Among his many strokes of brilliance in Sandman, writer Neil Gaiman not only created a personification of dreams, but he also gave that character a family in grand mythological fashion. The Endless comprises seven siblings: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium (formerly Delight). Each has a distinct, vibrant personality, and the interplay between them is always fascinating.
The family dynamic comes into play in “Brief Lives” in issues #41-49, in which Delirium recruits Dream to search for long-lost Destruction. It’s a classic quest plot starring two totally opposite personalities. But a simpler structure doesn’t mean less depth—each issue remains intelligent, thought-provoking, and entertaining.
If you haven’t read Sandman in its entirety yet…why not? Your only excuse is if you’re under 18. In that case, yeah, wait a bit.
Writer: Neil Gaiman
Penciler: Jill Thompson
Inkers: Vince Locke and Dick Giordano
Cover: Dave McKean
Publisher: DC Comics (Vertigo)
How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Sandman vol. 7: Brief Lives (TPB)
Appropriate For: ADULTS ONLY