Sandman Universe #1 (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Despite being finished for over two decades, Neil Gaiman's Sandman has still been churning out new stories from the acclaimed fantasy world. After the (much-delayed) Sandman Overture, we now have another Sandman tie-in special designed to kick start the upcoming newly relaunched Vertigo Comics. While Gaiman doesn't have as big a hand in this special as with his previous works on Morpheus, Sandman Universe will still fill the nearly insatiable desire for all things Gaiman that his fans want, and might even turn these new series into hits.
Morpheus is missing. The king of dreams has abandoned his castle, leaving Matthew the Raven to search through the dreamscape to locate him. As he makes his way through the twisting world around him, he encounters new and familiar faces, all in the midst of their own adventures.
That doesn't make for a thrilling plot, I know, but writers Simon Spurrier, Kat Howard, Nalo Hopkinson, and Dan Watters all throw in engaging nuggets of their respective stories, and they lead to some pretty intriguing cliffhangers for Sandman side characters like Lucifer and Books of Magic's Tim Hunter. Whether you'll want to pick up one or all of the titles is up to you, but credit goes to all four writers for making sure this special actually has a coherent narrative throughway.
Credit also goes to the artists on this book, who all have a distinctive style for their respective series, but also make sure to compliment the overarching style of the book. Sebastian Fiumara, Max Fiumara, Tom Fowlker,Domonike Stanton, and Biquis Evely all work wonders on this book, and craft each story with a unique style all it's own, but also allows for the overall book to not feel completely jarring as it bounces from one location and set of characters to the other.
While Sandman Universe is clearly designed to get you to purchase additional comics, the end result could have been a lot worse than what we got. Like I mentioned earlier, the success of this book getting you to pick up any of these series will vary, but likely if you're already a fan of Gaiman's work, you'll want to at least be checking some of these spin-offs out.