A double page spread, made up of the teeth of The Corinthian. Or the pages of Destiny's book. The panels of an ornate window of the panelling of the wooden walls, transformed into the panels of the comic. As ever, Neil Gaiman has written for the strengths of the artist and in Sandman Overture that means drawing the impossible, a flower that resembles Morpheus, dreams within dreams, and a quadruple page spread that opens up, portraying every aspect of Dream across the universe.
It was a mention in the very first issue of Sandman that set this off, I think it was, that Dream was returning to Earth from a distant galaxy before he was captured by Crowleyish occultists looking to imprison Death… Subsequent portrayals of the Endless would see them as Earth-based, generated and perceived by the population of that planet. As much of us as they were themselves. That initial description of Dream's journey seemed to jar, as if it were an early thought, subsequently rectified.
That slightly unravelled in The Endless graphic anthology, showing us anthropomorphic representations of other planets in their earliest days, Krypton, Oa and Earth, playing with the DC Universe in which the comic was nominally set.
Now Gaiman has pulled at that thread and given us a galactic Dream, it seems, with endless Endless representing the two sides if Dream and Reality on so many, many worlds.
And giving JH Williams III the chance to… stretch out.
Sandman Overture #1 is published by DC Comics tomorrow for $4.99.