***POSSIBLE SPOILERS, READ WITH CAUTION***
Ladies and gentlemen, the Lord of Dreams has returned!
After having finished reading all of the Sandman trades, both the originals and the remastered ones, I don’t think I could have asked for a more fantastic ending. Being pretty young, I’m not an original fan of The Sandman, but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying what definitely deserves to be called a masterpiece. It ended when it had to end and it told the story it wanted to tell. It saw a great rotating panel of artists matched only by series creator Neil Gaiman’s magnificent writing. All in all, it deserves all the praise it gets.
And the best part about this series? It never had to continue. Sure, it raised a lot of questions over the course of its run, but with the dedicated fanbase it had, it was never required to provide answers. And now it’s 2013, and after being teased and speculated about for so long, Gaiman and co. return to the legacy they created and they give their fans something more with a prequel series detailing Morpheus’ adventures prior to the kidnapping that started something revolutionary in comics. Ladies and gents, this is The Sandman: Overture.
Right off the bat, you should know that Gaiman still has got it, but then again, did he really ever lose it? Sure, he may produce a dud once in a blue moon, but that’s all it ever is. One dud. Overture is not that dud. From panel to panel, page to page, Gaiman returns to the various worlds and realms he created and re-establishes old themes or adds a little more and expands to each of them. He is able to both mystify and puzzle you on what is happening, while at the same time creating a sense of adventure and excitement.
As for the art? Out of all the books I’ve read so far this year, this very well may be the most gorgeous comic you’ll see. The art is absolutely breathtaking. Neil Gaiman always works with some of the best artists in the comics medium, and J.H. Williams III is honestly no different. He is a power house in the world of comics, and absolutely one of the greatest artists working in comics today. He is extremely versatile when applying the pencils, inks and colors in his body of work, and it shows in Overture: he applies the style that works best for the various pages and panels so that the book can really shine. If this doesn’t get an Eisner or two for Best Art, then something is seriously wrong with the world.
The only real complaints I would have with the title are the fact that it ends with not a cliffhanger but a very confusing final page. Either a three-month waiting time between Overture and the original series is too long, or there was something I missed, but the final page will prove a bit confusing. And also, the price tage. Vertigo series do tend to be a tad bit more expensive depending on the book (duh), but wow, 5 bucks? I wouldn’t shell out that cash too fast if you’re not comfortable with the 5 dollar price tag.
Ahh screw it. It’s Gaiman and Williams, and THE FREAKIN’ SANDMAN. So worth it.
FINAL VERDICT: It’s so good to see good ol’ Morpheus again. And while it’ll be a while before we see the other Endless beyond a two-page (four page?) pull-out set up, it’s at least good to peer at them again. Between the fabulous writing and best art you’ll see all year, The Sandman: Overture is a fitting beginning to a fitting prequel series that will definitely attract old fans and new fans alike (Just an FYI new fans: you’re going to want to familiarize yourself first with The Sandman mythos before you delve further, ‘kay? ‘Kay). The only thing that really sucks about this series is that it’s on a BI-MONTHLY schedule, and I pray to God that these next two months fly by, because the wait is going to be torturous.