Art by: Guy Davis
Imagine, if you will, it's 1938 in New York - prohibition was lifted 5 years ago, jazz clubs are everywhere, Action Comics #1 just came out - and a man calling himself the Tarantula is kidnapping young girls. Who will save the city with a blend of wit, sleeping gas and...origami? That's right, the Sandman will.
In this first issue of Sandman Mystery Theatre, the key players in the drama are introduced: Wesley Dodds (a rich, aloof spectacle-wearing introvert), Lawrence Belmont (district attorney) and Dian Belmont (well-off socialite daughter of Lawrence). The issue begins with Dian and her friend Catherine having drinks at a club in Harlem; they stay out all night and share a cab home. What Dian doesn't know is that her father had a rather strange visitor that same night - the Sandman.
Dian and Lawrence head to a library fund raiser and meet up with Wesley, who is newly returned to New york after the death of his father. Dian is intrigued with Wesley's non-interest in her. Before they really have a chance to talk, Lawrence tells Dian they need to leave -Catherine has been kidnapped.
Insert scene of impaled girl on fire escape and...
...Wesley heads home, cuts to scenes of a tucked in doll, weird science experiments and then to the police station. Here, Dian waits for her father and any word on her friend Catherine. Some clumsy cop spills coffee on her and she heads to the lady's room where she comes face to face with the Sandman.
To be continued...
I really like this series. Matt Wagner is a great writer; he knows how to build the suspense. That's where the charm of this series comes form. There and Guy Davis's artwork - it's kind of inked sketches. Not polished at all, no huge muscles or big boobs - just realistic people and realistic gore. This is a horror / mystery book dressed as a superhero book; all together a nice blend of the genres.
The first half of this series is really easy to find - it gets a but tougher past issue 36 (that's where my collection ends...for now). More on this series as the days go by. Until tomorrow - happy reading.