A crossover and a crossover thwarted
The Family Man storyline in Hellblazer contains the second unheralded Sandman crossover in the comics I’ve covered. The first was the journey of Matt Cable from husband-in-a-coma in Swamp Thing to raven-in-the-Dreaming in Sandman which is, considering the prominence of Matthew the raven in Sandman, a pretty significant one. This one is tiny, a nod between titles, but a nice one and worth mentioning.
Sandman #14, one of the better issues of the very patchy The Doll’s House arc, is a convention of serial killers. Like this arc in Hellblazer it’s tearing down the archetype, showing America’s new favourite bogeymen as pathetic creatures. The guest of honour was to be the Family Man but he hasn’t turned up, so someone pretending to be Swamp Thing’s think-of-a-number serial killer takes his place. In Hellblazer #28 we see why he wasn’t there – John Constantine scammed his invite before executing him. It’s a neat nod between the titles, a reference that doesn’t matter if you don’t get it but that creates a little web of continuity if you do.
The second crossover, the one that didn’t happen, is between Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing and the DC summer crossover title Millennium. A panel I’ve stolen from Tucker Stone’s wonderful blog The Factual Opinion, in an entry about the Mature Readers horror comic Wasteland supports my long-held suspicion that this non-event was a result of editorial fiat, a decision demonstrating the thinking that led to Vertigo and the firewall between it and DC. Unimportant bits of history both, but this kind of minutiae sticks in the head until it’s expunged.