The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country, Vol. 1

DC Comics. Apr. 2023. 184p. ISBN 9781779518415. $29.99. HORROR
Best-selling horror comics author Tynion (The Nice House on the Lake) and illustrator Estherren (Night Train) present a new tale set in the world of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Since childhood, Madison Flynn has been haunted by visions of the Smiling Man, a menacing figure with gaping mouths where its eyes should be. One of Madison’s painted portraits of the creature is noticed by a living nightmare called the Corinthian, who comes to investigate, defying the decree that forbids him to enter the waking world. The Corinthian quickly learns that he’s not the only one seeking Flynn—a pair of sadistic killers dubbed Mr. Agony and Mr. Ecstasy are also interested in meeting her, as is an eccentric billionaire who believes that accumulating a collection of evil artifacts is the key to unlocking immense power. This volume collects the first six issues of an ongoing series.
VERDICT Tynion and Estherren have crafted an intriguingly mysterious thriller that evokes the distinct gothic sensibility of Gaiman’s original “Sandman” series.
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