The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm still on my graphic-novel kick, but this is definitely the best one I've read since Scott McCloud's The Sculptor. In fact, it's damn near perfect.
Now, I must admit that I have not read any of the Sandman series proper, so this was a bit confusing at times. However, the story sucked me right in: the Dream King and his quest to save a mad star he mistakenly let live once upon a time, which will now bring about the end of the universe. This is a story that spans all of space and all of time, from the vastness of the multiverse to the interior of a black hole.
The artwork accompanying this story is absolutely gorgeous. I would not recommend trying to read this on any device. I checked the deluxe edition out from the library, and waiting for the dead tree copy is well worth it. There are two foldout pages (I imagine Vertigo had a fun time with that when it went to press) and on several occasions the art and word bubbles rotate across the entire length and breadth of the page. There are certainly no "panels" as such, not in this comic. The colors are bright and lush, and one could sit and study J.H. Williams' images for hours.
Morpheus is a lonely fellow in this story, and he ends up weakened and alone in the end, a state of affairs which is supposed to lead directly to the first volume of the series. That will be my next project, I think. Still, whether or not you have read the original Sandman, do not miss this.
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