I’m hardly a stranger to comics; I read and collect so many that I’m almost at the point of no longer having room to store them. I’m also no stranger to long, fully established series, and usually, I have no problem wadding my way through the plethora of content. Then there is The Sandman. My white whale.
I’ve been a fan of Neil Gaiman and his work as far back as I can remember, and I’m lucky enough to own The Absolute Sandman collection, but yet, every time, I think to myself: this is it! I’m finally going to read Sandman; I chicken out. You can hardly blame me; this series has been ongoing in one way or another since the 1980s.
However, after binging my way through The Sandman on Netflix, I decided it’s now or never and picked up The Sandman for the first time. If like me, you think The Sandman is the story for you but also can’t help but feel overwhelmed about where to start, I’ve got you covered.
The Sandman Comics to Read
- The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
- An occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps Death’s younger brother Dream instead. After his 70-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Morpheus goes on a quest for his lost objects of power.
- The Sandman Volume 2: The Doll’s House
- During Morpheus’s incarceration, three dreams escaped the Dreaming and are now loose in the waking world. At the same time, a young woman named Rose Walker is searching for her little brother.
- The Sandman Volume 3: Dream Country
- The Sandman Volume 3 is a series of four short comic book stories. Morpheus serves only as a minor character in each of these otherwise unrelated stories. Here we meet the mother of Morpheus’s son, find out what cats dream about, and discover the true origin behind Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.
- The Sandman Volume 4: Season of Mists
- Ten thousand years ago, Morpheus condemned a woman who loved him to Hell. Now the other members of his immortal family, The Endless, have convinced the Dream King that this was an injustice. Morpheus must return to Hell to rescue his banished love to make it right.
- The Sandman Volume 5: A Game of You
- Take an apartment house, mix in a drag queen, a lesbian couple, some talking animals, a severed talking head, a confused heroine, and the deadly Cuckoo. Stir vigorously with a hurricane and Morpheus himself, and you get this fifth instalment of the Sandman series.
- The Sandman Volume 6: Fables & Reflections
- The Sandman Volume 6 continues the fantastical epic of Morpheus, the King of Dreams, as he observes and interacts with an odd assortment of historical and fictional characters throughout time.
- The Sandman Volume 7: Brief Lives
- Dream’s erratic younger sister Delirium convinces him to help her search for their missing brother, the former Endless Destruction. He left his place among the “family” three hundred years before. The death of all around them mars their quest, and eventually, Morpheus must turn to his son Orpheus to find the truth and undo an ancient sin.
- The Sandman Volume 8: Worlds’ End
- Improbably caught in a June blizzard, two wayward compatriots stumble upon a mysterious inn and learn they are in the middle of a “reality storm.”
- The Sandman Volume 9: The Kindly Ones
- Distraught by her son’s kidnapping and presumed death and believing Morpheus to be responsible, Lyta Hall calls the ancient wrath of the Furies down upon him.
- The Sandman Volume 10: The Wake
- Morpheus makes the ultimate decision between change and death. As one journey for the Endless ends, another begins for the Lord of Dreams and his family.
Extended Sandman Universe:
- The Sandman: Endless Nights
- Alternately haunting, bittersweet, erotic and nightmarish, the seven stories in this book, one for each of the Endless siblings, reveal strange secrets and surprising truths.
- The Sandman: Overture
- From the birth of a galaxy to the moment that Morpheus is captured, The Sandman: Overture features cameo appearances by fan-favourite characters such as the Corinthian, Merv Pumpkinhead and, of course, the Dream King’s siblings: Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny.
- The Sandman: The Dream Hunters
- A humble young monk and a magical, shape-changing fox are romantically drawn together. As their love blooms, the fox learns of a devilish plot by a group of demons and a Japanese emperor to steal the monk’s life. With the aid of Morpheus, the fox must use all of her cunning and creative thinking to foil this evil scheme and save the man she loves.
- Death Deluxe Edition
- One day in every century, Death walks the earth to understand better those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year-old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a sincere musing on love, life, and (of course) death.
- Sandman Midnight Theatre
- A one-shot comic book crossover in which two DC comics characters called the Sandman, Dream and Wesley Dodds, encounter each other during Dream’s imprisonment.
- Dreaming Vol.1: Beyond the Shore of Night
- Once more, the doors of the Sandman’s realm, The Dreaming, are thrown wide, and we are invited to sample the many and varied delights and terrors of its worlds within worlds.
- Dreaming Vol.2: Through the Gates of Horn and Ivory
- Reprints haunting stories of the diverse characters from the Realm of Dreams, among them Matthew the Raven, Lucien the Librarian, and the Corinthian.
- Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold
- The world has been decimated by the spread of an antibiotic-resistant strain of the Bubonic Plague. With entire cities deserted and civilization collapsing, an enigmatic stranger arrives at the door of Ruth Knight.
- Lucifer Book 1
- Cast out of Heaven; Lucifer Morningstar has resigned his throne in Hell for Los Angeles. The former Lord of Hell is enjoying retirement as the proprietor of L.A.’s most elite piano bar when an assignment from the Creator Himself threatens to change all that.
- Lucifer Book 2
- The Lightbringer is hard at work on a New Creation complete with a pair of inhabitants for his new Garden of Eden. But schemes and betrayals continue as he tries his hand at universe building back on Earth (and in Hell).
- Lucifer Book 3
- As forces in Hell and on Earth prepare for a final struggle for supremacy, we venture across time, space, and even places in between to follow the players’ path in the battle.
- Lucifer Book 4
- The war in Heaven reaches its universe-shaking conclusion as the forces of Heaven, Hell, and everyone in between wage a final battle to determine the fate of both Yahweh and Lucifer’s Creations – a fate no one, not even the Lightbringer, could have foreseen.
- Lucifer Book 5
- In the aftermath of the battle, how will Lucifer and his cohorts pick up their lives and tie up loose ends?
- Lucifer Vol. 1: Cold Heaven
- God is dead, and Gabriel has accused Lucifer of His murder. Lucifer had motive and opportunity but claims he could prove his innocence. Suppose Gabriel finds the killer and takes the culprit into custody. In that case, his sins will be forgotten, and he’ll be welcomed back to Silver City.
- Lucifer Vol. 2: Father Lucifer
- Wrongfully accused of Deicide, the onetime Prince of Hell went on a cosmic journey to clear his name. Now he wants nothing more than to retire to his Los Angeles hotspot, Ex Lux, and drown his sorrows one drink at a time.
- Lucifer Vol. 3: Blood in the Streets
- After his harrowing confrontation with God himself, it’s time for Lucifer to kick back and relax.
The Sandman Presents Spinoffs:
The Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives
Collected for the first time, this tale stars Edwin and Charles. Their first case involves a string of grisly murders and the immortal Hob Gadling.
The Sandman Presents: Thessaly Witch For Hire
This tale follows Thessaly as she becomes the unwitting partner in a monster-killing business with her ghostly one-time nemesis, Fetch.
The Sandman Presents: Taller Tales
Collecting writer Bill Willingham’s assorted tales of the Dreaming.
The Sandman Presents: The Furies
In the three years since Daniel left to fulfil his destiny as the new Sandman, Lyta Hall has suffered greatly from the loss of her only son.
The Sandman Presents: The Corinthian
This miniseries details what happened before the Corinthian was primed to take on the mantle of the Dark Mirror.
The Sandman Presents: Bast
As Lady Bast’s legion of followers dwindles, so does her power. But when a teenage girl named Lucy finds a statue venerating the goddess, she sparks a series of events that will change her life forever.
The Sandman Presents: Love Street
In late 1960s London, a teenage John Constantine becomes entangled with a group of occultist friends living on Love Street. Constantine’s chance encounter with a new friend, Ollie, and their involvement with a beautiful young
- Death: At Death’s Door
- A manga digest, printed in black, white, and grey tones, featuring appearances by Sandman and all his siblings.
- The Dead Boy Detectives
- Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, the dead British teenagers always on the run from Death, travel stateside to solve a missing person case.
- Delirium’s Party: A Little Endless Storybook
- To rid Despair of her unhappiness once and for all, Little Delirium throws a party for her dour sister and invites siblings Dream, Destruction, Death, Destiny and Desire. But this is no ordinary affair.
- The Dead Boy Detectives Vol. 1: Schoolboy Terrors
- Charles and Edwin begin to unravel the mysteries of their demise while trying to protect tech-savvy sleuth Crystal from a similar fate.
- The Dead Boy Detectives Vol. 2: Ghost Snow
- Charles and Crystal set out to prove that Charles’s father did not murder his mother and to find out whether Crystal really can bring her friend back from the grave.
- The Girl Who Would Be Death
- Plath and her lover, Evangeline, face the devastating consequences of Plath’s desire to challenge Death. One must make the ultimate sacrifice, leaving the other dead in this riveting conclusion.
The Sandman DC Black Label Universe:
- The Dreaming Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations
- There is a place where gods are born, and stories are spun. Today its walls lie slashed and bleeding. Twenty-three years after he was anointed as its master, the lord of dreams has inexplicably abandoned his domain. Lord Daniel’s absence triggers a series of crimes and calamities that consume the lives of those already tangled in his fate. Until he is found, his realm’s residents must protect its broken borders alone.
- The Books of Magic Vol. 1: Moveable Type
- While Tim Hunter is trying to study and attract the cutest girl in his class, some cultists want to kill him, believing his magical powers will eventually corrupt him, turning him into a merciless mage who will bring about the end of magic forever.
- Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy
- This is the one accurate tale of what befell the Prince of Lies, the Bringer of Light – Lucifer. The blind, destitute old man, who lives in a small boarding house in a quiet little town, where nothing is quite what it seems, and no one can leave. He’s trapped, you see? Trapped in a bizarre prison with no memory of how he got there or why.
- House of Whispers Vol. 1: The Powers Divided
- Erzulie scries upon the mortal realm and sees four human girls open a mysterious and magical journal filled with whispers and rumours that, if they spread, could cause a pandemic unlike any the Earth has seen.
- The Dreaming Vol. 2: Empty Shells
- Even the Lord of Dreams is powerless against the storm of lost love. As with his predecessor Morpheus, Lord Daniel will find love in the last place anyone could have hoped for… the realm of the mortals.
- The Books of Magic Vol. 2: Second Quarto
- Will Tim Hunter end up the greatest sorcerer the world has ever known-or, the greatest evil the universe has ever seen? Tim has run away to the land of Faerie, and is now forgetting why he fled there in the first place.
- House of Whispers Vol. 2: Ananse
- The pandemic is spreading, and Erzulie calls upon all her distant contacts to aid her in stopping Shakpana and his infection. The souls trapped in the Dreaming are restless, seeking any help they can attain to escape their “predeceased” state.
- Lucifer Vol. 2: The Divine Tragedy
- God is angry. Lucifer has committed an unthinkable act of sacrilege, and now the forces of Heaven have left him with nowhere to turn but the lands of the dead. Meanwhile: a cherub appears in a motel room, a witch queen walks the Earth for the first time in millennia, and Mazikeen gets to break a finger or two.
- The Dreaming Vol. 3: One Magical Movement
- The sentient algorithm known as Wan is now the acknowledged lord of Dream’s realm and unquestioned ruler of all his subjects. It’s a massive problem that Wan is entirely insane and more than capable of wiping out all life in the Dreaming.
- Lucifer Vol. 3: The Wild Hunt
- Lucifer, the prince of darkness, is playing house. The Devil arrives in the village of Haybury, West Yorkshire, with designs on building a quaint new life for himself. But when an uninvited guest named John Constantine crashes the party, all hell breaks loose.
- John Constantine: Hellblazer Vol. 1: Marks of Woe
- John Constantine is back in London and back to his old tricks. A small-time gang lord has found himself dealing with an outbreak of supernatural weirdness…and without any allies to call on, John doesn’t have much choice in taking a paycheck from one of London’s worst or accepting the help of one of the ganglord’s would-be foot soldiers.
- The Books of Magic Vol. 3
- Tim Hunter has lost family and friends, outwitted demons, and claimed the right to be the one true Tim. Now he faces his most challenging trial: finally learning to be a proper magician.
- The Dreaming: Waking Hours
- One of Dream’s heaviest responsibilities is creating nightmares…and he thinks he may have built his next masterpiece in the form of Ruin. But Ruin will live up to his name in ways that Dream could never expect, creating a spiral of consequences and messes to be cleaned.
If this post helped you feel a little less overwhelmed when considering whether or not to jump into The Sandman comics, then remember to head over to Critters and Comics or click the link here. While you’re at it, if you’re interested in collecting comics but don’t know where to start, we have a post you can read here that covers everything you need to get started.