By Neil Gaiman, J.H. Williams III & Dave Stewart
It almost doesn’t make sense for something to be this good…Neil Gaiman continues to build upon the magnificent Sandman series with Overture, and this is a true masterpiece that could almost put any other current title to shame. The latest installment continues to present mind-bending storytelling and artistic expression in a way that transcends the medium.
Sandman Overture tells its story in a very interesting and unique way. The writing throughout issue #3 shows tremendous depth and subtle cleverness. Every piece of narration or dialogue is carried with a sense that something more lurks beneath the surface of Gaiman’s words. The sheer beauty of the writing employed here almost lends itself to a spiritual or mystical experience; this is poetry that speaks to the mind and the heart, while simultaneously driving a fascinating plot that is interestingly structured and presented with a perfect ebb and flow. A single review cannot do this issue justice, but everything about it is just perfect. The interactions involving the Dream of cats are particularly fun and enjoyable, and there is a lot of insight and backstory provided for Morpheus himself, including the creation of his helmet and the gates to the Dreaming.
The visuals provided by J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart are equally mind-blowing and make me wish I could give this book 7 out of 5 stars, an extra star for each artist. As with Promethea before it, Williams’ illustrations are a revolution in visual story-telling and will possibly change what some readers realize is possible in the medium. The illustrations themselves are astonishingly creative and well-designed, full of fantastic detail. There are many subtle and cinematic sequences that make this book feel particularly animated. As usual, the paneling and overall layouts employed throughout issue #3 are incredibly unique and creative, and this aspect of the visuals serves to enhance the overall depth and flow of the story. Dave Stewart’s colors only increase what is already a phenomenal display of design and artistic skill. The colors in Overture #3 are incredibly vivid and bring added depth and detail throughout the book. The coloring in the space scenes is especially fantastic in terms of realism and a visual mastery. Williams and Stewart are an amazing art team that make an already fantastic story a wholly different experience altogether.
Beauty, sadness, joy, cleverness, cuteness, darkness…Sandman Overture #3 covers the full spectrum of wonderful story-telling. Both the writing and the visuals in this book are unlike anything else and will shock and amaze fans of any genre. It is very difficult to convey the true brilliance of this book in a review, and it is truly something that must be experienced to be believed.