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Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1’ sets a mystery against the casual violence of wealth

Finance is next door to Hell.

As gruesome and macabre as this might seem, it’s nice to be back in Nightmare Country.

Perhaps nice isn’t the correct adjective; our primary players are a serial killing dream and a dead girl in a cat. Our narrative follows capitalist deviants with access to Hellish practice. Nightmare Country isn’t a pleasant place to be, but it is a compelling place to be.

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Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1
DC Black Label

With our primary human POV character of the first series, Madison Flynn, dead, the new series dives us deep into a new human drama. Max, a troubled young financial trader, brushes up against the horrific by his half-hearted upward mobility. Working under classic Sandman character Ken, Max understands that the key to contemporary finance isn’t what you know so much as who you know. The key to boundless wealth lies in getting invited to the after-party by our Stepford Yuppy.

Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1
DC Black Label

The after-party is, of course, a violent pleasure palace peopled with demons and ghouls; it wouldn’t be a Sandman Universe story without it. There’s a big-picture commentary buried in this story, one that picks up on the original Sandman’s healthy wariness of 1980s greed and doubles down on it. Contemporary culture is filled with sickeningly rich social parasites, young men and women performatively living a wealth-desperate life online and preying on young followers eager to emulate them, willfully ignorant of the toxic (and likely violent) reality.

Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1
DC Black Label

The implication, here, is that the wealthy can slide into decadent, privileged violence with sickening ease; this isn’t treated as a potential downfall, but a necessary one. Max can’t be expected to find success until he has passed the right of casual, perverse cruelty. His peers (at Prophet, a financial entity seemingly headed by the capitalistically violent angel, Moroni, introduced in the last series) revel in torture because they are entitled to it.

This is the backdrop against which series leads Corinthian and Madison the Cat continue their investigation. The demonic mystery that led to Madison’s death continues here, among the hungry, desperate, and greedy.

This first issue of Nightmare Country: The Glass House is dense with possibility, rife with implication. Writer James Tynion IV and artist Lisandro Estherren continue the incredible work of shedding light into the unseen corners of the Sandman mythology, creating nuanced wrinkles to the greatest fantasy in comics history. What should be an impossible job of enriching a masterpiece, under their hand, seems merely a foregone conclusion. It is a natural portion of a magic whole, and they are natural in creating it.

Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1
‘Nightmare Country: The Glass House #1’ sets a mystery against the casual violence of wealth
The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country - The Glass House #1
Expanding on classic Sandman themes and effortlessly enriching mythology, The Glass House #1 promises another meaningful entry in a comics masterpiece.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.6
Instantly captivating.
Makes subtle and incredible use of the Sandman toolkit.
Deepens an already massive, beautiful mythology.
10
Fantastic
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