5 Ways Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ Is Different From The Comics

How do you adapt an award-winning comic series that’s considered unfilmable? If you are the creative team behind Netflix The Sandmanyou move some things, but mostly you stick to the beloved source material.

The Netflix adaptation of The Sandman it is remarkably faithful to the Neil Gaiman comics, despite considerable challenges posed by the very nature of the story. Showrunner Allan Heinberg and executive producers David S. Goyer and Gaiman have adapted the first 16 issues of the comics. in a 10-episode season that, while certainly not perfect, clearly works hard to do it justice and keep the spirit of the originals.


Criticism of ‘The Sandman’: Netflix adaptation is not a dream, but not a total nightmare

East Sandman it still tells the story of Dream, played by Tom Sturridge, the lord of the dream realm who is imprisoned by magic-hungry humans at the beginning of the series. Following his escape decades later, he must restore order to the Dreaming while dealing with the chaos that ensued both in his world and in the waking world while he was gone. One of the most notable changes the series makes from the start is updating the date of Dream’s breakout from the late 1980s to the present day, setting the rest of the story in 2021, with some flashbacks, of course.

But that’s not the only way The Sandman diverges from its parent material. Here are five more ways Netflix The Sandman it’s different from the comics.

Turning the comic stories around

A man and a woman sit on a park bench.

Death and sleep have a talk.
Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Season 1 of The Sandman follows the first 16 issues of the comics, which includes arcs from both Preludes and Nocturnes Ythe doll house. It mostly requires a “one issue per episode” approach, but at only 10 episodes long, some stories had to move.

In some cases this works better than others. Episode 4, titled “A Hope in Hell”, follows Dream’s journey to Hell to find her helm; To increase the dramatic tension, this episode incorporates the plot of passengersthe theme of the following comics A hope in hell where John Dee (David Thewlis) escapes from a mental institution to find Dream’s ruby. Having the stories unfold simultaneously gives us a strong A-plot and B-plot as our protagonist and antagonist search for Dream’s magical tools, bringing about the inevitable showdown.

Episode 6, “The Sound of His Wings”, is a less effective attempt at combining comic storylines. The first half of the episode is an extremely faithful adaptation of the comic number of the same name, which sees Dream and Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) walking around and chatting about humanity. The second half of the episode is an extremely faithful adaptation of issue 13, men of good fortune. There, we learn about Dream’s once-in-a-century encounter with the immortal human Hob Gadling (Ferdinand Kingsley).

The stories are charming and moving on their own, but when they are awkwardly put together one after the other, the result is a disjointed episode of television. This episode clumsily attempts to give us a deeper understanding of Dream’s relationship with humans and change, but at the end of the day, these are two comedic themes that may have worked better on their own.

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A woman talks to a man sitting on a hospital bed in a white room.

A new scene, but interesting.
Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

In an interview with den of geeksHeinberg and Gaiman mentioned that one of the most exciting parts of the adaptation process was the fact that they could portray events from The Sandman that don’t happen on the page but are still important. For example, in the comics, we never see Hal performing in drag due to the fact, Gaiman explains, that comics are not the best medium for musical performances. The show seizes that opportunity for new material and capitalizes on it, incorporating several of Hal’s numbers into the show and casting. Hedwig and the Angry Inch writer/director/star John Cameron Mitchell as Rose Walker’s landlord.

Another big news is the final argument between John and his mother Ethel Cripps (Joely Richardson) in the show’s third episode. In the comics, Ethel dies off the page and bequeaths her protective amulet to John. In the show, Ethel gives John the amulet directly and then dies on screen as the wards fade. Before that, we also have an illuminating conversation between her and John about Dream. This helps establish John’s motivations in the future, which is extremely helpful because…

No major ties to DC

A man with a mustache looks at a gold necklace with a ruby ​​pendant.

John Dee on his way to cause chaos.
Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

It may not be chock-full of Justice League references, but The Sandman it’s still a DC comic. For example, John Dee is kept in Arkham Asylum alongside Batman villains like Scarecrow. He is also the supervillain known as Doctor Destiny, who gets into many evil shenanigans in other DC comics, and whose appearance is monstrous, crusty, and terrifying. The Sandman The series forgoes this path, instead cementing John as a human and altering his backstory.


Back in the ’90s, ‘The Sandman’ was a Rosetta Stone for weirdos like me.

Lyta and Hector and Rose and Jed

Two women stand in front of a black car.

Lyta and Rose meet a little earlier in the show.
Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

Two other DC Comics characters appearing in The Sandman They are Lyta (Razane Jammal) and Hector Hall (Lloyd Everitt). In the broader DC comics, they have their own superhero identities, but in the doll house bow of The SandmanThey serve a particular purpose. Hector is dead, but the Brute and Glob rebel nightmares have trapped his consciousness. They prop him up as their own version of the Sandman in an attempt to create a new Dreaming boss. Hector visits his pregnant wife Lyta in the dream realm so the two can spend more time together, and Lyta occasionally gets a visit from Jed Walker (Eddie Karanja), Rose Walker’s (Kyo Ra) little brother. However, when Dream learns what the Brute and Glob have done, he casts Hector back into the land of the dead and declares that he will return for Lyta’s son, who, by virtue of the time he spent gestating in the Dreaming, is now it’s yours.

Most of this story appears on Netflix. The Sandman, but there are several settings. Lyta is now a close friend of Rose and travels with her in search of Jed. Jed, trapped by a new nightmare named Gault, takes on the role of the fake Sandman. He is a poignant choice that emphasizes his desire to escape from his abusive foster father. He also appreciated the connection between Lyta and Rose, as it ties together characters from important early threads of The Sandman and it gives us another chance to see the effects of Rose’s role as the vortex of dreams.

More from Corinth

A man in sunglasses rests his hands on a dining table and talks to another man at the table.

What do you call having more of the Corinthian? More-inthian!
Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

One of the biggest and best ways that The Sandman diverges from its source material is how it introduces the nightmare known as Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) early in the story. The show makes the wise decision to accept him as a villain early on. From his confrontation with Dream in the first episode to his manipulation of Rose and Jed at the serial killer convention, it’s clear that he is the main antagonist of the season. His role in the comics is contained in the doll house arch, which is effective as we move from one subject to another. However, in a TV series that launches all at once, it’s nice to have another line that we can follow while we binge. Also, the Corinthian’s encouragement of the worst impulses of humans makes him a great foil for Dream at all times. The Corinthian may be the stuff of nightmares, but his expanded role is what adaptation dreams are made of.

The Sandman It is now streaming on Netflix.

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