How to Read the Sandman Comic Series? Easy Reading Order Guide

How to Read the Sandman Comic Series? Easy Reading Order Guide

The Sandman comic series is lauded as one of the most acclaimed comic series in the DC universe. Written by Neil Gaiman, this comic series is a blend of the fantasy and superhero genres and is sure to leave you awestruck.

Right from its character arcs, to plot lines, to fantastical visuals, The Sandman comics are a world that will suck you right into them.

I remember reading the series and how I used to wait for the next release so eagerly and used to be one of the first ones to pick it up just when it came out. With the new show coming out, I thought of revisiting this vast series that every comic book fan needs to check out.

So, here’s a simple reading order guide of The Sandman comic series. I’ll cover all the volumes, collects, the extended universe, and its spin-offs. After all, one doesn’t simply ignore Neil Gaiman’s writing.

Let’s jump right in.

The Sandman comics are vast series with numerous volumes, spin-offs, and comics from the extended universe. The release order is the best reading order since all spin-offs branch out in different directions, even if the timeline overlaps.

Release Order | Reading Order

The Sandman comic series can easily be divided into four parts. Each of these parts has various series and volumes under it. Though the timeline might overlap, reading the comics in the same order as the release order is still advisable.

This is because the character arcs are pretty distinct despite timeline overlaps, and they wouldn’t interfere with the sense of continuity you have while reading the comics.

I’ll be covering The Sandman series in detail while giving a brief overview of the other series since the lists for those are pretty long and vast, which I’d love to delve into another day.

So here’s the complete reading order:

I. The Main Sandman Series

How to read The Sandman comic series? Easy Reading Order Guide
Sandman Volumes | Source: Amazon
  1. Sandman Vol. 1 – Preludes and Nocturnes | Collects #1-8
  2. Sandman Vol. 2 – The Doll’s House | Collects #9-16
  3. Sandman Vol. 3 – Dream Country | Collects #17-20
  4. Sandman Vol. 4 – Seasons of Mist | Collects #21-28
  5. Sandman Vol. 5 – A Game of You | Collects #32-37
  6. Death – The Time of Your Life
    1. Death’s Miniseries
    2. Death: The High Cost of Living
    3. Death: The Time of Your Life
  7. Sandman Vol. 6 – Fables and Reflections | Collects #29-31, #38-40, #50, Sandman Special #1, and Vertigo Preview #1
  8. Sandman Vol. 7 – Brief Lives | Collects #41-49
  9. Sandman Vol. 8 – World’s End | Collects #51-56
  10. Sandman Vol. 9 – The Kindly Ones | Collects #57-69, Vertigo Jam #1
  11. Sandman Vol. 10 – The Wake | Collects #70-75
  12. Endless Nights | A Short Story Collection
  13. The Dream Hunters | Collects #1-4
  14. Overture | Collects #1-6

This is the main The Sandman comic series. In this, The Dream Hunters and Death: The High Cost of Living are optional reads. The other two series under Death can be read once you’re done with the series as well.

Now, moving on to the extended universe and spin-offs.

II. The Sandman Other Collections

  1. Sandman Box Set
  2. The Sandman Omnibus Volume 1
  3. The Sandman Omnibus Volume 2
  4. The Sandman Omnibus Volume 3

III. After The Sandman

How to read The Sandman comic series? Easy Reading Order Guide
Sandman: The Dreaming | Source: DC
  1. The Dreaming
    1. The Dreaming: Beyond the Shores of the Night
    2. The Dreaming: Through the Gates of Horn and Ivory

IV. The Sandman Presents

  1. Love Street
  2. Merv Pumpkinhead, Agent D.R.E.A.M
  3. Petrefax
  4. The Corinthian: Death In Venice
  5. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dreams But Were Afraid to Ask
  6. The Furies
  7. Thessaliad
  8. Thessaly: Witch of Hire
  9. Bast: Eternity Game

Besides these, there are other independent stories, the Dead Boy Detectives series and The New Sandman Universe.

The New Sandman Universe was written under the supervision of Neil Gaiman as part of the series’ 30th Anniversary celebration. This series is like the new beginning, but you must read the older one before starting this one.

V. The New Sandman Universe

How to read The Sandman comic series? Easy Reading Order Guide
Books of Magic | Source: Amazon
  1. The Dreaming
    1. The Dreaming: Pathways And Emanations
    2. The Dreaming: Empty Shells
    3. The Dreaming: One Magical Movement
    4. The Dreaming: Waking Hours
  2. House Of Whimpers
    1. House Of Whimpers: The Power Divided
    2. House Of Whimpers: Ananse
    3. House Of Whimpers: Watching the Watchers
  3. Lucifer
    1. Lucifer: The Infernal Comedy
    2. Lucifer: The Divine Tragedy
    3. Lucifer: The Wild Hunt
    4. Lucifer: The Devil at Heart
  4. Books Of Magic
    1. Books Of Magic: Moveable Type
    2. Books Of Magic: Second Quatro
    3. Books Of Magic: Dwelling in Possibility
  5. John Constantine, Hellblazer
    1. John Constantine, Hellblazer: Marks of Woe
    2. John Constantine, Hellblazer Volume 2: The Best Version of You
    3. Hellblazer: Rise and Fall

This essentially covers the complete universe of The Sandman and its extended universe.

Length of The Sandman Series

While the old Sandman comic series is 75 issues long, the new Sandman Universe has about 95 issues. The reading time, of course differs from person to person, so that would depend on you.

The Sandman | Official Audible Trailer

However, my suggestion would be that you read it one volume at a time. This way, you’ll get to absorb the storyline entirely along with the essence and core messaging of the series. By reading like this, you wouldn’t feel too overwhelmed and will enjoy the series to its fullest.

Where to Read The Sandman Series

You can find pretty much all the volumes and collects of The Sandman Series and The New Sandman Universe on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. The complete set will cost you around $145 if you want to buy them and $69 if you’re going to rent them.

Conclusion

How to read The Sandman comic series? Easy Reading Order Guide
The Sandman | Source: Fandom

The best way to experience The Sandman series while also being in sync with the latest developments with the story is to first read The Main Sandman comics and then read The New Sandman Universe. Post this. You can read other spin-offs from the extended universe and enjoy them to the fullest.

Watch The Sandman on:

About The Sandman

The Sandman is an American fantasy drama TV series based on the 1989–1996 comic book written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics. The series was developed for Netflix and is being produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.

The first season adapted the first two comics in the series, Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll’s House. In 1916, Dream, the king of Dreams and Nightmares and one of the seven Endless, is captured and imprisoned after an occult ritual. After being held captive for 106 years, he escapes and sets out to restore order to his kingdom of The Dreaming.

The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge as Dream, with Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, and Sanjeev Bhaskar in supporting roles.