The 10 Best Sandman Comic Book Storylines


Content Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Sandman comics.

Netflix’s long-awaited release The sand man is just around the corner and comic book fans are probably reading their favorite Sand seller issues before they are depicted on the show. Based on the trailer, certain storylines are sure to be explored by the series, including Doctor Destiny’s iconic visit to a restaurant.

The comics’ most memorable stories often include fan-favorite characters like Death and Hob Gadling, while others are just well-written stand-alone tales like The Dreaming Cats and The Caliph of Baghdad’s Wish. As fans wait to see which of these events will be depicted on the show, now is the best time to look back at some of the best storylines from The sand man comics.


Doctor Destiny’s Chaos

Doctor Destiny in 24 Hour Diner at The Sandman

24 hours (number 6) is often considered one of the best comedy numbers in The sand man, as it features legendary DC supervillain Doctor Destiny. Also known as John Dee, his story begins in the infamous Arkham Asylum where his mother gives him the stolen Dreamstone. While Dream’s Ruby imbues the character with powers, it also causes further deterioration in her mind.

His subsequent escape and trip to a local restaurant has become an iconic story, as it is such a shockingly shocking portrayal of Ruby’s potential and underscores just how strong the Lord of Dreams truly is. If that’s just one aspect of his abilities, readers wonder what else he’s capable of.

The work of death

Dream and death in the sound of its wings in The Sandman

Death is one of the most powerful members of the Infinite whose hard work is evidenced in The sound of its wings (Issue #8). Her story highlights how empathetic, witty, and intelligent she can be despite the macabre nature of her job.

When she brings Dream with her to see what she is up to, they encounter different human reactions to Death’s presence. It’s fascinating to see how she handles all the heartbreak and terror that comes with her role. It’s also interesting to watch his relationship with Dream develop, all the way to the heartbreaking ending.

The long life of Hob Gadling

Hob Gadling and death in The Sandman.

First introduced in men of good fortune (issue 13), Hob Gadling becomes a recurring character with the power of immortality in The sand man. This is thanks to a fateful 14th century encounter with Dream and Death, who were visiting the waking world.

Hob’s Immortality started out as an interesting sibling experience, but quickly turned into a true friendship between the human and the two Infinity members. Hob’s unique perspective on the pros and cons of his long life allows him to have stimulating conversations with Dream, who meets him every hundred years. Perhaps the most unforgettable part of his story is his last exchange with Death where he reflects on what it means to be ready to go.

The original Corinthian

Dream confronting the Corinthian in Collectors in The Sandman

Part of the tedious tasks Dream must complete after his escape from the mortals is to collect his nightmares, including the First Corinthian. In collectors (Issue #14), the guest of honor at the serial killer convention turns out to be one of Dream’s creations. The spooky character has teeth for eyes and likes to torment his victims before eating their eyeballs.

His storyline is remarkable as echoes of his existence linger in the new Corinthian that Dream eventually builds. The Corinthian arc helps explain the importance and role of nightmares in the waking world and in the realm of Dream.

Lucifer leaves hell

Lucifer in The Sandman.

The story that inspired the Lucifer series needs no introduction. Dream visits the fallen angel A hope in hell (number 4), which shows how vast and horrifying Lucifer’s hell is. Banished by the Presence for his rebellion, Lucifer’s challenge to the Great Plan prompts him to abandon his throne.

His bow depicts an empty version of Hell, with Morpheus left to deal with the key given to him by the Lightbringer. Lucifer’s action results in an unparalleled power struggle, with Dream forced to make tough decisions in the former ruler’s absence.

The deal with Shakespeare

The Sandman is known for the way it mixes fact and fiction, with William Shakespeare’s story being the perfect example. The most popular number that features the playwright is Dream of a summer night (number 19), which depicts Shakespeare’s main play performed before the fairy queen herself, Titania.

It’s just one of many plays he’s written under his contract with Dream. Morpheus promises the playwright fame even after his death, but Shakespeare questions his decision several times in the comics. The things Shakespeare has to give up for the deal haunt him throughout his life.

The Barbie Misadventure

Barbie and her anthropomorphic animals in The Sandman

Originally depicted as a secondary character in The doll houseBarbie plays a bigger role in A game of youthe first problem being Massacre on Fifth Avenue (number 32). At this point, readers probably know that Barbie’s bizarre dreams about The Land are far from just her imagination.

What follows is a wild adventure with Barbie’s anthropomorphic animal companions, who do everything they can to protect her from the evil Cuckoo. Iconic characters like Wanda and Thessaly play important roles in the storyline, which is among the most magical in the series. The arc also highlights Dream’s amazing powers as he defeats the entire land.

The wish of the Caliph of Baghdad

Dream and the Caliph on a magic carpet in The Sandman

The series presents its own version of Thousand and one Night through Ramadan (number 50), where Caliph Haroun Al Raschid summons Dream and offers his beautiful city of Baghdad. The Caliph fears that the City of Wonders will one day crumble and fall, but he knows that the Lord of Dreams has the ability to preserve it forever.

The script emphasizes the aftermath of the bargain, with Dream’s cunning offer leaving the Caliph with only a dim memory of what the city was like. It’s a fun take on the classic tale, especially considering the impeccable and appropriate art style used for this tale.

The good ones

The good guys in The Sandman.

The three goddesses who are the central figures of number 69 are also known as The Three, The Kindly Ones and The Furies (which is a name they hate). The vengeful entity storyline is rooted in its need for revenge against anyone who violates divine law, which Morpheus unfortunately does by taking the life of his own son.

Their tale marks the beginning of the end for the Dream Lord, who is left defenseless against The Kindly Ones after temporarily leaving the Dreaming vulnerable. They are relentless in their pursuit and Morpheus knows there is only one way out, which Death says is what he wanted all along. It’s a heartbreaking arc that highlights the events of the main storyline.

Dream of Dream

The Endless sitting around a table in The Sandman

Dream was doomed from the start, which his brother Destiny knew. In which occurs in the wake (Issue #70), the other Destiny and Dream siblings reunite to begin the grieving process, which involves having to mold a being to navigate the tunnels leading to a secret room.

The striking part of the storyline shows a perspective that highlights just how different the Endless are from regular humans. Seen from a tavern window, the Endless are towering figures whose grief can be felt across time and space. The wake itself is a fascinating display of the siblings’ personalities and personal feelings about Dream.

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