The wait for the latest issue of Sandman: Overture #2 is finally over, and it's a stunner.
The second issue of Overture was originally slated for a December 2013 release, two months after the series debut. However, scheduling delays caused the release to be pushed back several times until finally it seemed that fans would get to see the next installment this spring.
See also: The Sandman: Overture #1: A review
Though Sandman's world was born in creator Neil Gaiman's mind, Overture truly is an equally creative partnership between Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III. If readers weren't convinced of Williams's artistic prowess in the first issue, this one will surely win them over. His gorgeous double-page spreads flow effortlessly with Gaiman's words, propelling the story ever-forward in a way that only comics can.
While Dream was always as dark as the most starless night, Williams has made Daniel into a wisp -- a ghost-white vapor that seemingly floats from here to there with quiet confidence -- starkly and beautifully contrasting with his surroundings in the Dreaming and the human world. Williams has also continued his brilliant perspective work. In the first issue, readers looked through the Corinthian's horrifying, toothy eyes. Now, we get to see the universe through Dream's ruby -- a lens drenched in blood red.
Back to Gaiman's story. In the first issue it felt as though Gaiman was taking a deep breath before plunging back into the Dreaming, with lots going on and plenty of old and new characters to keep us going. This time, there's far less going on. But that's not a bad thing.
This installment is simpler and more focused, and we get to hang out with Dream (and his many other selves) while they figure out why exactly they've been summoned together somewhere in the universe. One of the real treats of this issue is watching Dream talk to his other selves, finally gaining some self-awareness of his personality and getting a little taste of his own medicine in the meantime.
We're still floating in the ether with Dream, not sure which way things will go, but we're eagerly awaiting the next installment which is slated to hit shelves in July, according to an interview Gaiman did with CNN. "The stuff in issue three is the nearest Sandman has ever come to a spaghetti Western. It's not like anything I've ever done in any other way," Gaiman revealed in the interview. Issue two ended with the promise of "a story" coming up, and if Gaiman's fans know anything, it's that he knows how to tell one hell of a tale... no matter how long it takes.
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