The Sandman #1

by Olivier Roth on August 16, 2017

The Sandman #1

The King of Dreams
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Jon Bogdanove
Colour: Mapencil

Caravan of Crisis
Writer: Steve Orlando
Penciller: Rick Leonardi
Colourist: Steve Buccellato


In this third in a series of specials celebrating the life of Jack “The King” Kirby, we are given a new adventure from one of Kirby’s many creations in collaboration with Joe Simon: The Sandman - not to be confused with his Golden Age Sandman. Unlike the modern day Sandman from the JSA and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman - there seems to be a lot of Sandmen in DC Comics, this Sandman was Dr. Garrett Sandford, an inventor and scientist who was trapped in the Dream Dimension! There, with the help of his sidekicks Glob and Brute, he protects the Dream Dimension as well as Earth from any errant dreams from his permanent base: the Dream Dome!


I had to look a bit of this up, but I’m glad I did because it does give some context to this issue. In the first story presented, Jurgens gives us a story of a boy who is threatening the Dream Dimension with an overly active imagination in his dreams. Sandman is called into action to deal with this three-alarm alert, a nightmare of the worst kind. As he, Glob and Brute make their way to the boy’s nightmare, we are treated to some pretty fantastic visuals by Bogdanove. And for those perceptive enough, and fans of The King, will recognize a few, if not all, the monsters along the way. Oh, and there’s also a certain superhero who makes an appearance that is clearly an homage to another of Kirby’s greatest creations.


Like other specials, the story is light and breezy and moves at quite a quick pace, but the issue does not suffer for it. The star of this first story, however, is clearly Bogdanove. I am unfamiliar with any of his previous work, but in The King of Dreams, he perfectly channels Kirby in not only his character movement - I have always been a fan of the Kirby character “reach” - but he also includes a couple of Kirby krackles for good measure.


In the second feature written by Orlando with art by Leonardi, we are treated to a story about loss and the idea that once a person has passed on and been forgotten, they will be collected by a being called the Psycho-Pomp. Sandman, after being alerted that a still-living man is being attacked by his nightmares with no respite, decides to go after Psycho-Pomp and his dream collector to rescue the one person that could save the still-living man: his grandfather. Like the previous story by Jurgens, Orlando keeps the story light and moving along at a pretty fast pace. Once again, the highlight is the art. Leonardi does an excellent job paying homage to Kirby with this short.


Finally, like the other specials, we are treated to some old Kirby stories. This time, we get reprints of stories from the D.N.A. Project. I learned with a little research that these stories would be about a shadowy government agency that would work on human cloning and these back-ups were some of their successes and failures. Since they are quite short, we get quite a few of them in this issue and they are fun, pure sci-fi romps.

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