales of ancient and incomprehensible creatures and gods. But what he often wrote most about was the journals of people who were witness to events and words that we mere mortals cannot comprehend. Lovecraft was obsessed with the size of the Universe and how small we are.
I’d never really tied Lovecraft and Sandman, but the beloved series actually does seem to have a common bloodline. They are seemingly random tales that are a vision of other worlds that are beyond time and comprehension.
Overture, the aptly named story, seems to imply that it is occurring during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Like a proper Vertigo book, it doesn’t step much into the DC Universe, so it’s hard to tie it down, but we must remember that the first Crisis happened from 1985 to 1986, which is right before Sandman came out. I think, if my guess is correct, that it’s a perfect origin story for Morpheus.
Like all Sandman books, these are for people who already are a little odd, and this mini-series is just the same. It’s hard to read, even if you are acquainted with this style. I liken it to the long form that Alan Moore uses in a lot of his stories that he writes for himself. It’s monologue, and is a narration of the events and what Dream is trying to do. It’s as far away from super hero as you get. And it’s so very good for that fact.
One last, direct piece of comics from the later 80s, early 90s. A taste of the Vertigo that was, in Neil Gaiman’s classic style, with Dave McKean covers. It makes me want to put on my leather jacket and listed to Disintegration on repeat.