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The Sandman Universe Special: Thessaly #1

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 7 critic ratings.

The immortal witch Thessaly is no stranger to dead ends. But she’s won the hearts of gods and beings more powerful than gods, and persistence has always been her strong suit. Following her scheming machinations in Nightmare Country and Dead Boy Detectives, Thessaly is more determined than ever to suss out the seemingly impenetrable mystery surrounding the death of Madison Flynn. To do that, she’s going to have to get close to the source material—close enough to magic herself into the job of screenwriter on Madison Flynn’s biopic. But she’s going to need a little help to keep the gig…perhaps from one of those Muses the King of Dreams told her about long ago…

The Sandman Universe Special: Thessaly reunites Nightmare Country visionary James Tynion IV with star Faithless artist Maria Llovet to take you on a journey through the festering darkness pulsating beneath Hollywood’s glitz and glamour!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
39 pages
Amazon ASIN

Cover Artist
Variant Cover Artists

7 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    DC Comics News

    The Sandman Universe: Thessaly Special #1 is virtually flawless. James Tyion has crafted a story that scares us by asking what it is that people really want, and the design, art, and lettering of the book are of outstanding quality.

    Seeing Thessaly’s past, getting glimpses of Dream (and his other famous lover), plus a dark and ominous hint at one of his younger siblings’ deeper and continuous meddling in his affairs, all made this aging Sandman fan very happy indeed.

    I cannot wait for The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country: The Glass House #4!

  • 96

    You Don't Read Comics

    On the whole, it’s very sharp and very clever stuff. And powerful forces move around the story in ways that make for some fascinating dynamics. It is a carefully woven story with lots of moving parts that don’t seem all that apparent until things wrap up toward the end of the issue. Honestly, it might be one of Tynion’s best works in the past couple of years.

  • 95


    The Sandman Universe Special: Thessaly is a love letter to prose, screenwriting, and storytelling. It’s also a pretty good story about a witch who has lived for centuries. This is a story about belonging, and yet Thessaly learns from a woman who belongs to no one and she is far worse off. Rich and narratively compelling, don’t pass on this one!

  • 94

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: A great addition to the universe of the Sandman as well as a wonderful dive into the character of Thessaly. James Tynion IV does a fantastic job of not only keeping this story in line with the bigger narrative, but it gives the reader an insight into Thessaly and some of the events that drive her personality. I love that the character has no side in events other than protecting herself and the tease that she is part of something bigger makes me excited to see what’s next for her.

    The Art: Llovet delivers some beautiful art in the issue. The visuals are ethereal and brilliantly capture the tone and mood of the story and its characters.

  • 90

    Geek Dad

    There’s a great sense of ambiguity through this issue, with Tommi never feeling in control so much as just parlaying with something much older and more powerful than any human could comprehend. It leaves us with more questions than answers, as it should be.

  • 90

    Watching this slow-burn, character-focused story, punctuated with disturbing moments of horror, play out as engrossingly as one might expect coming from Tynion, a writer who has now won three consecutive Eisner Awards for writing, and Llovet’s artistic style makes it all feel seductive – like the reader is being put under one of Thessaly’s spells. The Sandman Universe Special: Thessaly #1 is an issue that holds up perfectly well by itself, yet by the end, the full consequences of Thessaly’s transaction with Tommi remain uncertain, and that’s a story readers will likely have a great desire to follow.

  • 73

    Major Spoilers

    While I didn’t expect this to stand up with the original, for which I have a great deal of esteem, Sandman Universe: Thessaly #1 also isn’t what the solicitation copy implied, which made it difficult to get into, but once I did, the attractive art held my attention. I would have preferred that the one-shot actually have been a one-shot, but that’s not the world in which we live.

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