It allows us to have the longest possible (monthly) time period to celebrate all things Jack Kirby during #Kirby100, the month that would have seen the King’s 100th birthday.
Over the last few weeks, DC Comics has been blowing up the balloons, hanging the streamers, and lighting the candles with a number of Kirby-related one-shot specials. Each has highlighted a different Kirby creation. And this column has done its best to highlight them here for you:
Mister Miracle #1 – which you need to read now, if you haven’t already!
The New Gods Special #1 – hopefully you didn’t miss it!
The Kamandi Challenge #1 – the fun 12-issue series which has been around since January!
You can find more of Jack Kirby and the summer-themed #Kirby100 celebrations by Biff Bam Pop! writers here. But today brings us to another, somewhat obscure, Kirby creation…one that has influenced DC Comics in a number of important ways over the last thirty years.
Today sees the release of The Sandman Special #1!
The Sandman Special #1
Written By: Steve Orlando & Dan Jurgens
Illustrated By: Jon Bogdanove & Rick Leonardi
Published By: DC Comics
Look, it’s safe to say that today’s release of DC Comics’ eagerly anticipated 2017 event series, Dark Knights: Metal #1, the first chapter in a six-issue series that is bound to shake the DC Universe to its core, will get all the press this week.
The funny thing, however, is that there’s a leaked online spoiler that tells of a character based off of today’s The Sandman Special #1, that makes a surprising, exciting, and prominent appearance in Dark Knights: Metal #1! Our Jack Kirby-created Sandman, as obscure as he is, is reverberating into the biggest stage of the DC Universe, forty-three years after his creation!
Created in 1974 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, this particular Sandman was only conceived as a one-shot publication, but five more issues followed with the Sandman protecting people in their dreams from nightmarish monsters and wizards. After those six-issues, the character would fall into relative obscurity until being reinvigorated in the early eighties and then again in the late 1980’s, famously being an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s award-winning and beloved The Sandman series and character, Morpheus, the personification of dreams. That series gave rise to Vertigo Comics, the mature-readers imprint of DC Comics, and it redefined comic books as an artistic, storytelling medium. Its influence is still felt strongly today. Indeed, it’s Daniel, the re-imagined Morpheus from the finale of Gaiman’s The Sandman series, that makes a surprise appearance in today’s Dark Knight: Metal #1.
That’s pretty crazy, for a number of reasons that we won’t get into today, but it does show that the essence of such a strange and, truly, abandoned character such as that 1974 Sandman – as well as Kirby’s rich imagination – is timeless and still permeates though modern comics.
The Sandman Special #1 written and illustrated by longtime comic book pros and fan-favourites Dan Jurgens, Steve Orlando, Jon Bogdanove and Rick Leonardi, consists of two new stories that usher the original Kirby Sandman into the twenty-first century. Man oh man! There’s even a Kirby-esque photo collage in here! The issue also includes a seldom-seen reprint of a story from the 1970’s!
Make the weekly Wednesday run to your local comic book shop today and live out your heroic dreams of battling nightmare monsters with the The Sandman Special #1…and continue celebrating all things #Kirby100 with the rest of us!