DC finally shows why going back to the well is a good thing.
Neil Gaiman’s run of Sandman is a milestone of the comic book industry that’s never been rivaled in modern comics. Ever since last years San Diego Comic Con announcement of Sandman: Overture, most of us couldn’t wait to get our grubby hands on it. Coming back to the well had a mixed reaction when DC tired it with Before Watchmen. We can all rest a little easy knowing that Sandman: Overture is good.
Once again Sandman opens a story that’s total Gaiman. It’s weird for the sake of art and not simply the sake of being weird. There are so many little connections to the Sandman universe that long time fans of Gaiman’s run will find so much nostalgia in it. The scale of the book aims big and it can stumble a bit in exploiting the characters called The Endless but since it’s a first issue we can hope this will be explored further in the series. It isn’t going to break new ground, Overture is simply going to tell you one small untold story but it feels like it’s going to be good.
The biggest win of this issue is J.H. Willaims III’s gorgeous art work. Every spread of this issue is poster art material. As big as it can seem, it’s also very precise sequential story telling. The reader’s eye is carefully moved along the pages through unique panel layout much like in Batwoman and Francis Manapul’s work on The Flash. Dave Stewart’s color work adds such weight to the art that even color blind people will say wow. Affinity of color is so well capitalized upon in the issue it’s criminal that I can’t give it an Eisner award today. Just look at this page, so well structured and each hue blends so well with its compliments.
While it isn’t a perfect return to form for Gaiman, it is a book Sandman fans will appreciate as a welcome addition to the series they still go back and read to this day.
8 out of 10! A gorgeous start for Gaiman’s return to the book that defined his career.