“The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country: The Glass House” #1
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Lisandro Estherren
Color Artist: Patricio Delpeche
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray


Hot on the heels of the excellent collected edition of volume one, the second chapter of James Tynion IV’s take on The Sandman Universe, Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1 is finally here!

New York artist, Madison Flynn, has been murdered by the re-animated corpse of her best friend, Kelly, AKA “Kells”. Now, the reborn Corinthian, along with Madison’s spirit, are both on the trail of the deadly duo behind Kelly’s murder, Mr. Agony and Mr. Ecstasy.

The two rogue nightmares killed Madison, and others, because they could see a new nightmare, The Smiling Man, during waking hours. More troubling still, this nightmare was seemingly not a creation of Dream. To add even more fuel to the fire, it seems that Agony and Ecstasy had been commissioned to commit these murders by Desire, Dream’s younger sibling and frequent adversary.

Madison has been granted new flesh by Death of The Endless, at her brother Dream’s behest. Neither one seem to know of Desire’s involvement at this moment in time.


Nightmare Country‘s back! Thankfully Lisandro Estherren, Patricio Delpeche, and Simon Bowland have returned, alongside James Tynion. This issue cleverly picks up exactly where issues 5  and 6 left off, adding new characters to the tale and, by the end of the book, bringing back yet another huge presence from Neil Gaiman’s original Sandman run. We also meet another old “friend” from the classic “The Doll’s House” saga, again.

There are still people out there who have also seen The Smiling man, and we can only wonder how long it will be before Agony and Ecstasy will be on their trail. Add a whole ton of supernatural intrigue, clubs that no one should want to be a member of, and the return of Kells, and Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1 is one super loaded comic book!

It may be hard to believe, but the art and colors by Lisandro and Patricio have actually improved since volume one. This issue looks amazing, and Madison’s new form made me very happy indeed. The nods to the first arc are wonderful, and the love for the entire Sandman Universe, as created by Neil Gaiman, is palpable.

Simon Bowland also continues to impress with his letters, particularly when they clearly differentiate humans from angels, demons, and Endless.


I do not have a single complaint… apart from the fact that the tension’s killing me!


The fact that DC is releasing this issue on the same day as the hardcover and trade paperback collections of Nightmare Country volume 1 is genius. Anyone who didn’t pick up the first series should march down to the nearest purveyor of fine sequential storytelling, and grab your collected edition of choice (though the hardcover comes with a stunning portrait of Death, by the wonderful Jenny Frison, while the paperback edition doesn’t). You should, of course, purchase Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1 at the same time.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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