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The main character of The Sandman is Dream, also known as Morpheus and other names, who is one of the seven Endless. The other Endless are Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, who was once Delight, and Destruction, who turned his back on his duties. The series is famous for Gaiman’s trademark use of anthropomorphic personification of various metaphysical entities, while also blending mythology and history in its horror setting within the DC Universe. The Sandman is a story about stories and how Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, is captured and subsequently learns that sometimes change is inevitable. The Sandman was Vertigo’s flagship title, and is available as a series of ten trade paperbacks, a recolored five-volume Absolute hardcover edition with slipcase, in a black-and-white Annotated edition, and is available for digital download. Critically acclaimed,The Sandman was one of the first few graphic novels ever to be on the New York Times Best Seller list, along with Maus, Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. It was one of five graphic novels to make Entertainment Weekly‘s “100 best reads from 1983 to 2008,” ranking at No. 46. Norman Mailer described the series as “a comic strip for intellectuals.” The series is noted for having a large influence over the fantasy genre and graphic novel medium since then.
Ghost Rider is the name of several fictional supernatural antiheroes published by Marvel Comics. Marvel had previously used the name for a Western character whose name was later changed to Phantom Rider.
The first supernatural Ghost Rider is stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who, in order to save the life of his father, agreed to give his soul to “Satan” (later revealed to be an arch-demon named Mephisto). At night and when around evil, Blaze finds his flesh consumed by hellfire, causing his head to become a flaming skull. He rides a fiery motorcycle and wields trademark blasts of hellfire from his skeletal hands. He eventually learns he has been bonded with the demon Zarathos. Blaze starred in the series from 1972–1983.
Evil Ernie, an undead psychotic killer, is a fictional comic-book character created by writer Brian Pulido and artist Steven Hughes in 1991 and originally published by Eternity Comics. Evil Ernie is currently published by Chaos! Comics and Devil’s Due Publishing.
In this series, Evil has cleared the Eastern Seaboard of human life and now is turning his attention inland. Meanwhile Dr Price and Dr Young are now charged with putting a stop to the undead maniac. They explore the very beginnings of Ernie’s undead rampage and come up with a plan to take him down and sever him from the power that keeps him going once and for all. Smiley button’s personality starts to come to the front as he advises Ernie on tactics and the special relationship between them is explored. Meanwhile in Hell Lady Death is tormented by visions and is unable to control her own kingdom as a winged tormentor haunted her every move.
Each issue of Ghosts carried multiple stories of the supernatural. The stories were prefaced by a short description introducing the premise and ended with a summation of how a mysterious justice was dealt to the evildoers of the tale. The first issue of this series carried the singular title Ghost in its indicia, but everywhere else, including advance promotional house ads and even on its own cover, it was the plural Ghosts, as even the indicia would read from #2 on. Limited Collectors’ Edition #C–32 (Dec. 1974–Jan. 1975) reprinted stories from Ghosts #1, 3–6 and featured new material by Leo Dorfman and artists Gerry Talaoc, E. R. Cruz, and Frank Redondo.
Encouraged by the success of Ghost Rider and The Tomb of Dracula, both of which starred occult characters, Stan Lee proposed a series starring Satan, to be titled The Mark of Satan. Editor Roy Thomas had reservations about this idea and suggested a series focusing on the son of Satan instead. (Due to an oversight, “The Mark of Satan” is mentioned in a blurb in Ghost Rider #1).
The character Daimon Hellstrom first appeared in Ghost Rider vol. 1, #1 (Sept. 1973), then was spun off into a feature, “Son of Satan”, in Marvel Spotlight #12–24 (Oct. 1973 – Oct. 1975). During the “Son of Satan” run, Marvel Spotlight was a controversial series, with numerous readers writing to object to the depictions of satanism and wiccanism as being either inaccurate or furthering the cause of evil. Nonetheless, sales were strong, prompting Marvel to launch the character into his own series, Son of Satan, written by John Warner. The character’s success faded soon after the series launch, and Son of Satan was cancelled with issue #7, though an unused fill-in was published as Son of Satan #8 (Feb. 1977).
After a painful personal tragedy, Cassie Hack — the killer of supernatural serial killers — is doing her best to live a normal life. But an attack by the demonic Deadites forces the butt-kickin’ heroine back into action… and this time, she’s not alone! Meet Cassie’s new partner: Ashley J. Williams! Can this volatile pair keep from killing each other long enough to find the mystical Book of the Dead’s stolen pages? Will Ash get some sugar? Or will Cassie make him kiss her bat?
Lucifer was the main character in an eponymous series that ran for 75 issues and the Lucifer: Nirvana one-shot, from June 2000 to August 2006, the entire run of which was written by Mike Carey (this series was preceded by Carey’s work in 1999, The Sandman Presents: Lucifer mini-series). To Carey, the essence of the character was:
We play safe. Most of us do, most of the time… but Lucifer doesn’t know the meaning of safe, and he never bothers to look down at the tramlines. He goes wherever the hell he likes, picks his fights where he finds them and generally wins… following [his] own will and [his] own instincts to the very end of the line, no matter what the obstacles are star.
In the series, Lucifer runs a piano bar (an element introduced in the Sandman story “The Kindly Ones”) called “Lux” in Los Angeles, with the assistance of his mistress, Mazikeen who is a Lilim, one of the race descended from Lilith. Lucifer is portrayed as a sophisticated and charming man, in accordance with the stereotypical gentleman-devil.
Running concurrently with the longer-running Marvel comic Tomb of Dracula, the continuities of the two titles occasionally overlapped, with storylines weaving between the two. Most of the time, however, the stories in Dracula Lives! were stand-alone tales by various creative teams. Later issues of Dracula Lives! featured a serialized adaptation of the original Bram Stoker novel, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Dick Giordano.
The magazine format did not fall under the purview of the Comics Code, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than Marvel’s “mainstream” titles. The larger format allowed the interior artists to “stretch out” a bit more. Painted covers of the series were done by artists like Boris Vallejo, Neal Adams, and Luis Dominguez. Dracula Lives!‘ text and photo articles were mostly of the Count’s various film appearances. The title of the magazine’s letter column was “Dracula Reads!”
Toxin or the Toxin symbiote is the third major symbiote of the Spider-Man series, the ninth known to have appeared in the comics outside of the Planet of the Symbiotes storyline, and the first symbiote that Spider-Man considers an ally, despite temporary alliances with Venom on numerous occasions. The first host of the Toxin symbiote is former NYPD police officer Patrick Mulligan. Toxin later bonded to Eddie Brock as his second host after Patrick Mulligan was killed.
Two-Gun Mojo is a five-issue Jonah Hex storyline published by the Vertigo Comics imprint. Following the conclusion to Hex, a series that placed him into a post-apocalyptic future, this was the first Jonah Hex project in five years and returned him to his Western roots. Because of its Vertigo publication, an imprint usually associated with dark fantasy, the series deals with the Western-Horror genre and uses zombies as the antagonists. This creative team would go on to write the next Hex series, Riders of the Worm and Such.