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Sunday, October 22, 2017 

"Scary"? It was more like disgusting and cheap

Entertainment Weekly fawned over Neil Gaiman's decidedly overrated Sandman series from 1989-96:
The Sandman begins with our hero Morpheus losing all of his tools, including his magical ruby, which by issue #6 has fallen into the hands of the insane Doctor Destiny. Destiny eventually puts it to use controlling the minds of everyone in a 24-hour diner, making them worship him, then confess their darkest secrets (necrophilia is one particularly salient example), then ultimately brutally torture and kill one another — usually with their teeth — over the course of 24 hours. One of the more brutal injuries comes when a woman named Donna stabs her own eyes out with skewers, a deliberate evocation of the classic horror comics that were published by EC Comics during the ’50s and shut down by Dr. Frederic Wertham’s infamous anti-comic crusade (Wertham was particularly repulsed by what he called the “injury-to-the-eye motif” that often appeared in such comics).
Curious they don't mention that, at the very least, the scene with the eye skewering wasn't shown directly, though it was still, from a viewpoint involving personal taste, revolting and uncalled for, to say nothing short of sensationalistic. And all apparently for supposedly thumbing noses at Wertham's unfair and poorly developed criticisms, without consideration that such violence is still quite degrading. Just because this is a horror tale, does that mean I have to like it? Of course not, and honestly, I just didn't.

Actually, what's even odder still is why Gaiman would presumably want to vent disapproval for Wertham at all, seeing how he attacked the Sad Puppies campaign after all the hard work they did to get his writings nominated, and wouldn't make distinctions between the Gamergate campaign and SJWs. If he dislikes the specific crowds that agree with free speech defenses, it puts his own support for the same under a question mark. Apparently, he just can't let go of his leftism.

And, for the record, let me reiterate that if there's one other problem I have with Gaiman's Sandman series, it's his decided misuse of Lyta Hall, aka Fury, and, come to think of it, Hector Hall, aka the Silver Scarab. Morpheus acts pretty cynical to the lady, and it all later leads to her plotting his slaughter after her son Daniel vanishes for a short while before being discovered again and becomes the new king of the Dreaming. I don't think that whole plotline helped Lyta as a character in the long run, and Geoff Johns certainly didn't make improvements after he sent them right back into the Dreaming - quite possibly DOA - shortly after Lyta was woken up from the slumber spell Mordru put her in at the beginning of JSA. If Johns and company had no interest in character drama for the couple, then they shouldn't have bothered casting them in JSA to begin with.

If anything, I don't think it's a good idea to sensationalize the horror genre as the magazine's basically doing here, and what Gaiman brewed up in the pages of Sandman was degrading, IMHO.

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Surprised you aren't saying anything about DC's Dark Nights: Metal.

Also, first negative comment on Sandman that I've seen.

Don't forget about poor Elemental Women.

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