The Sandman Reread: Fables and Reflections
Tor continues their reread of Neil Gaiman's groundbreaking Sandman series with Fables and Reflections:
Full Story: HEREOrpheus is, of course, no original character himself. But Gaiman isn’t trying to mimic Virgil or Ovid in his retelling. First, in “Thermidor,” he gives us a violent historical tale about Johanna Constantine amidst the French Revolution, with the head of Orpheus as a magical artifact capable of weird and terrible things. Then, in the one-shot special appropriately titled “Orpheus” (originally with a glow-in-the-dark cover in its original, floppy incarnation) Gaiman tells the whole tragic tale of the mythical musician and his fruitless descent into the underworld. It’s one of the best—and most important—stories in all ofSandman, which makes it even stranger that it wasn’t part of the original 75 issues of the series, but released as a stand-alone special instead. “Orpheus” has the whole of Sandman in its DNA. The missing brother, Destruction, appears prominently in the story, and Orpheus’s painful life, and non-death, is not just unusually brutal because it’s the story of Morpheus’s own son, but because, in retrospect, so much of this single issue parallels the larger story of Morpheus himself.