Synopsis: Sometimes, nightmares walk the Earth. Every night when you sleep, the Lord of Dreams chooses the path you’ll follow…into a sylvan Elysium, or down the hallways of your darkest fears. And sometimes, if it is Dream’s will, those nightmares escape those halls, and go out into the world. But it is not a choice he makes lightly. Today the Corinthian walks the Earth again. The most feared of all Dream’s nightmares, his ravenous mouths have made him a legend among serial killers. Letting the Corinthian out among mortals is the most dangerous thing Dream could possibly do. But he has no choice-because there is another nightmare walking the Earth, one that must be hunted…and this monster is one that Dream, lord of all nightmares, did not make.
In this latest story from the Sandman Universe, we meet a young artist by the name of Madison Flynn as she chats with her boyfriend about the dreams she used to have as a child. But no dreams can be anywhere near as dark or disturbing as Madison’s paintings, which appear to be of a monster that has teeth instead of eyes. A monster that her boyfriend will have a chance encounter with. Unknowingly, Madison has been painting images of Corinthian and naturally he has taken an interest in Madison’s work.
Elsewhere, Mr. Ecstasy and Mr. Agony are on the prowl and their next target is Madison Flynn.
The art team of Lisandro Estherren and do a pretty solid job on this opening issue as they present us with some fairly dark and nightmarish imagery. Mr. Agony and Mr. Ecstasy look like some kind of S&M Nightmare. While the Corinthian looks rather dapper until he removes the sunglasses. We get a really nightmarish image late on in the issue of a young boy seeing his reflection with teeth for eyes. He is literally eating his fingers.
Welcome to the darker side of The Sandman Universe.
Not a bad opening issue, but also not the greatest either as it kind of relies on readers already having some familiarity with The Sandman Universe. So not a great jumping-on point. The story throws you straight in by introducing us to Madison first. She is pretty much your typical young woman that is still dealing with a certain amount of PTSD from having been bullied mercilessly as a kid in school. She is very much a character that most readers will instantly relate to.
All in all, this opening issue, which is supposedly one of two felt like it had several issues worth of story packed into it. Which made it feel a tad disjointed at times. But I liked it enough to hang in there and will likely grab the next issue. But I don’t think am likely to enjoy this story quite as much as The Dreaming, which was a highlight of 2020 for me.