The Sandman On Netflix: 8 Most Interesting Easter Eggs

by Eve Andrews
The Sandman On Netflix

It’s not yet fully confirmed as to whether or not Netflix will continue to flesh out The Sandman’s connection to DC or whether it will abandon the universe entirely. However, like many DC page-to-screen adaptations, it’s not short on its fair share of easter eggs. From comic book crossovers to hints at future story arcs, here are some of the most interesting Sandman easter eggs that we picked up! 

Warning: this list will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for both the comic and the series. If you haven’t watched the show yet, we suggest first going to our Sandman (2022) spoiler-free review.

1) Martin Tenbones

In a long tracking shot during episode 1’s opening sequence, we catch a glimpse of a strange dog-like creature standing at the helm of a sailing ship. But this isn’t just any trippy dream-scape creature conjured up by the production team for whimsical aesthetic purposes. This is Martin Tenbones, a resident of The Dreaming who is doubtless well known to fans of the comics. He also appears later in the series finale with a further nod to future arcs. Keep an eye on him; he’s going to be important…

2) Dream’s Eyes

One of Dream’s most iconic features in the comics was his eyes, two pin-pricks of light resembling stars in a dark sky. However, during the production of The Sandman series, this feature was reluctantly dropped, with Author, Neil Gaiman (who also worked as executive producer on the show), stating on his official Tumblr that the use of contacts and CGI “diminished the magic of [Tom Sturridge’s] performance.” However, in episode 1, we see an hommage to the classic Dream eyes after Morpheus escapes from his prison. Understandably furious, he appears to one of his captors as a dark silhouette, with no features visible other than a menacing pair of white, glowing eyes – and it’s terrifying!

3) Who is Mathew?

Morpheus’s raven, Mathew, is a beloved character from the comics. He makes an earlier appearance in The Sandman series, opting to accept the role of messenger after Morpheus suffers the loss of his prior raven, Jessamy. In episode 3, Mathew gives a few brief nods to his past life before he came to serve Morpheus in The Dreaming, stating that he was once a person before waking up as a raven after dying in his sleep. He also admits that he “wasn’t the best person when [he] was a person.” So who is he? Well, when Mathew was originally written, he was intended as the reincarnation of Mathew Joseph Cable from DC’s Swamp Thing. Written by Alan Moore, Mathew first appears in The Swamp Thing, Volume1: Issue #1 in 1972, before making an official posthumous return in The Sandman, Volume 2: Issue #11  in 1989 as Dream’s raven. While it’s not likely that we’ll ever get anything more than a handful of ambiguous hints towards this in the ongoing Netflix series, it’s great to see they’ve still kept this story implicitly intact.

4) Agilieth: A visitor from Hell Blazer 

Remember the scene in episode 3, with Johanna Constantine exorcising the possessed royal groom, bringing forth a demon who Morpheus identifies as Agilieth? Long-term fans of The Sandman likely noted that this was a departure from the original, as Agilieth did not appear in the comics. However, to followers of John Constantine, Agilieth was probably a familiar face. Lifted straight from the pages of DC’s Hellblazer #196, Agilieth was a minor demon who tried to malevolently intervene with Constantine and came to a sticky end as a result…again.

5) The Family Man

Speaking of which, here’s another one for all you Hellblazer fans out there. When Corinthian is invited to that creepy convention, it’s mentioned that their prior guest of honour, The Family Man, is no longer able to attend; hence extending their invitation to the legendary Corinthian instead. This is another amusing nod for fans of John Constantine, with The Family Man referring to a notorious Hellblazer villain. He was an ex-policeman who went renegade, embarking on a savage killing spree before being shot down by Constantine. While it’s never confirmed, it’s cool to think that is the reason he could no longer attend that shady ‘cereal’ convention.

6) The Boogey Man

It’s not just Hellblazer that gets more than one reference. We also get another nod to Swamp Thing with the mentioned disappearance of the notorious killer, The Boogey Man. When an imposter steals his identity to infiltrate the convention, Corinthian is the one to call him out, recognising the identity theft with a mere glance. And he was right; because the real Boogey Man drowned in Volume 2, Issue #44 of Swamp Thing. The direct crossover of these events is further confirmed by Corinthian, stating, “The Boogey Man’s Dead. He drowned in Louisiana five years ago.” One thing I’d like to know is exactly how Corinthian knows this!

7) A cheeky wave from Static Shock

Here’s a fun one! In episode 9, Corinthian leaves Jed Walker in the hotel room, trusting that cartoons will keep him occupied. During this scene, we get a few brief flashes of the TV in the background, and some eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that Jed was enjoying an episode of Static Shock, an animated DC series that ran from 2000 to 2004. Specifically, Jed is watching an episode titled Toys In The Hood, the pivotal events of which foreshadow the upcoming direction of not just Jed’s but Morpheus and Corinthian’s story arc too. 

8) Hippolyta Trevor

Speaking of DC references, the concluding arc of The Sandman series also features a character named Lyta. Her full name is Hippolyta Trevor, AKA: the daughter of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. This was something the original Sandman comics really leaned into, with her husband, Hector Hall, being none other than DC’s Doctor Fate. However, while Hector did also feature in the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman, her and her husband’s identity within the broader DC verse was not touched upon. Many fans noted how, unlike the comic, The Sandman series seemed entirely divorced from the main DC Universe – which makes these fond little nods all the more satisfying! Will we get more hints to these DC-related plot points in future seasons? Only time will tell. 

How many of these easter eggs did you spot? Any really cool ones that we’ve missed? Feel free to share them in the comment section below!

Editor’s Picks:

The Sandman (2022) SPOILER FREE Review: Our Dream Come True

Neil Gaiman Best Comics That AREN’T The Sandman

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