The first season of Netflix’s The Sandman adapted the first 16 issues of the comic book and brought two major storylines to life on screen. But that’s only a fraction of the 75 issues published during the comic’s original run, not to mention the various comic series and spin-offs that followed. In other words, there are a lot of Sandman stories still out there to tell. As the creative team begins work on season two we can only speculate about where it might go from here. They were kind enough to leave us some clues, though.
Here are some of the seeds planted in season one that could eventually blossom into full-blown story arcs next season and beyond. Even the show’s eventual endgame is in sight, if they continue to follow the source material faithfully. Let’s hope that ending is still a long way off, though.
Be aware that there are spoilers below for the first season of the Netflix series. Beyond that we’ll keep it somewhat vague, for the fun of speculation.
The final scene of The Sandman’s first season makes it pretty clear we haven’t seen the last of Gwendoline Christie’s Lucifer. The Lightbringer really, really wants revenge after that very public defeat in The Oldest Game in episode four. Fans of the comics have a pretty good idea how that plays out (hint: it’s the premise of a spin-off comic and a popular TV series adaptation). The culmination of the multiple-issue story arc from the comics subtitled “A Doll’s House” (which, in the series, begins with the episode titled “A Doll’s House”) leads nicely into the next major story arc, subtitled “Season Of Mists,” so that approach makes sense for season two. We won’t spoil it for you (a simple search will explain all, if you really want to know) but if the series continues to do justice to the source material, it should be one hell of a season.
In episode three, “Dream A Little Dream Of Me,” we meet Johanna Constantine, played by Jenna Coleman. As fans of the comic know, she’s a stand-in for John Constantine, who starred in his own Vertigo comic called Hellblazer, and has already made several appearances in live-action DC projects (including a divisive adaptation starring Keanu Reeves). With John in high demand, the Sandman writers had to find another take on the character that didn’t involve complex licensing issues. Fortunately, there was an easy alternative right there in the source material.
John’s ancestor Lady Johanna Constantine makes a few appearances in the comics, so they just brought her into the present day for the show. Kind of. Just as she does in the live-action version, Johanna makes trouble for Dream and Hob Gadling in the comics during one of their once-a-century meetups. The next time Dream sees Hob he tells him that he crossed paths again with Johanna and she “undertook a task” for him. So the door is open if they want to expand on that and show us that flashback of that particular adventure, which takes place during the French Revolution. It involves a character who becomes quite important later on in the series, so it’s hard to see a way around it.
We’ve already met Dream, Death, Desire, and Despair. Two more family members are mentioned in passing in the show: Destiny and Delirium. That’s six. But there are actually seven siblings that make up the dysfunctional family that is the Endless. You can see the empty spaces in the galleries of Dream and Desire where their sigil should be. So who abandoned their post? Like the series, the comic also dropped hints to the identity of this missing sibling early on, causing fans to keep relentlessly guessing just about every “D” word they could think of as a name/function. The mystery was eventually solved in the comics, and there’s a pretty good story there if the show’s creative team ever wants to tell it.
In episode five we met Judy, a diner patron having relationship troubles with her girlfriend, Donna. We don’t actually see Donna in the episode (Rose Walker acts as a go-between), but she does pop up in the comics in a later storyline called “A Game Of You.” In that arc we meet a new set of characters, most of whom live in the same New York City apartment building. Donna is one of these characters, although she takes on the stage name Foxglove as the leader of a rock band. Coincidentally (or not, considering the source), one of the other residents of the building is Barbie, who we first met in “A Doll’s House.” She’s left Ken behind and moved to New York to find a new life. Speaking of Barbie …
There are more direct references to “A Game Of You” when we see glimpses of Barbie’s dreams during the “Doll’s House” episodes. Barbie is one of the main characters of this storyline, which involves an entity called “The Cuckoo” invading her dreams of a place known as “The Land” (think The Labyrinth meets A Nightmare On Elm Street). Her furry companion Martin Tenbones is one of its residents. There are other references in the TV series too, like the “porpentine” gemstone. Most of them go by quickly and sound like nonsense without context, but they’re worth paying attention to if the plot heads down the same path as the comic. Which it really should, because the story has plenty of potential (and a few opportunities for improvement in its treatment of a fan-favorite trans character).
As a part of the DC universe, The Sandman comic would sometimes feature superhero cameos, especially early in its run. For the Netflix series, though, the creative team had to write around those crossovers, cutting them or altering them just enough to avoid any murky legal issues. John/Johanna Constantine is one such case. Lyta Hall and her husband, Hector, are another.
In the original DC continuity, Lyta was the daughter of none other than Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, who would go on to become a hero in her own right known as Fury (again, no coincidences here). She fought crime alongside her husband Hector, who called himself Silver Scarab. Since the new series takes place in a world without superheroes, they had to be downgraded to mere humans. Still, their story follows a similar track. In both versions Hector is dead but she finds a way to connect with him in The Dreaming. It’s there that she becomes pregnant, and later delivers a baby in the waking world. In both versions she gets a rude awakening from Dream, who warns her that he will someday claim the child. Let’s just say she’s not a fan.
Eventually, Lyta aligns with The Furies (those witchy ladies we met in episode two), who turn on Morpheus for Reasons, and together they play a major part in the endgame of the comic. If the series lasts long enough to get to this point, this epic showdown will make for one spectacular swan song.