Sandman was one of the most spectacular successes in DCs history, outselling Superman and Batman by being beautiful, intriguing, and accessible by people who hadn’t spent the last few years reading the continuity of everyone else with a cape. It embodied the spirit of the Vertigo line, with powerful characters for whom ‘mature’ meant wisdom and character, not an excuse to rip people’s clothes off or guts out. The story wrapped up in 1996 and stood alone among such profitable comic book franchises by having a hero that stayed dead, and a series which stayed stopped.
Sandman: Overture started in October to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the revolutionary series. It was scheduled for a bimonthly run, which wasn’t surprising: Neil Gaiman is busy, the art is intense, and when your main character was first introduced by spending seventy-two years trapped in a glass bottle he’s not going to be the fastest-moving hero in the world. But even that was optimistically swift, and Overture #2 has been delayed until 2014.
Neil Gaiman has publicly laid claim to the blame, being quite professional about his self-professed “unprofessional” delay, explaining that a few months spent travelling the world writing his signature for fans can get in the way of writing other things for fans. Anyone wanting to understand why people are so excited about this return can enjoy the complete Absolute Sandman collection, while established fans can learn even more about one of their most treasured comic book memories with the Annotated Sandman Vols 1 and 2.