Neil Gaiman will return to the world of The Sandman in a new curated line for DC’s Vertigo imprint, called, appropriately, The Sandman Universe. The line will kick off with a one-shot that’ll set up the return of three former Vertigo titles and one new one.
“… it’s a huge sandbox with so many wonderful toys that nobody’s getting to play with right now,” Gaiman told Entertainment Weekly about why he decided to return to these characters. “I started feeling guilty. I liked the idea of getting the toys played with again, reminding people how much fun this is, and also getting the opportunity to work with some fantastic writers. Down the line, there will be fantastic artists as well.”
The project kicks off this August with The Sandman Universe one-shot special, which catches readers up on what’s been happening in The Dreaming, the realm where the Daniel, the current Sandman, rules. But Daniel’s gone missing, leaving chaos in his wake. The one-shot will also catch up with two other Gaiman creations who enjoyed their own success at Vertigo — Books of Magic star Tim Hunter and Lucifer, whose ongoing series ran for 75 issues and later inspired the FOX TV series of the same name.
The Sandman Universe #1 will be plotted by Gaiman but written by Nalo Hopkinson, Kat Howard, Si Spurrier and Dan Watters, with art by Bilquis Everly and a cover by Jae Lee. The four titles spinning out of the one-shot include:
- House of Whispers, written by Hopkinson, will “explore how the voodoo deity Erzulie ended up in the Dreaming with her titular house.”
- Books of Magic, written by Howard, “which will follow up on Gaiman’s 1990 miniseries of the same name and explore Timothy Hunter’s magical education as he’s torn between two powerful destinies.”
- The Dreaming, written by Spurrier, which will follow “Lucien the librarian and Matthew the Raven as they navigate a Dreaming without Dream.”
- Lucifer, written by Watters, which “finds the titular devil blind and destitute, trapped living in a small boarding house in a quiet town where no one can ever leave.”
Watch a video of Gaiman introducing the new line below:
Gaiman joins the likes of Warren Ellis, Gerard Way and, forthcoming, Brian Michael Bendis, in curating a line of comics for DC. So far it’s worked out creatively for the publisher, and given the popularity of The Sandman over the years this one will likely do gangbusters for them. Short of Gaiman actually writing a new The Sandman book, this gives them a way to return to the creation while keeping him involved with it. Plus, hey, Books of Magic — I always loved Tim Hunter and hoped to see him take the spotlight again.