10 Questions About The Sandman Season 1 That Only The Comics Can Answer

A split image showing characters from The Sandman.

Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the Netflix show The Sandman and the comics it’s based on, as well as discussions of suicide.

The recently released Netflix series, The Sandman, has become a popular topic of discussion among fans, in large part thanks to how accurately it depicts events and characters from Neil Gaiman’s comic books. With the episodes based on individual issues of the legendary series, it’s not surprising that there are some unanswered questions that only fans of the comics can answer.

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From the true nature of Alex Burgess’ horrific punishment to the whereabouts of the Endless siblings, there are several unresolved storylines and mysteries that are familiar to comic readers. Several of these questions will likely be answered in a potential second season, with future episodes that will hopefully be just as impressive as what fans have seen so far.

What Is Alex Burgess’ Punishment?

Alex and Paul looking at Dream from The Sandman.

After Dream finally manages to escape his prison in the Burgess’ basement, he doesn’t leave without paying the sleeping Alex a visit. It’s among the first displays of Morpheus’ power, as he gives Alex “the gift of eternal sleep.” A scene then shows Alex unable to wake up despite Paul trying his hardest to shake him.

This is slightly different from the Sandman comics, although the thought is generally the same. Dream grants Alex “the nightmare everlasting” or “eternal waking,” which is followed by some terrifying panels showing how he wakes up again and again to different nightmarish scenarios (presumably for the rest of his life).

Who Are The Three?

The Three screaming from The Sandman.

When Dream needs answers about his tools’ whereabouts, he musters up any strength he has left to “summon the Three-in-one.” Despite Lucienne’s hesitation, Morpheus reminds her that “the Fates see past, present, and future, and they know all,” with the main problem being that they speak in riddles.

That won’t be the last nor most significant role the Fates have in the series. Also known as the Furies (a name they despise) and the Kindly Ones, they are an entity that can do far more than answer questions. In fact, they will be largely responsible for Dream’s demise towards the end of the overarching narrative that shows Morpheus breaking a divine law.

Will Dream Create Another Corinthian?

The Corinthian smiling from The Sandman.

The Corinthian is far from being the most likable character in The Sandman, but there’s no denying that he’s a well-written and fascinating nightmare. This is why it’s exciting to hear Dream explain to Lucienne towards the end of the show that the world doesn’t need a new Corinthian just yet.

Comics readers will immediately recognize this line as a reference to a storyline that happens towards the end of Dream’s arc. The Lord of Dreams does eventually remake the Corinthian who will look exactly the same as the one that he unmade, but will act entirely differently.

Who Is Azazel?

Azazel from The Sandman appears as a mass of eyes and teeth.

The cliffhanger of the first season introduces an entirely new character named Azazel, who’s the representative of the assembled Lords of Hell. He demands that Lucifer take action to invade the Dreaming, the waking world, and even the Silver City itself.

In the comic book series, Azazel doesn’t quite do this, but rather shows up after Lucifer leaves Hell and hands over the keys to Dream. The demon becomes one of the several petitioners who asks Dream for the key and the right to rule Hell, which soon leads to a dramatic confrontation between the two.

What Is Lucifer Planning?

Lucifer standing in The Sandman.

By the end of the first season, the powerful villain Lucifer seems to be plotting something potentially different from what Azazel and the Lords of Hell want from her. She declares that she’ll do “something that” she has “never done before” that “will make God absolutely livid and bring Morpheus to his knees.”

Fans of the comics already know what that something is, as it’s a popular storyline that even gets its own spinoff. Lucifer is about to abandon Hell and shut the doors behind her, just as her counterpart does in the comics. While her TV version seems more villainous compared to the original, it’s highly likely that they’re talking about the same thing.

Why Did Desire Try To Trick Dream?

Dream and Desire in The Sandman.

An important reveal in the show happens after that climactic moment where Dream almost kills Rose Walker. Thankfully, Unity Kinkaid manages to stop him just in time before explaining that she had a relationship with someone with golden eyes, who is Rose’s other parent. A tense confrontation between Dream and Desire follows soon after, as there aren’t many golden-eyed characters around.

Desire’s motivation for tricking and manipulating Dream into almost killing Rose may be unclear to viewers, but comics readers will know that they wanted Dream to violate divine law by spilling family blood. This is rooted in Desire’s anger about how their older siblings, Death, Destiny, and Dream, see them as inferior – Dream is just the easiest one to annoy.

What Will Happen To Lyta’s Baby?

Lyta and Hector from The Sandman.

A disturbing scene in the series takes away any chance at a happy life that Lyta thought she had with her deceased husband. What’s more, Dream’s ominous statement about how she could keep her baby “for now” hints at more heartbreak down the line for her.

Lyta’s baby, Daniel Hall, has a crucial role that only comic book fans will know. After a stressful storyline showing the baby’s kidnapping and subsequent trip to the Dreaming. He actually grows up to be, or rather transforms into Dream himself after the original protagonist dies. Daniel looks like a paler version of Dream in the comics and is tasked with the same duties and responsibilities that his predecessor had.

Who Is Nada?

Nada is trapped in Hell in The Sandman.

While navigating the creepy landscapes of Hell, a prisoner calls out to Dream, referring to him as “Kai’ckul” and asking if he has come to finally free her. Dream later explains to Matthew that she is Nada, and they were once in love, but doesn’t detail why she ended up in Hell or how she “defied” him.

Nada’s story arc in the Sandman comics is a frustrating one, as, just as Dream says, they were once in a relationship. It’s forbidden for the Endless to have romantic relations with humans, so their affair angered the sun so much that it destroyed Nada’s city. She was understandably devastated and, unfortunately, died by suicide soon after. Morpheus saw her suicide as a rejection of him and condemned her to Hell for eternity, which is a twisted action he makes up for later in the series.

Who Is The Missing Member Of The Endless?

Dream and Death looking up in The Sandman.

Over the course of the first season, more than one character mentions “the prodigal” member of the Endless, implying that the character left at some point in the past. Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that there’s a blank frame where the mysterious character’s sigil should be.

Comic readers know who that missing member is and when his siblings will see him again. Destruction abandoned his post after the age of reason, as it became unbearable for him to have to be responsible for the chaos and pain humanity endures over and over again. A story arc that follows Dream and Delirium’s quest to find him eventually reveals his location and reaffirms his decision to stay away.

Where Are The Other Members Of The Endless?

Desire smiling at Despair in The Sandman.

So far, the Netflix series has only introduced Dream, Death, Desire, and Despair, although Destiny and Delirium have been referenced (not to mention “the prodigal” member). Death recounts during his conversation with Dream that they all had a family dinner without him, which is something that happens in the comics, too.

It’s likely that audiences will see all of the Endless siblings together (except for Destruction) during the next and arguably most important dinner or meeting they have. At the moment, they’re all out doing their individual tasks, but they’ll all converge to signal the start of the overarching narrative centered on Dream in the comics.

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Author: Deann Hawkins