Miniseries also signed by Neil Gaiman expands DC Comics’ abstract universe mythology
The future of Netflix’s adaptation of Sandman is starting to spark some thinking as well, mostly in a storyline where the series can be welcomed all over the place and really have a different impact on the market. Naturally, the saga created by Neil Gaiman for the comics is, in itself, quite rich and has several spinoffs that have been produced over the years and which somehow fit into the context. largest of the seventy-five editions of Sandman.
It was not until 1990 that the author released the first volume of a comic book mini-series titled Os Livros da Magia. This new brand was commissioned by DC Comics but distributed by the Vertigo label, which was the publisher’s arm responsible for publishing stories deemed more mature and inappropriate for audiences who normally bought the company’s standard stories.
The basic premise of the story revolves around Timothy Hunter, a teenager who doesn’t have much perspective on the future and doesn’t care much either. The point is, Timothy is about to discover that he has the potential to be the most powerful wizard in generations and that a moral choice on how to handle him is inevitable.
To approach his initiation into the field of occultism, he will have the help of four representatives of this region who will guide him on a journey through space and time showing how the world was and is shaped by magic, as well that how human morality itself. also affects magic. Familiar faces from the mystical DC Universe will also appear, such as John Constantine and the wizard Zatara.
The original idea was to produce a sort of story that would give more visibility to the publisher’s mystical characters. Neil Gaiman, however, was not DC’s first choice to lead the project, but author JM DeMatteis. A household name in the comic book circuit, DeMatteis is the one who signed Kraven’s Last Hunt (arguably one of the best Spider-Man stories) and the entire Moonshadow saga.
The initial concept was that each edition would have a different art done by a different illustrator, with an emphasis on the presence of Dave Mckean (responsible for the Sandman cover and features of Arkham Asylum – A Serious Home in a Serious World). ) among initially planned. The point is that at some point in the early stages of production, DeMatteis had clashes of ideas with DC superiors and ended up walking away from the project.
During the Comic Book Legends Revealed # 271 article given to CBR’s Brian Cronin, the author is asked if he was in fact the original maintainer of the Books of Magic project. “Yes that’s right. I was the original author of The Books of Magic and the plan was to have Jon J. Muth, Kent Williams, Dave Mckean and others do the art. of the plan, the artists decided that, for reasons I can’t remember, I wasn’t involved in the project; so I decided to walk away from it too. I don’t even think I wrote what whatever, we were at an early stage of development.
In search of a replacement, DC went after Neil Gaiman who at the time was enjoying critical success with the Dream Voyage. The author already had a history within the storytelling business mixing magic and surrealism, in the 1980s he had made Black Orchid and until then he was ahead of Sandman; it’s no surprise, then, that he was asked to create a four-edition miniseries about the publisher’s mystical characters.
As inspiration, Gaiman turned mainly to the time of childhood where he loved to hear stories about magic and, another inspiration, the book The White and Eternal King of TH White. The participation of this story in the composition of Books of Magic is quite remarkable because White’s work speaks of the childhood of King Arthur (while he still lived as an ordinary stable boy), in the way which he meets the magician Merlin and the initiation of the young man into the paths of science education. At this moment, the path chosen by the magician to initiate him is through Arthur’s transformations in an animal, so that he can experience nature in a more personal way.
In relation to the story of Timothy Hunter, things are starting to fall into place. The success and acceptance of the work was inevitable, with several specialist means ranking it with maximum marks and extolling the creativity involved in the project. However, with the recognition of the miniseries, there were also controversies; mainly a case of plagiarism.
The Books of Magic lasted from 1990 to 1991. As a result, the figure of Timothy Hunter became well known, mainly for his very common makeup: thin, round glasses, messy black hair, and the potential to be someone. very important in the world of magic. It turns out that in 1997 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released, JK Rowling’s first novel that forever changed the publishing market.
Inevitably, accusations were raised that the writer plagiarized Gaiman’s work to create his own magical universe. At no time did the writer denounce the accusations, on the contrary, he always stressed that the similarities between his creation and that of Rowling were very superfluous and that the biggest point of controversy was the aesthetics of the protagonists. In this regard, he recalls that if their appearance were slightly different, there would be no room for such controversies.
Even after the end of the four editions, the saga continued in the following years to develop in both comics and books; further covering the story of Timothy’s parents and his maturation in the wizarding world. In order to start a quick speculation from this point, one possible real Sandman success could be the kick-off for Netflix to start a franchise with multiple branches, not just focusing on the circle next to the Dreaming Lord. This strategy is even more urgent with the successes achieved by Disney Plus with its Marvel and Star Wars properties.
As Timothy Hunter’s Journey is inserted into the DC Comics universe, just like Dream, a possible connection between the two series going forward would not be something forced and would have connecting elements for it, such as John Constantine. and the brothers. Cain and Abel, who play stakes in both titles. It’s interesting to keep Neil Gaiman around as a mentor on this project which may or may not work, exist or not, but which would certainly be ambitious.
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