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Essential Vertigo: Sandman Vol 1 3

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"Dream a Little Dream of Me": This story is reprinted from Sandman (Volume 2) #3.

Quote1 Look, the Sandman's a fairy story you tell kids to get them off to sleep. Sprinkles magic dust in your eyes and brings you... sweet dreams. I'm trying to save the world, Mad Hettie, and you want to tell me fairy stories! Quote2
-- John Constantine

Appearing in "Dream a Little Dream of Me"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Unnamed burglar (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Leigh (Single appearance)
  • Mad Hettie
  • Rachel (Single appearance) (Only appearance; dies)
  • Rachel's father (Single appearance)




Synopsis for "Dream a Little Dream of Me"

This story is reprinted from Sandman (Volume 2) #3.

A woman named Rachel lies in bed at her house. Her withered, bony hand reaches out from the blankets to the nightstand where it grasps at a partially opened bag of sand. This is Dream's Sand Pouch – a mystical item that was stolen from him decades ago.

In London, hedge mage John Constantine wakes up after suffering a terrible nightmare. He should be used to them by now, having suffered such visions ever since the 1978 debacle at Newcastle. He goes down to Ed's Easy Diner for breakfast. The song on the jukebox is about dreams. When he leaves, he encounters a street woman named Mad Hettie. Hettie warns him that the Sandman has returned. John scoffs and tells her that the Sandman is just a fairy tale. Hettie warns him to heed her words for she is two-hundred and seventy-three years old.

When John returns home he discovers that the Sandman really does exist. Dream stands in his doorway and inquires about his missing bag of sand. John vaguely recalls finding the item at a garage sale many years ago, but doesn't know where it could be now. He tells Dream that they should check an old storage facility that he once leased. They stop at the place, and John finds a photograph of an ex-girlfriend – Rachel. He now recalls that Rachel stole a bunch of his stuff and sold it for drugs. She is the last one that would have known where the pouch is.

John calls his friend Chas Chandler, and Chas drives John and Dream over to Rachel's father's house in the Brambles. When the enter the house they find that her father has been transformed into a living nightmare – barely alive. Dream knows that this his pouch is definitely here. John enters Rachel's room. She is sitting up in bed and looks terrible. Years of substance abuse have wasted her and she is slowly dying. Dream notices that she has the sand pouch and cites that it is the only thing that has kept her alive until now. John asks him to put her out of her misery. Dream places Rachel into a happy dream where she is young and healthy again, living with John - the love of her life. Dream collects his pouch as Rachel dies peacefully.

The pair begin to part company, but John stops Dream to ask for a favor. He describes the nightmares that he has been having, and Dream tells him that his nightmares will now cease.


  • John Constantine is a minor occultist who has considerable influence in the world of the supernatural. Although John is quite knowledgeable of the occult, he has very little true power. By his own account, he gets by more on reputation than actual skill. Constantine is the main character in the comic book series Hellblazer. His friend Chas Chandler is a regular supporting cast member in that title. Constantine appeared last in cameo in issue #2. His last actual appearance was in the first six pages of Hellblazer #19. He appears next in pages 18-24 of that same title.
  • John makes a reference to an incident that took place in Newcastle. Newcastle was the scene of a botched exorcism that Constantine took part in in 1978. The trial proved so harrowing that Constantine was committed at the Ravenscar Secure Hospital for two years. Ironically, John's physician at the hospital was Doctor Roger Huntoon who made an appearance last issue.
See also: Newcastle Crew
  • John compares Dream to "the big green bloke" stating that "he doesn't have a sense of humor either". The individual John is referring to is Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing. Constantine made his first appearance in issue #37 of Swamp Thing's own title and has made sporadic appearances throughout the series run.
  • At one point, John tells Chas "I ain't no mark for the Venus of the Hardsell". "Venus of the Hardsell" is the name of a punk rock song written by John and his late friend Gary Lester and performed by their old band Mucous Membrane. This song is the band's only hit.


  • This is the first issue of the series where Dream is referred to as the Sandman. He is also referred to as Oneiros. Oneiros is another word for Oneiroi. In Greek mythology, the Oneiroi are the sons of Hypnos - the God of Slumber. The most powerful of the Oneiroi was Morpheus, another name for Dream.
  • One of the items that John mentions that Rachel stole from him was his collection of Silver Surfer comic books. The Silver Surfer of course is a well-known Marvel Comics super-hero. He did team up with Kyle Rayner on one occasion however in a Marvel/DC crossover. [1]
  • One of the items in John's storage locker is a book labeled "Crisis". This might be a reference to the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, though in the chronology of the DC Universe, the Crisis was never documented.
  • This issue is peppered with lyrics from various pop songs relating to dreams. Songs include: [2]
  • "Dream a Little Dream of Me" by the Mamas and the Papas
  • "Mister Sandman" by the Chordettes
  • "Sweet Dreams" by Patsy Kline
  • "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics
  • "Dream Lover" by Bobby Darin
  • "Power of Love" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison
  • "The Dreaming" by Kate Bush

See Also

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