• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Why Netflix’s Sandman Show Can’t Tell Comics’ Most Tragic Story Ever

ByRandall B. Phelps

Sep 11, 2022

It looks like there’s a story that fans of the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman might miss thanks to the inclusion of one character in particular.


Spoiler for The sand man and mentions of future suicide.

There are many stories in The sand man which touch on some truly tragic and depressing subject matter, but the show’s most heartbreaking tale might not be able to make it into the netflix adaptation.


The main plot of The sand man largely revolves around Morpheus, Lord of the Dreaming, and the titular Sandman. However, the comic includes a number of distinct scenarios and unique stories that may only slightly involve Dream or one of his Endless siblings. The critically acclaimed story has been faithfully adapted by Netflix, including its unique storytelling decisions. However, despite the dedication to keeping Neil Gaiman Sand seller universe as faithful as possible to the comics, some elements had to be modified. In a notable difference from the original story, the many DC characters and connections once present in The sand man the comics were removed almost entirely in the Netflix adaptation.

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But because Netflix’s Sandman removed the story’s various ties to the DC Universe, the show might not be able to adapt one of the show’s most harrowing tales. In The Sandman #20 by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran, the focus shifts away from Morpheus and focuses on Urania Blackwell, an associate of the Outsider Metamorpho. Former hero Element Girl wants to die, but due to her powers, she is functionally immortal. One day, while Element Girl is pondering how she could kill herself, she is visited by Death, who listens to Blackwell describe her fight. The Endless is unable to help Blackwell, but Death tells Element Girl that the Sun God Ra can take away her powers as easily as he gave them to her. With a prayer to Ra, Blackwell watches the sun as it happily turns to dust.

To be fair, there is have been some DC characters from the Sand seller comics that made it into the show’s first season, but with a few changes. While John Dee was the Justice League villain, Doctor Destiny, in the comics, the show makes no mention of him. Ditto for Hector Hall and his story as the Sandman superhero. So while there’s a chance that some of Element Girl’s storyline will make it into the series, fans should expect some major changes if her story is adapted.

While Netflix’s Sandman show aimed to be as faithful to the original work as possible, the early parts of The sand man has just too many DC character cameos to make a 1:1 adaptation possible. While it’s true that Element Girl’s story could be reworked, fans might miss the special original story. Element Girl was a largely forgotten hero when The Sandman #20 was published and its story was a tragic twist in the fate of superheroes who are meant to have a happy ending once the adventures are told. Sure, netflix might find a way to bring the story to life, but fans of The sand man may want to temper their expectations by seeing the story of Element Girl told faithfully.