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                          The Annotated Sandman

               Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow

		         Issue 5:  "Passengers"
               Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Malcolm Jones III

             Fifth part of first storyline, _More than Rubies_
             Fifth story reprinted in _Preludes and Nocturnes_

Page 1:  This is Arkham Asylum, which was referenced earlier.  "Funeral March
for a Marionette" is the theme song to the show "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."
Hitchcock is a famous director, particularly of suspenseful movies; the
television shows were also suspense or mystery, introduced by Hitch himself
with droll black humor.  Hitchcock is known for making cameos in all his film
work.  "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" is currently being shown on USA Network on
cable on Friday nights.
	You may find the song on the compact disc "Chiller," Telarc CD-80189,
in the classical section.  The song was written by Charles Gounod, as a musical
caricature of a music critic, Henfry [sic; perhaps "Henry"] F. Chorley.
Chorley died in 1872 before the piece could be formally dedicated to him, but
it became an instant hit with amateur pianists.

Page 2:  It is unclear how John Dee (Dr. Destiny) has escaped from his cell,
unless it be by the amulet he obtained last issue. The Scarecrow is
hanging just outside the dining hall as a part of an April Fool's joke (the
date established on page 1).
	Panel 4:  The hanging figure is Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, a crazy
Batman villain who is obsessed with fear in all its forms.  He is known to be a
long term resident of Arkham.

Page 3:  As far as I know, the Scarecrow is correct with his terms for various
phobias.  It is unclear how he is hanging.  Panel 5 clearly shows that the
noose is not tight, but then he could not be hanging from the rope (as he
clearly is on the previous page and in panel 1) with the rope as in panel 5.
The shadows in panel 5 might show the rope attached to a fairly large hook
on the back of Crane's straightjacket.
He might have the rope going down his shirt and tied around his waist. 
They did this in the movie "Heathers."                                                                                    
	Panel 7:  The materioptikon was described in an earlier annotation.
	Panel 9:  The Joker, a Batman villain, is Arkham's most famous inmate.

Page 4 panel 5:  First known appearance of the woman, who is named later this

Page 5-7:  This is a dream of Mister Miracle.  Mister Miracle, who goes by the
name "Scott Free", which is a pun, is a New God, and a member of the Justice
League.  He is the son of the "good" New God Izaya, but was raised in a
hellish orphanage run by a wicked woman named Granny Goodness on the planet of
the "bad" New Gods, which is named Apokolips.  Needless to say, all of this
mythology was created by Jack Kirby, specifically for his "Fourth World" titles
at DC in the 70s.  Mister Miracle is a master escape artist.  A number of minor
characters are named in this sequence; I assume they are either consistent with
his known origin or are new here.

Page 11 panel 1:  I'm not going to go into the long and tortuous (yes, it's
torture to recall the Detroit years) history of the various incarnations of
the Justice League.
	Panel 2:  The Justice League used to have their headquarters in a
satellite (which was in geosynchronous orbit except that none of the writers
except Gardner Fox who originally described it knew what a geosync orbit was).
Most if not all of the encounters with Dr. Destiny occured before the
destruction of this satellite in _Crisis on Infinite Earths_.
	Panel 4:  One of the other JL HQs was in Detroit, the other outside a
town in Rhode Island called Happy Harbor, which was called the "Secret

Page 12 panel 1:  OK, so we know her name is Rosemary.  Later we find out that
her last name is Kelly.  It's not going to matter very long....

Page 13 panel 4:  Dee is describing some of his encounters with the JLA,

Page 14 panel 2:  The big green guy is J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, and
a long term member of the JLA.
	Panel 5:  Morpheus takes a different form and is recognized under a
different name, L'Zoril, by the Manhunter, who is really from Mars.  This is
really the first, and possibly the strongest, proof we have to date that Dream
has been known to all cultures and all times.  

While I agree that this is the strongest evidence of this point, I
think it is alluded to earlier in "A Hope in Hell".
When Morpheus is speaking to Nada, not only is he referred to by a
different Name, but his appearance alters. The Drawing of Morpheus at
that point has a distinctly African flavour to it. His skin is
coloured (at least in my version) Considerably darker (Brown, mostly),
his hair is considerably shorter, his nose is flatter, lips thicker,
etc. In short, he appears very similar to Nada - Which implies a
different appearance for each of the cultures which know him...
(Noted by Tony@epages.net)

Note that Mister Miracle does
not react badly to the appearance of a giant flaming skull in the hallway
beside him; this is a good clue that Morpheus has little or no real physical
presence, but is instead perceived according to the preconceptions of the
viewer.  Thus, the Manhunter perceives him as his historical god of dreams,
while most Westerners, who have little mythological preparation for him,
perceive him as a thin, pale human (someone who stays inside all day, perhaps
writing or doing something else creative).  Note that Grant Morrison's visage
in _Animal Man_ resembled Morpheus quite closely.

Page 15 panel 3:  "Upstate Gotham" is a misnomer, since Gotham is not a state.
However, it is necessary within context, since Arkham is near Gotham and Dee
must get from Gotham to Mayhew.  Perhaps it should be read as "Upstate from
Gotham."  First known appearance of Mayhew, by the way.
	DC Comics has never established exactly whether Gotham City and
Metropolis are, although the role-playing game reference "The Atlas of the DC
Universe" places Metropolis in Delaware and Gotham in New Jersey.  In general,
most comic book writers (who have, historically, tended to live in NYC) have
used Metropolis and Gotham as metaphors for New York City.  Frank Miller is on
record as having said "Metropolis is New York in the daytime; Gotham City is
New York at night."  It is conceivable, however, that both exist in fictional
Gotham and Metropolis States, much as Duckburg is located in Calisota.

Perhaps his intention was to imply that Batman worked in NYC without actually
saying so. I don't know if this is reflected in DC continuity, although
occasional references do show up. (In the movie _Batman Forever_,
there's a familiar-looking statue in Gotham Harbour, for example.)
Whatever, if we assume that "Gotham" in the DC universe is the result of
a global-search-and-replace for "New York", then "upstate Gotham" makes
perfect sense.


Actually, Gotham was not where the first Batman stories were set. In 
Detective Comics#31, a caption reads "Through the dark of a New York night". 
(This shows the influence of the Shadow stories by Walter Gibsonon the 
Batman; the Shadow stories were set in New York.) By 1941 at least 
(Batman#4), though, the words "Gotham City" were in use. (Actually, 
Overstreet list Wow Comics#1, from Fawcett, as the first comic book mention 
of the word "Gotham".)
    Gotham, as noted, is in real life a nickname for New York. As a guess, 
I'd say that the switch from New York to a fictional Gotham City was a case 
of mistaken evolution. I think what might have happened was that Bill Finger, 
who wrote the early Batman stories, was something of an intellectual by all 
accounts. He probably used the word Gotham in his captions as a poetic 
synonym for New York a couple of times. Less educated writers, referencing 
Finger's work, probably picked up on these captions, but probably did not 
know what the word Gotham meant. They thus only used the word Gotham as the 
name of the setting of the Batman stories. Finally, all association with New 
York had been forgotten.
    (A similar story may account for how Superman, whose first stories were 
set in Cleveland (!), ended up living in Metropolis. [Metropolis is a synonym 
for city, but later writers probably did not know that. Actually, these 
changes of artists and writers probably account for many Golden Age comic 
book continuity mistakes.  As an example, Lex Luthor was originally not bald; 
he had red hair. It wasn't until about Superman#10 that he was depicted as 
bald. What happended was that in Superman#4, there was a story where Luthor 
is seen talking to a bald henchman. It is now certain that an artist, looking 
for a reference to draw from, was confused and thought that the henchman was 
supposed to be Luthor, and so drew his version of Luthor that way! 
	Panel 4:  The City of Focative Mirrors is evidently a throwaway Martian
cultural reference.  From context, it might be assumed to be roughly equivalent
to Heaven (or Gaiman's "Silver City," from later issues).  Morpheus' offer is
somewhat oddly phrased.
	We can look at the word "Focative".  There are three morphemes here,
foc-, -ate, and -ive.  -ate turns a noun into a verb, and -ive turns a verb
into an adjective.  Foc- would appear to be from the Latin for "hearth", which
became "focus" in English.  Strictly morphologically, we may then interpret
"focative" to mean "focusing", as in a lens, or perhaps "fiery" or
	However, if we turn to Shakespeare, _The Merry Wives of Windsor_,
Act IV, Scene 1, lines 42-46 we see a comic routine on, among other things,
the "focative" case, with wordplay involving carets (referring to the phallic
shape of a carrot) and roots.  In other words, Shakespeare is punning on
"fuck" (whose etymology makes interesting, if inelegant, dinner conversation).
In this context, it appears that Dream is giving J'onn permission to have an
erotic dream--especially frustrating for the last survivor of an entire
species!  Giving Gaiman's known Shakespearean leanings, this may very well be
the interpretation he meant.
	Panel 5:  The new and allegedly funny Justice League series have
established that J'onn enjoys Oreo^tm cookies.

Page 16 panel 2:  This may be oblique foreshadowing; the letter D is important
to background mythology surrounding Morpheus that will be developed more in
later issues.

Page 17 panel 2:  It is a retcon to say that all the materioptikons were
powered by the ruby.  It does explain why no one else could build a
materioptikon, though.

Page 18:  Morpheus while on Earth travels either as a human would (the taxi
ride with Constantine and Chas in #3) or through dreams of people along the
way.  The latter is consistent with how he obtained food in #1, although there
it was stated that Morpheus was too weak to create food from the fabric of
dreams directly.

Page 19 panel 3.  Only a handful of items are identifiable:  the giant keyholes
are related to the villain The Key; the giant joker card is related to the
villains The Royal Flush Gang, the humanoid in the case is the robot Amazo.
I do not recognize the frozen cow, the giant head, or any of the other badly
drawn items.  The tentacle might be a piece of Starro, but it's incorrect to
put it here.  Is this the same junk depository the Riddle worked at in _Secret
Origins_ Special #1?

Contributors include:
	Rich Salz , Tom Galloway (tyg@dip.eecs.umich.edu), and
Curtis Hoffmann (currmann@pnet51.orb.mn.org) identified "Funeral March for a
	David Goldfarb (goldfarb@ocf.berkeley.edu) spotted the hook on page 3
and also commented on Morpheus' means of travel.
	Brian D. Rogerson ( bdrogers@athena.mit.edu ) commented on J'onn and
Morpheus' encounter.
	Philip J. (Da Pope!) Birmingham (birmingh@fnal.fnal.gov) and I talked
a great deal about the "City of Focative Mirrors."  David Henry
(UD137927@VM1.NoDak.EDU) found the Shakespearean sexual pun on "focative".
	R I K  joked about the warehouse and recalled
Grant Morrison's appearance in _Animal Man_.
	Jacob Levy  objected to my dismissal of the possible
existence of Gotham, the State.

© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 27. Jan 2007 by root