(Received from Netgalley for review.)
My first reaction to hearing that Sandman would have a prequel was that it was unnecessary. I felt like the original run had been a complete story, and that there was no need to dip into that well again. I was wrong there. Giving it more thought, we had sort of been teased that something major had happened just before Dream was captured, and it was never explained in any sense. This is that explanation, and it fits in just as it should.
The story itself is quite successful at what it sets out to do. It sets the scene for the first volume of Sandman, and it sheds a bit more light on the Endless family. We meet their parents, who are about as sane as you might expect. And the story is appropriately big, with the fate of the universe at stake, and deceptively intimate, as its the sort of story that largely takes place with a very small group on stage at any given time. Naturally, I loved the way Gaiman wrote it, and I don’t think Sandman fans will be at all disappointed.
And the art is a major wow. I loved Williams on Batwoman, but this is a step beyond. The art is incredibly beautiful on every page, especially in the more fantastical sequences. I really think this is one of the best looking comics I have ever read. And bonus, the art is perfectly suited for the story. As a package, this is one of the better volumes of Sandman out there, and it does what it was mean to do perfectly.