The man who turned the Sandman into a New York Times best-seller is coming back, and he’s bringing friends with him.
DC Entertainment announced Thursday that Neil Gaiman, one of the most celebrated voices in both comics and prose fiction, is returning to the series that helped birth the Vertigo imprint to curate the The Sandman Universe, a line of books spinning out of Gaiman’s creations. The line will launch with four ongoing series penned by four different writers, handpicked by Gaiman himself, all entwined in a shared universe that invokes the same dreamlike motif as Gaiman’s original series. “The Sandman Universe has always been very close and personal to me and I am thrilled to open up the world once again to an extremely talented group of writers and artists,” Gaiman in a statement.
The Sandman Universe #1 Cover Art by Jae Lee
The Sandman Universe will launch with The Sandman Universe #1, a one-shot that will reintroduce the franchise’s universe and characters while setting up the stories of the four individual books, The Dreaming, House of Whispers, Lucifer and Books of Magic, which will be released monthly afterward. This first issue will be drawn by Wonder Woman artist Bilquis Evely, and co-written by the four writers, working from a plot developed by Gaiman himself.
The Dreaming #1 Cover Art by Yanick Paquette
In The Dreaming, writer Si Spurrier (X-Men: Legacy, Cry Havoc) crafts a world plunged into chaos and calamity following the disappearance of the Dreaming’s master, Dream of the Endless. Facing conquering forces from outside and within, Matthew the Raven, Lucien the librarian and the montress without memories, Mora, must find and restore the master before the Dreaming falls to the building shadow.
House of Whispers #1 Cover Art by Sean Andrew Murray
House of Whispers will tell the tale of Latoya, a young woman in a coma; her girlfriend, who wants to do anything to help bring her out of it; and Latoya’s two younger sisters, who are enlisted by Latoya’s girlfriend in an attempt to use the Book of Whispers. The group mistakenly steals the essence of a voodoo deity, Erzulie, and plunges her house into the Dreaming. Written by Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring), House of Whispers shifts between the Dreaming, where the group meets the custodians of the Houses of Secret and Mystery, Cain and Abel, and the real world, where Latoya awakens, believing she’s already dead, and begins spreading that belief to others.
Lucifer #1 Cover Art by Goni Montes
Dan Watters (Limbo, Assassin’s Creed) details in Lucifer how the devil, who disappeared a number of years ago, ended up a blind, poor old man shacked up in a boarding house in a odd town that no one can leave. Meanwhile, a dying LAPD officer is drawn to uncover his own self-ascribed divine mission. The book will tell the story of the Morningstar as the officer’s dying mission uncovers untold revelations about the former lord of Hell himself.
Books of Magic #1 Cover Art by Kai Carpenter
Finally, Books of Magic sees Kat Howard (Roses and Rot, An Unkindness of Magicians) unwinding the adolescent struggles of magically adept teen Timothy Hunter, though his magical abilities are more trouble than anything. What he doesn’t know is that he has the potential to become the most powerful magician in the universe, but only if he’s able to navigate his teenage years and the group of cultists trying to kill him out of fear of what he could become if he reaches his full mystic potential. Along with the help of his new substitute teacher, Timothy will learn the secrets of the Books of Magic and what he is truly meant to become.
The Sandman Universe Promotional Art by Bilquis Evely
The Sandman Universe #1 will release on Aug. 8 with The Dreaming and House of Whispers hitting shelves in September, and Lucifer and Books of Magic coming out in October. Artists for the four series have not yet been announced.
See Gaiman himself announce the new imprint below.