For those who grew up reading comics in the 90s, I have no doubt that you have heard of Death or even adores her as a fan. I am of the latter. In fact, the reason I read Sandman is to see what my favorite endless was up to. During the 90s, Death was a really popular character but Neil Gaiman purposely restricted her exposure. I am not sure that is a good or bad thing but it did kept interest in her high and didn’t result in Death becoming an overexposed character like Dealpool or Wolverine now.
Recently, there was some news saying that Joseph Gordon Levitt is producing a Sandman movie, of which Death might be a part of. This no doubt stirred up some collecting interest of mine again. Below are some of the issues that I think collectors will be interested in. Unlike previous articles, not all the issues listed here are keys. Some are mentioned because I liked them as a collector 🙂
Sandman #8: Death first appearance
I think everyone knows this so let’s move on. If this is still not in your possession, what are you waiting for? Don’t regret it when this baby hits more than $50 in NM condition after the movie announcement become official.
Sandman #13: Death second appearance
I bet most don’t know this but Death’s second appearance was not in #9 but in #13. Remember what I said earlier about Gaiman restricting her use? Yup, this bears out in the Sandman series. In the entire run, I don’t think Death appears in more than 20 issues. If you like to speculate on second appearances, #13 is the issue you should buy. It is cheap too!
Captain Atom #42: Death first appearance in DC Continuity
A lot of folks thought that Death’s first appearance in the DC universe was in Action Comics 894. Unfortunately, this is not true. Her first appearance in DC continuity is actually in Captain Atom #42 and the below screenshot from the comic (Death on the left and Captain Atom in the center) proves it. Not a very inspiring cover but facts are facts.
Action Comics #894
Having just said that this issue is not Death’s first appearance in DC universe, why is it here? Blame it on its kickass cover, drawn by the fan favorite David Finch. Seriously though, for such a popular character during the 90s, her cover appearances are surprising rare. This is one of those few which actually looks desirable from a collector’s point of view. Print run of Action Comics #894 is 42,291.
Sandman Vol 2 #40: Death first cover appearance
The whole Sandman series has covers that look more like abstract art, rather than actual comic covers. Hence, their appeal might not be as strong relative to covers like action comics #894. However, for record purposes, Sandman #40 is indeed Death first cover appearance for those who like to collect such stuff. Since I am a NOT fan of abstract art as covers, I am going to leave out the rest of such cover appearances including Death: High Cost of Living #1 to #3.
Books of Magic Vol 2 #4: Death first “normal” cover appearance
For those who liked traditional comic covers, this issue might interest you more than Sandman #40. Personally, I loved how Death is being drawn here. Her personality is in full view and shows what a strange and great character Death is.
Books of Magic Vol 2 #25
It is another great cover of Death. Again, I need to stress how rare these cover appearances are, considering how popular Death is during the 90s.
A more realistic looking Death but again a rare cover appearance that features Death in such a prominent position.