We’re kicking off our 25 Days of Sandman with The Endless.
They’ll be appearing in Neil Gaiman’s highly anticipated new bi-monthly series THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE, so let’s get to know them!
The Endless are immortal depictions of seven abstract emotions and ideas, each has his/her own realm and responsibilities. They behave as siblings and wear a variety of appearances within the pages of THE SANDMAN.
Visually distinctive and all named with the letter "d," together they are some of the most powerful beings in the universe and are a dramatically rich portrait not just of the ideas they embody, but of the way love and hate come together in family relationships.
Dream – The Lord of Dreams and stories, Dream (also known as Morpheus or The Sandman) is formal of speech, Goth in appearance and doomed in romance. He is the series protagonist whose symbols of power are a helm, a bag of sand, and a ruby. When we first meet Dream in THE SANDMAN issue #1, he is imprisoned; his escape spurs him to abandon his past of cruelty and aloofness. Change is the most difficult thing for Dream to accept.
Destiny – The eldest of the Endless, he is chained to a large tome known as the Cosmic Log, which contains the sum of all existence in its pages. He is much like his book, possessed of unshakable certainty and equanimity but lacking any ability to change or be spontaneous.
Death – Despite her cheerful demeanor, she acts as the Grim Reaper, and is a fan favorite. A winsome and engaging (yet tough as nails) young woman, prone to a Goth appearance and Egyptian adornment (Ankh), and eye makeup (the Eye of Hours), Death is the second oldest of the Endless and the only one allowed to travel freely through the others’ realms without first asking permission.
Destruction – The prodigal brother who, in the series, has been at odds with the other Endless after he abandoned his post three hundred years ago. Destruction is the middle sibling of the seven Endless, and appears as a brawny, red-headed man in military garb. Of all the Endless (except perhaps Death), he is the one most capable of accepting change.
Desire – Although Desire is the twin of Despair, he/she is tall, graceful and androgynous. He/she possesses a sort of rivalry with Dream and, along with Death, Desire is the only one of the Endless who consistently speaks the truth to Dream. Whimsically cruel, Desire often acts contrary to the best interests of her individual siblings and the Endless in general.
Despair – Depicted as an overweight, ashen woman with reserved intelligence and a penchant for self-mutilation. She is Desire’s twin and occasional co-conspirator, although Despair tends not to be as involved in family feuding. She is as blunt and taciturn as her twin is witty and talkative.
Delirium – Formerly Delight, she is the youngest Endless with a varying temperament and ever-changing, almost chaotic appearance. Delirium’s conversations tend to be a sequence of non sequiturs that nonetheless manage to get her point across. Her siblings tend to be protective of her as well as more openly loving toward her than to each other.
Check out the images of each of The Endless in the gallery above. For more on THE SANDMAN pick up the Vertigo Encyclopedia by Alex Irvine.