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The Sandman: Overture

(The Absolute Sandman)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  55,840 ratings  ·  1,272 reviews
Twenty-five years since The Sandman first changed the landscape of modern comics, Neil Gaiman’s legendary series is back in a deluxe hardcover edition!

The Sandman: Overture heralds New York Times best-selling writer Neil Gaiman’s return to the art form that made him famous, ably abetted by artistic luminary J.H. Williams III (Batwoman, Promethea), whose lush, widescreen
Hardcover, Deluxe Edition, 224 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Vertigo
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Ew99 You should absolutely not read it first. There are major plot points that depend on familiarity with the characters, with previous occurrences and…moreYou should absolutely not read it first. There are major plot points that depend on familiarity with the characters, with previous occurrences and with previous storylines.(less)
Zoe's Human Start with Preludes & Nocturnes and read the series in order of publication as numbered, saving Overture for after both #10 (The Wake) and Endless…moreStart with Preludes & Nocturnes and read the series in order of publication as numbered, saving Overture for after both #10 (The Wake) and Endless Nights.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  55,840 ratings  ·  1,272 reviews

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Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Sandman returns!

This TPB is the Deluxe Edition, in hardcover format, including an extensive “behind-the-scenes” section and a gallery of sketches.

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrator: J.H. Williams III

Covers: Dave Stewart

Letterer: Todd Klein


It is hard to create things. We have such high hopes for our creations.

When you may thought that The Sandman had ended, the series returns in this prequel storyline titled Overture.

I enjoyed a lot the reading of this,
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I mean, that was pretty freaking awesome and weird and cool!!!

Although, this is the first book I have read in this world BUT, they have most if not all on kindle unlimited US so yay!! Right?! RIGHT!!?? Sorry, was having a moment. I’m funnier when I make my Animoji’s and drive my friends nuts! 🤣😂. See, I’m a cracked nut!! Not sorry!

Happy Reading!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Do you know that feeling you get when you listen to your favourite album or piece of music and you’re just wiped out? You sit there. You think. You imagine. You dream. It’s cathartic. It’s purifying and cleansing; it’s almost liberating. Do you know what I mean? This piece of profoundness; this thing of beautiful art was that and more.

I’m literally lost for words. I’m not going to give you a plot summary that would be to do this a great injustice. This was transcendental. I cannot define it or e
Sam Quixote
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-comics-2015
It’s taken two years for Neil Gaiman and his art team to complete the six issue limited series prequel, The Sandman: Overture, but they finally did it! It’s easy to see why it took them so long when the results are so utterly impressive - high quality work takes time but it’s always worth the wait.

There are about four hundred billion cells in the human brain - all it takes is for one to misfire and start a reaction where a cancer forms and kills the human. There are about four hundred billion g
Dan Schwent
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A star has gone mad and has infected others with its madness, threatening all of creation. Dream of the Endless must put right something he left undone years ago. With him are a girl named Hope and another version of himself in the form of a cat...

Confession time (I've been confessing a lot this week): In my late teens/early twenties, most of the comics I read were Vertigo or Vertigo-esque. The Sandman was at or near the front of the pack. I started in trade paperbacks and read the last ten or s
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've read several of Gaiman's novels, but Sandman: The Overture (luckily it's a prequel) is my first exposure to the Sandman Series. What stands out right away is the art. So many of the illustrations have a fantastical and hallucinatory quality; you can't help but feel drawn into Gaiman's dream world. The narrative was interesting (as were the characters even when several of them were merely aspects of the same character); however, it somehow took me quite a while (maybe the pace was a bit slow ...more
And a glorious and great nomination for the 2016 Hugo nominations for Graphic Novel goes to: Sandman!

To say that this is a either a coda or a prequel, or both, is to entirely miss the point.
The fact is, there's a ton of new material, a haunting story, and some truly exemplary artwork suffusing these pages.

I think this is easily the work of love that the series always wanted to be, not that it wasn't already a gorgeous work of art. It's this one that slams it's fist into our guts and blows our m
Althea Ann
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
They say you can never recapture the past...
But this book warped me right back into a certain time and place that sure felt like it. There was a magic about discovering The Sandman back in 1989, and Gaiman & crew have still got it.

It's also *about* time... and place... and going back to deal with what you've done in the past, with other versions of who you could have been - what is 'you' and what is 'other' - about responsibilities, and consequences, and being stubbornly independent to a fa
Bill  Kerwin
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it

Overture is at least technically a prequel to the Sandman series, and it ends with an explanation of how Dream came to be imprisoned by an evil magician in the first place. Well, some sort of an explanation.

Actually, though, Overture is a rather involved, allusive series of meditations and philosophical disquisitions showing how Dream—and a score of other “Dreams” from parallel planes—attempts to cope with a crisis involving an angry star and how our own particular Morpheus ends up on the short
Paul Nelson
Well I'm lost for words, The Sandman Overture is quite simply an extraordinary piece of work, one of Neil Gaimans finest, I've absolutely no doubt.
So my version is the HC Deluxe edition, containing a good few pages of extras, exquisite, gorgeous and some serious drooling done over every page. The thing I have to mention first is the artwork, sublime, mesmerising, magnificently bewitching (artwork covered *tick* although I may mention it again) and I could've spent twenty minutes on dictionary r
Paul E. Morph
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am blown away. This book is a genuine thing of beauty. The last time comicbook artwork had such a deep and profound effect on me was Dave McKean's work in his magnum opus 'Cages'.

J.H. Williams III has raised the bar for comicbook artwork in this incredible book. I defy any artist to read this book and not have to keep picking their jaw up off the floor. JHWIII has created a kalaedoscope of perfectly observed and rendered styles here that he has proven himself to be a master of the art form.

Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, comics

They are called the Endless : Destiny, Death, Destruction, Delirium (who was once Delight), Despair, Desire, Dream.
Where do they come from? where they present at the birth of the Universe? Will they be present at the final battle? How did Dream manage to lose his powers and become imprisoned before the start of the original run of the series? and, if the Endless are a family, who are their progenitors and why were they send out to play havoc with reality? Who wrote the rules of the game?


(view sp
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have two confessions to make: 1) I don't like Neil Gaiman's fiction. I . . . just . . . can't. So kill me. 2) My single experience with Neil Gaiman in person left me feeling a little snubbed. Long story, but I met him at the World Fantasy Convention, where I approached him and tried talking to him, but I found him rather cold and uninterested, constantly looking for important people to talk to. I don't want to go on and on (I could) about the whole experience, but that is the summation of my f ...more
An engaging tale with depth and scope bordering on brilliance. The artwork by J.H. Williams is out of boundaries and impressive.

Gaiman is at his highest when working on Sandman IMO.

OVERALL GRADE: A minus to A.
Sandman: Overture: Stunning artwork enhances an excellent story
I re-entered the world of comics after a 30-year hiatus thanks to fellow FanLit reviewer Brad Hawley’s impassioned Why You Should Read Comics: A Manifesto! and his 10-part essay on Reading Comics. It was clear that Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN series was the gold standard for sophisticated, intelligent comics for adults. Having read Brad’s review of the entire series, Welcome to The Dreaming: An Introduction to THE SANDMAN, I embarked on t
Dec 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I got this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley.

2.5 stars. I'm rounding up because of the artwork, the cool McKean covers, and the great epilogue. Oh, and the special appearances of Merv Pumpkinhead and The Corinthian.

Yes, it was fun to revisit some of our old friends from The Sandman. As per usual, Neil Gaiman's imagery is wonderful and goes perfectly with the excellent artwork provided. The story though, left me mostly confused and eager to get through it. I get that it's part of it, the
This is the most beautiful book I've ever read in terms of story combined with artwork. It is absolutely gorgeous!
Anthony Vacca
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For me it is such a pleasure to be reminded that before the success of a few middling novels led to an even more disappointing trudge of half-hearted YA efforts, Gaiman was once capable of creating the truly wondrous, and he clearly still has the goods when he embraces his true medium: the sequential art form. This overture is a dense psychedelic fantasia of wild desire and unhinged dreaming. Reminded me of why ten years ago The Sandman made me fall head over heels for the potential of the comic ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, fantasy
(Received from Netgalley for review.)

My first reaction to hearing that Sandman would have a prequel was that it was unnecessary. I felt like the original run had been a complete story, and that there was no need to dip into that well again. I was wrong there. Giving it more thought, we had sort of been teased that something major had happened just before Dream was captured, and it was never explained in any sense. This is that explanation, and it fits in just as it should.

The story itself is qui
Sandman - Overture: J.H. Williams III Steals the Show


Despite all the unfair shit-talking that's been done about 'Sandman' over the years, criticism about the mediocre-tending-toward-awful artwork that plagues the early-going of the series are legitimate. As unfortunate as it is that between 'Vol. 1 - Preludes and Nocturnes' and 'Vol.4 - Season of Mists', the art is tolerated more than enjoyed, Gaiman's still evolving ideas were strong enough to keep readers interested. The early material has
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading this was like sitting down with an old friend you haven't seen in years. Gaiman hasn't missed a beat. Felt exactly like when I was buying the single issues back in the late 80's. When I finished I instantly wanted to break out the old issues and read them again. Add in one of the best artists working today in J.H. Williams III and you have one of the best comics of the year.
David Schwan
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it
A short story arc giving the readers the pre story of Dream. The story starts out a bit disjointed and even at the end is not as satisfying as I would have liked. The artwork is great and offsets some of my disappointment in the story.
David Schaafsma
Read Sam Quixote's fine and appropriately exuberant review
of this volume (and about a Neil Gaiman book, Sam!). It took me decades to get down to reading the whole ten volume series, after what I initially thought was a slow start, I couldn't get into it, it was fits and starts for years, and then one day I just sat down and read the whole thing and was thrilled with it. And then, once I got through it, I was able to appreciate the slow and confusing begin
Michelle Morrell
Utterly gorgeous, every page, every panel is a work of art. Just for that alone, this is a very worthy addition to the Sandman mythos.

The story takes place immediately prior to the first book in the series, "Preludes and Nocturnes," we now see just why Dream was able to be captured, and why he was so weary. However, as it does bookend some spoilers, it's best read after the main series. Not just for spoiler avoidance, but also with hindsight to deepen the understanding of why Dream chose the pa
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Though it ends with the beginning (of the opus), this overture (produced after the finale) is best performed (read) after the finale. I imagine if you reread what came before (though it's really what comes after), you will see more than you did before.

The art is spectacular (in the true meaning of the word as well).
Caro the Helmet Lady

So it's a sequel to the famous Sandman series, which is actually a prequel to his adventures that started in vol. 1 of the series. Gorgeous illustrations, good story, although a bit too short for my liking. But in general Gaiman never disappoints me with Sandman. Made me want to reread the whole series again, damn... And I will!
The beginners in Sandman's universe should NOT start reading series from this point though, it might spoil a lot of mysteries and surprises.
I received this from Edelweiss and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

I'm completely unfamiliar with Sandman other than knowing that it ran for 75 issues and was written by Neil Gaiman. I was hoping that this would be a good jumping off point into the series, but I had a hard time following what was happening.

The artwork was odd, and some of the fonts used were very difficult to read.
Mayra Sigwalt
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ameeeii!! As páginas dessa HQ podem facilmente serem colocadas em quadros. Que trabalho incrível. A historia me deixou com um gostinho de quero mais. Maravilhada de mergulhar nesse mundo de novo. Adorei. ❤ ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The art! Wow!! The story! Holy Moly!! If you have any interest in graphic novels, don’t skip this one! There is a reason it has won so many awards.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. He, yet again, has produced a veritable piece of art. It works on many levels- superb artwork, wonderful plot and great dialogue are the cornerstones of this wonderful prelude to his epic classic Sandman series.

Morpheus must undertake a pressing journey to save reality and the ending of the tale is where the Sandman series starts. More than that I shall not say since this one is a must read for anyone who appreciates the brilliant talents displayed in t
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Other books in the series

The Absolute Sandman (7 books)
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume One
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Two
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Three
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Four
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Five
  • Death: The Deluxe Edition
“Because it is the nature of Dreams, and ONLY of Dreams, to define Reality. Destiny is bound to existence. Death is limited by what she will or will not accept.” 16 likes
“I am NOT alone. I am accompanied by a large cat and a small girl.” 11 likes
More quotes…