Sandman goes to Hell – The Sandman #4 by Dylan V.
I started working with Graham Crackers Comics in October of 2020. When I began I felt like I was a relative novice in comic books. I hadn’t really delved too deep into any characters or storylines, but I’ve always been kind of a gamer and general nerd so I knew a decent amount of information on the popular ones- Batman, Spider-man, the “easy” stuff. After a time of being surrounded by comics, I’ve come to have a certain appreciation and understanding of what I like, and more specifically, which ones I like to READ. Personally, I prefer the weird stuff. Batman and Superman are cool, but I prefer the mystical/wizardry/demons/heaven/crazy stories in comics. As most of you can probably guess by now, Sandman is my favorite comic book. Issue #4 is a perfect example of why.
When I first started reading Sandman, I knew absolutely nothing about Neil Gaiman or any of the team that went into creating it. I had only heard through hearsay at the shop that it was different. So I picked up volume 1 and I read. The first 3 issues were definitely as advertised. The art immediately struck me as really vibrant while the story involved creepy rituals, Grotesqueness, and general strangeness. For a brief summary up to issue 4, Morpheus is the physical embodiment of dreams, the lord of dreams, The Sandman, etc. Morpheus is captured and imprisoned, and he is robbed of 3 artifacts, imbued with crazy magic dream power stuff. This is already so crazy, right?
Well right around issue 4 is when the Sandman is after his helmet. His search takes him to Hell, and he comes to learn that hell is a triumvirate. The 3 kings of Hell conjure all the demons from every corner, and display them before the Sandman. He finds his quarry to be a bright pink-skinned abomination by the name of Chronzon. This demon obtained the Helmet in question “legally” according to the laws of Hell, (Who knew they had laws? Not me.) Therefore, Morpheus must challenge him for it.
The Sandman does exactly that. They engage in some sort of magic-slam-poetry-type battle of words while they conjure familiars. They go back and forth one-upping each other by conjuring pink and blue ideas. This all culminates in the demon being aggressive, choosing things like an exploding star, and a deadly virus. The Sandman pushes Chronzon to the utmost infallible insurance of death, and conjures one word. Hope. Man, I really needed that in 2020. We all did, (and still do!) If you’re in the shop at Plainfield, recommendations are always welcome!