Once upon a time, there was the Sandman. Dream. Morpheus. One of the Endless. Wearing his helm, ruling the Dreaming and as a result defining reality. And for an unmeasurable age, that is who he was.
Being captured by humans, trying to ensnare his sister Death instead, changed him. When he escaped, he stopped putting his essence, his power, in his accoutrements, became fully himself again, and realised that things were changing — and that he was to die.
As his other sister before him, Despair, Morpheus would die. And he would be replaced by another, who would also be the Sandman, a new Dream.
It turned out to be the baby Daniel Hall, of the Hawkman lineage, kept as a baby for decades, born and living in the Dreaming and now taking his place as the same person. A version of Doctor Who's regeneration — the same Dream but a different point of view.
Recently Daniel returned to the DC Universe where he was born as part of the Dark Nights: Metal series. As befits the nature of the title, he was looking a little more superhero-y now.
But in Sandman Universe #1 he is missing. Again. And the Dreaming is starting to suffer. So it takes a runaround the mystical DC Universe by Matthew the Raven to find Daniel, to discover why he has abandoned his post and position. I talked about it in a review posted a few days ago.
Could it be that after spending decades as a baby, then going through a young teenage rebellious phase of wanting to look superheroic, and getting involved with the likes of Batman and Superman, he is now deciding all that is for kids? And at the conclusion of Sandman Universe #1… looking more like this?
He really is going through a rebellious phase, isn't he? At least he can make sure his hair doesn't get wet. What is he rebelling against? Well, what are you dreaming about?
And hey, it's not the first time he's gone for the leather…