DEATH Is Coming To ACTION COMICS in October


Death is coming to DC Comics, and for fans of Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking The Sandman series, that’s a very good thing. The publisher announced Thursday afternoon that October’s Action Comics #894 features iconic Superman archenemy Lex Luthor meeting Death, the physical embodiment of life’s end and a fan-favorite character from The Sandman. It’s part of an ongoing storyline featuring Luthor’s searching for power and encountering unexpected figures along the way.

“Death appearing in Action Comics was my own mad idea,” series writer Paul Cornell said in DC’s official statement. “The extreme case of putting Luthor up against characters he's not used to dealing with.”

The Sandman was a vastly influential series for DC Comics, receiving overwhelming critically acclaim and widely being credited as helping to bring a more sophisticated, literary tone to comic books and exposing the medium to new audiences. It remains one of the most celebrated works of Gaiman’s career, who has gone on to pen comics and novels including Stardust and Coraline.

Running for 75-issues from 1989 to 1996, it inspired the creation of DC’s enduring mature readers imprint, Vertigo, in 1993. Though most Vertigo series now are in their own continuity, The Sandman took place in the same DC Universe inhabited by Superman and Batman, though connections became less explicit as the comic progressed.

Death, contradicting traditional depictions and appearing as a cute goth female, was the breakout character of the comic, starring in two miniseries: 1993’s Death: The High Cost of Living and 1996’s Death: The Time of Your Life.

Appearances from Gaiman-created Sandman characters in the DC Universe have been rare since the conclusion of the series, other than Dream appearing in JLA #22 and #23 in 1998. Like that story, Cornell received expressed permission from Gaiman to use the character.

"I'm very pleased that, after I ran the idea by him, Neil Gaiman approved me using Death in this issue,” Cornell said in DC’s release. “He's been very supportive. It's so interesting to see her back in the DC Universe. Though Vertigo readers can rest assured that the character, and the way she's used, will be true to the spirit of what has gone before."

DC Comics has also placed The Sandman as an important part of their digital distribution initiatives, offering issues of the title through their recently released iPad and iPhone apps, as well as on sale from the PlayStation Network.


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