Review: The Sandman: Overture #1 (Special Edition)

SANDMAN_OVERTURE_SPECIAL_ED_1_8bbb16vidv_I have a confession. I have never read any of Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman. Yup, that’s it, I can breathe easier now, like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. So, going into the much hyped and anticipated The Sandman: Overture, I was a clean slate, not knowing what to expect at all other than brilliance according to everyone out there. And it was very evident to me only a few pages in that me not knowing anything about this series was going to be an issue. So, while reading my review of the first issue, as well as the “special edition” keep that in mind.

Twenty-five years since The Sandman changed the landscape of modern comics, Neil Gaiman’s legendary series is back  with this much hyped mini-series. Gaiman is joined by J.H. Williams III, whose amazing artistic ability is on full display in this first issue, and that’s the highlight for me.

The series is The Sandman’s origin story. From the birth of a galaxy to the moment that Morpheus is captured, the series will feature cameo appearances by fan-favorite characters such as The Corinthian, Merv Pumpkinhead and, of course, the Dream King’s siblings: Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny.

The first issue to me is utterly incoherent as far as story. I barely know who these characters are, what their deal is, or why they’re important and very little is explained in the rather trippy dream-like world Gaiman has whipped up. I didn’t enjoy the first issue as far as story. What I did enjoy was Williams’ gorgeous artwork. Each page I lingered, not due to trying to figure out what was happening, it was because of the art which almost makes it all work it.

Each of the six issues of The Sandman: Overture is being followed the next month by its own Special Edition which will include an interview with a member of the creative team, plus rare artwork and more. This issue starts things off with an interview with Williams.

This issue includes the entire first issue of the new miniseries, including the gatefold in its original form before coloring, giving readers a behind-the-scenes at J.H. Williams’ unique process. Williams’ original coloring will be shown in addition to the black, white and gray tones of the original work. In addition, the lettering will be translucent, allowing the reader to see the exquisite artwork behind the word balloons.

Now getting to see behind the scenes to me is pretty cool, and for folks who like to check out the process of creating such works, that’s something that’s fun to check out. But, I might rather wait until the series, along with the extras, are collected in a trade instead.

I can only review in how I ended my experience, and in this case it wasn’t very good. I can’t recommend the regular series at all for folks who have never read Gaiman’s previous works. The “Special Edition” might be worth it just to get the behind the scenes look. For folks who know Sandman, and have read it before, I have no idea how much you’ll like it.

Story: Neil Gaiman Art: J.H. Williams III
Regular Edition: Story: 6 Art: 9 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass
Special Edition: Story: 6 Art: 9 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copy of the Special Edition