5) Hob Gadling
Hob started off as a regular guy in 1389 hanging out in a bar and rabble rousing. He tells his compatriots that he's decided not to die. Liking the cut of his jib, Morpheus arranges for him to live forever with Death's okay. Gadling and Morpheus made a deal to meet up every 100 years to see how each other are doing and for Dream to ask if Hob wants to go on living. Readers got to see Gadling go from soldier to slave trader to modern man with varying levels of riches, but all the time not wanting to give up his eternal life.
Morpheus is a cold dude. He's not the best lover -- banishing one of his past loves to eternal imprisonment in Hell -- but he makes an even worse father, just ask Orpheus. The product of an affair between Morpheus and Calliope, Orpheus' wife dies on his wedding night, but his pops won't help him get her back from Hell. Destruction and Death, do, but in the end he gets ripped apart by crazy broads. Instead of really helping his son, Morpheus gives Orpheus -- who is now just a head -- a group of priests to watch out for him, but tells him they'll never see each other again. As part of his progression during Sandman
, Morpheus breaks his word and goes to see his son, granting him his one awful wish.
3) Lyta Hall
For the most part, Gaiman's alterations to DC characters in Sandman
haven't really taken, but Hippolyta Hall seems to be the one exception (aside from Daniel's few appearance in JLA
) as Gaiman picked her up following her appearances in Infinity Inc. and, even further back, Jack Kirby's short lived Sandman
series. Gaiman took Hall and that version of the Sandman, made them a part of the dreaming and then took her even further by making her the vessel for her child Daniel, who would become incredibly important later on, but not before putting into motion the events that would lead to Morpheus' downfall. After a miniseries starring her, Geoff Johns then picked Lyta Hall up in his JSA
series and turned her back into a superhero. We're big fans of that kind of continuity between DC and Vertigo books that some people seem so adamant about keeping separate.
2) The Corinthian
In a series filled with demons and nightmares, none gave us the creeps quite like The Corinthian. An actual nightmare created by Morpheus, The Corinthian took a 40 year murder vacation while Morpheus was held captive for the better part of the 20th century. Becoming a legend amongst serial killers, the Corinthian attended the annual convention for people of his ilk where Morpheus and some of his other Dreaming creations caught on and put an end to his shenanigans only to remake the fang-eyed nightmare when forces threatened Morpheus and the Dreaming itself.
Here's hoping that Gaiman came closer than anyone else when it comes to figuring out what Death is really like. Dying sucks enough as it is, but if you've got to go, wouldn't you rather go with a cute, pale girl with black hair -- who MAYBE looks like Tori Amos -- than some hooded skeleton? Becoming one of the most popular characters from Sandman
, Death popped up here and there throughout the series and even scored a pair of miniseries. Probably the most compassionate member of the Endless, Death is seen hanging out with humans and encouraging her siblings, specifically Dream, to do the same.