Reminder: Neil Gaiman's Sandman Teamed With The Justice League (A Lot)
For a long time, the idea of a faithful adaptation of The Sandman, the cult comic book series about a dysfunctional family of eternal beings representing fundamental aspects of the universe (Dream, Destiny, Danny DeVito, etc.), seemed unthinkable. In the '90s, we were dangerously close to getting a Sandman movie that included Dream as a slasher flick villain and a giant mechanical spider, somehow, at some point, because the producer (who had never read the comic) demanded it.
So when the first teaser for Netflix's upcoming Sandman show dropped and actually looked like the dang comic, fans sighed in relief.
Here's a reminder, though, that a FULLY accurate Sandman adaptation would include stuff like this:
That's Justice League member J'onn J'onnz/Martian Manhunter in a cozy robe, having just been awoken by Dream himself (which is kind of like if a guy called Diarrhea came to ask you to hurry up in the toilet). In 1989's Sandman #5, Dream shows up at the Justice League headquarters to ask for assistance in locating a piece of bling of his that ended up in the hands of an old supervillain called Doctor Destiny. The Leaguers point him in the right direction and then go to the kitchen for some 4 am cookies because this issue takes place during the humorous Justice League International period, when "Martian Manhunter is addicted to Oreos" was a recurrent plot point.
You see, although Sandman went on to become its own gothy fantasy universe, the earliest issues were set squarely in the middle of the mainstream DC Universe. In fact, major characters like Cain, Abel, and Dream's big bro Destiny predate this series since they were originally the Crypt Keeper-style hosts to DC's old horror comics series. Even the later issues have little DCU crossovers, like the scene in which Superman, Batman, and Martian Manhunter show up at a dream funeral, which includes this brutal burn:
And the Justice League connection continued after the end of the series. In 1998, Dream guest-starred in two JLA issues to help defeat Starro the Conqueror -- yep, the giant starfish villain from The Suicide Squad. Oh, and Dream makes himself a Starro necklace at the end, which is wackier than anything in any James Gunn movie.
Dream teamed up with the League yet again in the 2017 Dark Nights: Metal crossover event, as part of DC's recent push to remind people of how many classic properties they own (at least they did it with the original writer's permission, unlike all of their Watchmen crap). Meanwhile, his sister Death has hung out with everyone, from Lex Luthor to Lobo to the Legion of Super-Heroes to other DC characters not starting with L.
But the best Sandman/DC Universe connection is the fact, seen in The Sandman: Endless Nights graphic novel from 2003, that Superman only exists because the personification for planet Krypton's sun was thirsty for Dream's other sister, Despair (who was kind of a troll).
In short, the Netflix series won't truly be accurate if we don't see Dream side by side with Jason Momoa and Henry Cavill as they fight off an alien starfish infestation at some point. Uh, spoilers.
Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com.
Top image: Netflix