Nightmare Country (The Sandman Universe)

Dated Aug 6, 2023; last modified on Sun, 06 Aug 2023

The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country. James Tynion IV; Lisandro Estherren; Yanick Paquette; Andrea Sorrentino. . . . 2022.

Tynion IV won Eisner’s “Best Writer” award for 2023.


MR. ECSTASY. Dreams are a trap. They comfort and they coddle. They comfort and they coddle. They give false hope, and false understanding. They are little fictions that satisfy a man’s hunger for meaning, without providing anything he can hold in his hands. What matters is chasing the real. It’s what you can touch. What you can feel. Allow me to demonstrate.

ROBBIE. It’s hideous. but it’s meant to be hideous. It’s aggressive. It clashes with everything. It demands people take notice of it. So I can see why you like it.

MORONI. They’re coming, heavenly father. They’re all coming. I can feel it.

In Latter Day Saints theology, Angel Moroni was the guardian of the golden plates, which were the source material for the Book of Mormon.

Why is he self-pious about his machinations? Does he think he is doing God’s will?

WILLIAM. I don’t mean money. I mean real power. I mean the people and the things that walk the earth who can break all the rules that we can’t.

MR. AGONY. Can we destroy a dream?
MR. ECSTASY. Can you destroy an idea?
MR. AGONY. Not quickly.

DREAM. And you, you that call yourselves collectors. Until now, you have all sustained fantasies in which you are the maltreated heroes of your own stories. Comforting daydreams in which, ultimately, you are shown to be in the right. No more. For all of you, the dream is over. I have taken it away. For this is my judgment on you: That you shall know, at all times, and forever, exactly what you are. And you shall know just how little that means. Now leave.

DREAM. This poor child now dreams of her new fate, now that she is bound to Hell. I am sorry to say her imagination pales in the face of what damnation has in store for her. Though what is left of her life won’t be much kinder, I fear.

MORONI. We will give the people a dream of the country that must be. A dream of tomorrow.

Images flash through Jamie’s eyes faster than he can process their meaning. It’s as though he can feel a thousand powerful eyes turning onto him, suddenly noticing this small man tugging at the edge of their stories. Their attention bares down on the writer. For a brief moment, he thinks he understands how it all connects together. And then a burning pain bursts from inside his chest. And consumes him.

Character Intros

And in that place lives a man that is not a man. Well… he doesn’t quite live either. Not in the way that you or I do. Perhaps it is better to say that in that place walks a man that is not a man. (Mind you, he does not have to walk, but he often does.) He is called the Corinthian. He is a Nightmare.

But hadn’t he risked that much already? What other options lay before him?
THE CORINTHIAN. Lord Shaper. A word, if you will.
MR. ECSTASY. What did you say?
MR. AGONY. You heard what he said, Mr. Ecstasy. You simply do not wish it to be so.

World Building

Sometimes there are shapes that rise up out of the water. Personal horrors, half-imagined and half-formed, that skitter up onto the beach before a gust of wind tears through them and they fall apart. On rare occasions, a nightmare survives the thrashing of the wind and steps forward, taking more solid form. These nightmares look to the Corinthian as if he might tell them how they could continue to live, separate from the dreamers who imagined them. The Corinthian tells them nothing. But occasionally he sketches then in his notebook, if he finds their shape particularly interesting. He knows he is not like them. The nightmares crafted at the hands of the Dream King are not given the transient half-lives a single dreamer can bestow. They are given something more. They live in the collective unconscious of an entire people, where they take deeper meaning onto themselves. They have been crafted to show us the worst of what we are, so that we can understand ourselves better.

The kid was new to Hollywood, but Jamie could tell he would fit right in. He could feel the hunger radiating off of him. And the other predators could see it, too. They recognized him as one of their own. Jamie caught them looking from their tables. Guessing who the young attractive man with the colorful hair might be, and what he might be able to do for them. No one in this city had ever looked at Jamie like that, until Lamia. She wanted something from him. He hated how good it felt. He hoped she wasn’t just another carnivore like the rest. But even if she was, he was in her thrall.


  1. Nightmare Country #01. James Tynion IV; Lisandro Estherren; Yanick Paquette; Patricio Delpeche; Simon Bowland. 2022.
  2. Nightmare Country #03. James Tynion IV; Lisandro Estherren; Yanick Paquette; Patricio Delpeche; Simon Bowland. 2022.
  3. Nightmare Country #04. James Tynion IV; Lisandro Estherren; Yanick Paquette; Patricio Delpeche; Simon Bowland. 2022.
  4. Nightmare Country #05. James Tynion IV; Lisandro Estherren; Yanick Paquette; Patricio Delpeche; Simon Bowland. 2022.
  5. Nightmare Country #06. James Tynion IV; Simon Bowland; Maria Llovet; Reiko Murakami. 2022.
  6. Angel Moroni. . Accessed Aug 6, 2023.
  7. Eisner Awards Current Info | Comic-Con International: San Diego. . Accessed Aug 6, 2023.