The Sandman S1E6 REVIEW: The more things change, the more they stay the same.


If you return in 100 years time, and I'm still using this image, it's because we're friends.

Last episode, on the world's Number 1 show, Doctor Dee had a grand old time, taking a diner full of 'nice', 'normal' people, and showing them just what monsters they turn into when they're made to be totally honest with the people around them. This week, with his tools finally restored, and feeling more powerful than he has in eons, Dream is a little bit down. So, he's gone to feed the pigeons. Pretty sure they give people ASBOs for doing that...

She's telling Dream that if he doesn't stop feeding the pigeons, they'll give him community service.

Dream is feeling rather sad. I know what you're thinking "How is that any different to how he normally feels?". But this time, he's feeling sad about something SPECIFIC, rather than his standard all-encompassing gloom.


Thankfully his sister, also known as Lady Death, is on hand to take him on a bit of work experience to cheer him up. Because that's what sisters are for!


Then, we take a journey through time, as Dream makes a deal with mortal nuisance Hob Gadling, and shows us a selection of truly horrific historical haircuts.


Pic chosen because I know it angers certain people.

So, here we are! "'The Sound Of Her Wings', the highest rated episode of the season, and one of the most beloved issues in Sandman history. Like a cool drink after a hot day, or the gentle touch of Aloe Vera on a fresh burn, 'The Sound Of Her Wings' serves as a perfect remedy, after the unmitigated horrors of '24 Hours'. Which is vaguely hilarious, when you consider the basic plot for this episode is "Dream accompanies Death, as she harvests the souls of the dead".


But, somehow, The Sandman makes it work. A vast part of this is due to the excellent performance of Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Much like pretty much every other person that has ever read The Sandman, I instantly developed a huge crush on Death. She's cute, punky, gothic, hilarious, and most important, radiates a warmth that leaves you feeling at peace.


It's safe to say, after maybe Dream, Death was the character most Sandman fans were anxious to see cast. So, naturally, social media EXPLODED when Kirby was announced.


While I have neither the time, nor the inclination, to cover that shitshow here, I will say this:


When all is said and done, the most important thing is: How did she work, on screen, in the role. And, at least for me, the answer these is... She absolutely NAILED it. She was cute, she was punky, she was goth, and most 'The Sound Of Her Wings' features some of the most emotional moments in the early arcs of The Sandman, and Kirby made the absolute most of them all, delivering a perfect performance that should silence all her critics. I mean, I know it won't. Because let's be fair here, they never cared about her performance... but it SHOULD.


Okay, going to stop myself now, before I go into full blown rant mode.


How great is Hob Gadling! Yeah, that's a safer subject.


The second part of this episode brings to life one of my favourite Sandman side arcs, and introduces a fan favourite: Hob Gadling, the Immortal Man.


I've always really loved 'Men Of Good Fortune', because it manages something that all great tales aspire to: it handles current events, while also feeling genuinely timeless.


The story itself is simple. Dream strikes a deal with young mortal Hob Gadling. Lady Death agrees to leave him be, and not take him unless he truly wishes to go. In return, Hob meets Dream every hundred years, in the same small inn.


But that's just the vehicle to tell a tale about humanity and our desire for change... and how no matter how much we change individually, as a people we rarely do.


I've often said 'Men Of Good Fortune' is one of the most Gaiman of issues. It tells a strong tale in the foreground, while lacing every page with a thousand different easter eggs, bread crumbs, and other story elements named after food.


Each time we leap forward, we're greeted with a new world! Hob tells us all about how life has changed so much, and everything is so much better now! All the while, the people around him have the same freakin conversations, the same worries, the same dire portents that everyone is doomed. It's so brilliantly executed, that it honestly took me a couple of times reading through the issues, to spot all the recurring themes. And even then, I'm pretty sure I've missed a few!


For instance, it was only on the second viewing of this episode, that I spotted a poster on the fence, for 'And The Madness Of Crowds"' by one Ric Madoc. But more on him, later...


The Sandman Season 1 is available now on Netflix. And if you can't wait for the rest of the epic tale of Morpheus, you can read ahead at your Local Comic Shop.


RECOMMENDED READING:


For Season 1, check out:


The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (1989, By Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcom Jones III )


The Sandman Volume 2: The Doll's House (1989, By Neil Gaiman, Kelley Shawn, Jones McManus, Mike Dringenberg, and Colleen Doran)


 

Taheg Gloder is a Freelance Copywriter from England. Obsessed with comics and Manga since his teens, he now splits his time between writing comic reviews and retrospectives for POP, and doing reactions on his YouTube Channel, The Dragon & The Hound. He lives alone, because he’s a hermit.

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