Magdalene Visaggio's Sandman: A Game Of You Sequel That Never Was

It's not the first Sandman sequel comic book that Magdalene Visaggio has written, she wrote Eternity Girl for DC Comics' Young Animal imprint in a sequel to Sandman #20. But then she also had one for Neil Gaiman's showrun DC imprint, Sandman Universe, which would have starred Wanda from Sandman: A Game Of You storyline and would have worked as a sequel to that story as well. Wanda was a trans character, the subject of virulent non-accepting bigotry from her family, and also supernatural forces such as the Moon. She dies in the comic after a storm knocks down her home, but is welcomed by Death in the way she truly sees herself. Neil Gaiman says he would probably not have written that story today, in favour of a trans writer telling such a story instead. And indeed, it seems that this might have been the plan last year. Yesterday, Visaggio took to Twitter to tell folk what went down;

So, in 2019, I started developing a story with DC for SANDMAN UNIVERSE that would have redeemed Wanda. In early 2020 we were greenlit and ready to go. Then COVID struck. I don't wanna get into it too much, but the whole thing would have been about how Wanda had returned to life as a cis woman (made a deal w/ Death) and found herself in a nice heteronormative relationship, and the recognition that she'd made the wrong choice. So she goes off on a journey to confront the Moon for rejecting her so many years ago and has to make peace with her history and the fact that she doesn't need the moon to agree she's a woman for her to be one.

It was such a great little story and was gonna really question some of the premises of A GAME OF YOU without undermining its emotional and narrative work, and give Wanda her own voice. I was so excited. Wanda is in such a weird position as a character: she matters immensely to a lot of trans women who also think she ultimately got a raw deal (but a very progressive ending for the era) and I wanted to enliven her, to save her, I guess.

Sandman: A Game Of You
Sandman: A Game Of You

She was gonna be caring for an older, cancer-stricken Barbie who thought it was so interesting how much she looked like her old friend, who Barbie had actually made a documentary film about in the 90s when she was a counterculture icon. This was Neil's awesome idea. I guess I just wanted to give her back some agency over her life. When Neil was into it, I was absolutely elated. It takes some SERIOUS COJONES to walk in with an idea for a sequel to A GAME OF YOU, which is ultimately what SEA OF CLOUDS was, and he was down! And then the pandemic struck and DC cancelled half of their books and that was that.

Anyway, not a lot of spoilers in the above, just some general premise and theme stuff. I had it worked out to the Nth detail. I did elaborate tarot spreads for my characters. It was ready to take right to script. NONE of this is a criticism of DC or Gaiman or anything. I don't and can't blame DC for the decisions they made in the early pandemic, and my book wasn't the only one that vanished before it ever got made. The whole imprint seems to have gone dark. DC and Gaiman were so supportive of this story, and I know it was only with regret that they wound everything down. I keep wondering if I can file off the serial numbers and make it anyway, but I don't think it would work without Wanda herself.

It is possible that the Sandman Netflix TV series may draw a greater eye on such projects, and it may be that DC Comics might see the value in such series again…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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