Every Change Made In ‘The Sandman’ Series, Explained: How Different Is It From The Comic Books?


Netflix’s recent release “The Sandman” is an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic graphic novel “The Sandman.” Some changes were made in the series, and there are many reasons and speculations for doing so. But, we should avoid gossip and concentrate on the changes, as today we will discuss the differences in events. So, what happened in the comic book that did not occur in the series? Or vice versa. The series consists of the first two volumes of the comic book, i.e., “Preludes and Nocturnes” and “The Doll’s House.” So, is there anything important left out? Well, the beginning of the second volume is entirely overlooked. We are talking about the origin story of Nada and Kai’ckul. What else? As Corinthian would say to Morpheus, “Let’s find out!”

Changes in Roderick Burgess: In the comic book, we can see that Roderick Burgess had some of the most vicious abilities of his own. Everyone who knew him feared him because of his magical spells. But, here in the series, he is more human. He does not possess any such magical abilities. His primary focus on capturing “Death” was also somewhat different than in the comic book. In comics, he wanted to establish himself as a dark sorcerer by capturing Death. But in the series, his intentions of capturing Death are generated from a father’s perspective. This made the character of Magus more vulnerable than in the comic.

A more dark Alex Burgess: The Alex Burgess we see in the series is a more dark character than in the comic books. In the comic book, Alex Burgess listens to his father no matter what. But, in the series, we see a son trying to prove his worth to his father. He even kills the raven (Jessamy) that was trying to help Dream escape. However, he did not want to do any of this, but since he was driven by the urge to become a favorite child; he sort of had to.

Sykes had no involvement with Ethel Cripps: In the comic book, we can see that Sykes and Ethel Cripps grew a liking to each other behind Roderick’s back. They stole the tools of Dream and some massive amounts of cash and fled away. But, in the series, we see that Ethel Cripps did all this work alone. According to the comic book, Sykes bargained with the demon Chronzon and traded the helm in exchange for the “Amulet of Protection.” But in the series, this was dealt with by Ethel Cripps alone to protect her unborn child from the wrath of Roderick Burgess.

Lucienne is a woman and more involved: Lucienne is an older man in the comic book who took care of the realm when Dream was gone. However, he failed in this regard. But in the series, Lucienne is played by Vivienne Acheampong, a more engaging character with powerful authority. Even other dreams and nightmares followed her when the king of dreams was missing. She even took care of other essential aspects of conducting balance in the realm as long as possible. Pumpkin Head even describes her as someone who runs things on behalf of the king.

Gregory’s Death: Gregory was the gargoyle kept dear by Cain and Abel. In the comic, it was Gregory who brought Morpheus to the House of Mysteries right after he escaped from the mortal world. However, Lucienne finds Morpheus struggling in the dream world in the series. In the comic, Cain and Abel took care of Morpheus, and he regained his strength. But, in the series, Morpheus needed to sacrifice Gregory to regain some strength.

Goldie was gifted by Dream to Abel: Abel used to kill Cane for fun, and then on his birth, he gave him a gift. According to the comic book, Cane gave Abel the egg that contained Goldie. But, in the series, it was given by Morpheus to Abel out of kindness and sympathy.

Lucienne appointed Matthew: According to the comic book, Morpheus made the raven and named him Matthew. But here in the series, we are introduced to another raven in the beginning. That raven, Jessamy, was killed by Alex Burgess while she was trying to help Morpheus escape. So, Morpheus did not want to have a raven with him for their safety, but Matthew never left his side as he obeyed Lucienne’s orders.

Dream’s willingness to help Johanna: Since Johanna Constantine replaces John Constantine in the series, some changes were made. But the plot’s most significant change came at the end. We saw in the comic that John Constantine asked for Morpheus’ help to get rid of the nightmares he was having. But in the series, Morpheus helps Johanna willingly to get rid of her nightmares.

Lucifer’s significant changes: Firstly, Lucifer’s gender was unknown in the comic book. Secondly, Lucifer told Morpheus that he (or she) was not the sole ruler of hell. There were three rulers now who controlled the realm. But, in the series, Lucifer is portrayed as a woman and the sole ruler of hell. Also, when Morpheus challenges Chronzon in the comic, there is a fight between them. But, in the series, Chronzon picked Lucifer as his champion to fight against Morpheus.

Rosemary is alive and blessed: According to the comic book, John Dee kills Rosemary. But, in the series, we see that John was impressed with Rosemary’s honesty, and instead of killing her, he gave her the “Amulet of Protection.”

The diner scene: In the comic book, there were precise descriptions of 24 hours and how Ruby affected the people in the diner. But, here, we see the changes in a very different way. Also, Bette, the waitress, used to hide the fact that she was a writer in the comic book. Here we see her pretty open about this. On the other hand, Marsh was made a cook here in the series, whereas he was a truck driver in the comic book.

Dream misses his visit with Hob Gadling: According to the comic book, Dream has never missed an appointment in centuries with his friend Hob Gadling. But, since the timeline is changed in the series, and Morpheus was kept as a hostage for a century (unlike 70 years according to the comic book), he misses his appointment in the 20th Century with his friend. However, he managed to see him on the 21st.

Unity is Rose’s Great Grandmother: In the comic book, Rose Walker visited her grandmother (she learned about the relationship later) with her mother. But, in the series, we see Rose traveling with Lyta Hall, one of her neighbors. Also, Unity Kinkaid is Rose’s great-grandmother in the series, unlike her grandmother in the comic book. This happened due to the timeline changes in the series.

Lyta Hall’s entirely new identity: Lyta Hall’s character is drastically changed by the series makers. In the comic book, we see her as the wife of Hector Hall (who was controlled by Brute and Glob). Here, we see her as a caring neighbor who loves Rose Walker and accompanies her on her journey to find her younger brother.

Hector Hall is in Rose’s dream vortex: We saw Hector Hall creating an illusion about him being “The Sandman” in the comic book. But, here we see him in Rose’s dream vortex, where he loves Lyta very much and wants her to leave reality. He even convinced Lyta to live in the Dream for eternity until Morpheus interfered. The Hector Hall we see in the comic book is actually a dead man living in the fake reality created by Brute and Glob. In the series, he is also a dead man living in a dream, but the rest of the story around him is completely changed.

Brute and Glob are replaced with Gault: Instead of the two nightmares per the comic book, we see one nightmare in the series, named “Gault.” Morpheus destroyed her, but in the end, he created her again. This time, he gave her wings.

Jed Walker being The Sandman: The whole Hector Hall storyline was introduced to Jed Walker’s dreaming. Instead of Hector in the comic book, Gault manipulated Jed in the series to think of him as the Sandman.

Aunt Clarice is good with Jed: Jed Walker was adopted by his father’s friends, who were torturous in the comic book. But, here in the series, at least Aunt Clarice was sympathetic to him. She was a victim of Barnaby’s constant abuse.

Rose was saved from Fun Land by the Corinthian: The Corinthian played one of the most central characters throughout the whole series. We can see him interfering with everything that connects Morpheus. In the comic book, after seeing Corinthian in the Empire Hotel, Fiddler’s Green leaves a note for Rose and asks her to spell out the words if she is in danger. He wrote to Morpheus in the message. When Funland attacked Rose, she pronounced the name, and Morpheus saved her from Fun Land. But, in the series, we see that Corinthian saves her from him.

The Corinthian’s master plan: Corinthian planned to destroy the whole world by making Rose Walker’s Dream come true. Whenever she dreams, a vortex is created, destroying the wall between Dream and reality. In the comic, nothing like this happened. Corinthian was killed by his maker, Morpheus, without doing much damage in the end. In the series, he even tried to make the serial killers a part of the vortex so that there would be a massacre worldwide.

Final Words

A few changes really brought about a depth in the whole narrative, although some of them may disappoint comic book readers. In our personal opinion the creative liberties and amendments seemed rather constructive by all means. With much more to discover, and a season 2 already on the cards, there would be many more changes that are made in “The Sandman” series. We just hope that they enhance the overall project, without losing out on the essence. 

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Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan is an aspiring filmmaker who loves to live in the world of cinema. When he is not writing his own scripts, he likes to study the work of auteurs and learn from them. The greatest films ever made are his constant escape from reality and also keep him motivated.

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