The Sandman (Dream)

The Religious Affiliation of
The Sandman

Religion: cosmic entity CBR Scale: D

Name: The Sandman

Alter Ego: Dream

Other Names: Morpheus; Oneiros; King of Dreams; Lord L'Zoril; Dream of the Endless

Classification: deity deity   lead character lead character  

Publisher(s): DC Vertigo

First Appearance: The Sandman (vol. 2) #1 (Jan. 1989): "Sleep of the Just"

First Appearance (Additional Details): (mentioned) Action Comics (vol. 1) #31 (Dec. 1940): "In the Grip of Morpheus"; (actual appearance) The Sandman (vol. 2) #1 (Jan. 1989): "Sleep of the Just"

Creators: Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg

Super? (Has Super Powers/Special Abilities/Technology): Yes

Number of Appearances: 143

Teams/Affiliations: Endless

Gender: male

Note: lord of dreams and stories

The character we now know as "The Sandman", whose "real name" is sometimes given as "Dream" or "Morpheus", was famously introduced as a DC Comics character in The Sandman #1 (Jan. 1989) by Neil Gaiman.

Gaiman's imagining of this character is certainly original and important. But the character itself was not original with him. Morpheus is, of course, the principal god of dreams in Greek mythology. Morpheus the "Sandman" has a long history as a concept or character, showing up in mythology, religion, literature, poetry, as a figure of speech, etc.

Morpheus the Sandman was mentioned in DC Comics as far back as Action Comics #31 (Dec. 1940). In the Superman story in this issue, the narrative caption text in the introductory splash half-page reads: "The sombre hand of Morpheus grips a small town, leaving all its inhabitants helpless -- until Superman frees the city of its strange spell and shatters the evil clique who caused it!"

This story's reference to the "hand of Morpheus" is not really a reference to the Sandman character as conceived by Gaiman. The "hand of Morpheus" is used here as a flowery euphemism for a "profound, deep sleep."

Morpheus is even referenced in the title of this story. Although originally published without a title, this story has been retroactively titled in reprint collections as "In the Grip of Morpheus" and "The Hand of Morpheus."

This is the earliest reference to Morpheus in any published Superman story. As far s we know, this is Morpheus's DC Comics "introduction," in a story published 48 years before Gaiman's important series. It is possible that Morpheus is referred to even earlier in some obscure comic book story published by DC Comics, but as yet we are unaware of any such story.

The Martian name for Dream/Morpheus is "Lord L'Zoril."

The Sandman (Dream) The Sandman (Dream)

This character is in the following 21 stories which have been indexed by this website:
Action Comics (vol. 1) #31 (Dec. 1940): "In the Grip of Morpheus" (mentioned)
JSA #1 (Aug. 1999): "Justice Be Done" (mentioned)
Justice League: Cry for Justice #4 (Dec. 2009): "The Fix" (mentioned)
Rise of the Guardians (2012)
The Sandman
Sandman Midnight Theatre (Sep. 1995) (lead character)
The Secret Defenders #15 (May 1994): "Strange Changes, Part 1: Strangers and Other Lovers" (mentioned)

Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: