|Daniel Hall, Dream of the Endless|
Daniel Hall as Dream.
art by Michael Zulli
|Publisher||DC Comics (Vertigo)|
|First appearance||(pregnancy revealed) Infinity, Inc. #42 (September 1987)
(born) The Sandman (vol. 2) #22 (January 1991)
|Created by||Neil Gaiman|
|Alter ego||Daniel Hall|
|Team affiliations||The Endless|
|Notable aliases||The Dream King, the Sandman, many others|
|Abilities||Nigh-omnipotent aspect of dreams and reality|
Daniel Hall is a fictional character in the Sandman comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics. An infant for the majority of the Sandman series, he is the son of Hippolyta 'Lyta' Hall and Hector Hall, borne for two years in the Dreaming (where the Halls were being held prisoner by Brute and Glob, two nightmares who had escaped during Dream's earthly exile). Hector Hall was a perennial DC character, son of Carter Hall (the Golden Age Hawkman), and has assumed many guises during his stay in the DC Universe, and was at one point the Sandman and hence he inherited the same identity in Gaiman's Sandman. Lyta was the daughter of the Golden Age Wonder Woman (later changed post-Crisis to a new "Golden Age Fury") and once a superheroine called the Fury whose powers were derived from Tisiphone. When her fellow members of Infinity, Inc. learned she was pregnant, she was forced to resign from active duty. Daniel, at the end of the Sandman series, becomes the new Dream of the Endless after the demise of his predecessor.
Fictional character history
Daniel's father, Hector, was already dead when Brute and Glob used his ghost and planned to make him the ruler of the Dreaming in Morpheus's absence. Lyta and Hector's ghost lived together in the dreams of a child, Jed Walker, for two years. Upon Dream's return to the Dreaming, he went looking for Brute and Glob and destroyed the barrier that they had created around the child's mind that cut him off from the real Dreaming. He later banished the two. Once Hector Hall's ghost was sent to carry on its journey in Death's realm, Dream freed Lyta Hall from the illusion that she was under. Dream revealed that someday he would return to take Daniel (her unborn child), as he had spent the majority of his gestation in the Dreaming and hence he rightfully belonged to Dream.
Lyta and her child returned to the waking world and she resumed her normal life but now bore a hatred for Dream whom she erroneously blamed for her husband's death. Before Dream went off to face Lucifer, he paid another visit to the two, and named the child Daniel, a name to which Lyta took a liking.
As Daniel grew up, he started to enter the Dreaming while he was asleep. In one of the issues in Fables and Reflections, he was regaled with stories by Cain, Abel and Eve, while Matthew watched. He returned to Earth clutching one of Matthew's feathers in the same issue.
Later in the Kindly Ones saga, Lyta incorrectly believed that Daniel had been 'abducted' by Dream. She came to this conclusion because that night was the only time that she had left the child from her watch in the last three years as she had to attend a job interview. A deranged Lyta convinced herself that Dream was responsible for all the losses in her life and took her grievances to the Furies (after a long and arduous journey both in the real world and in her imagination) who told her that since Dream had killed his own blood, they are able to exact revenge for her if she agrees to be the vehicle for their instrumentations. Lyta accepts the offer and subsequently she, with her allies, wages a war with Dream and goes about destroying his realm ultimately causing his downfall.
Daniel was in fact abducted by the Norse god Loki, who Dream had freed in exchange for an unspecified service in Season of Mists, and Robin Goodfellow. Dream earlier charged a reinstated Corinthian to take Matthew and retrieve Daniel. The two succeed and bring Daniel back to Dream's castle wherein, before his end, Morpheus transfers his power to an Eagle Stone and has a final conversation with Daniel. After the death of this "point of view" of Dream, Daniel Hall then assumes the identity of Dream (although he is not a child anymore).
Daniel, as the new Dream, is an amalgam of a child and the entity from the Endless who he represents. His speech is largely unchanged but it is drawn with black font on a white background (as opposed to the direct contrasting style of the former self). He is still referred to with the honorific, 'Dream of the Endless' but he does not accept the title of 'Morpheus'. In a substory in "The Wake", he explains that he is another version of himself to Master Li (while travelling amidst the soft places). He is inexperienced in certain matters and relies on the raven, Matthew, for advice. This is similar to a number of portrayals in the Bible such as 'Daniel' relying on 'Matthew', the Raven of 'Eve'. Daniel is a gentler and more merciful lord than Morpheus as characterised by how he touches the Hippogriff guardian at his gate who confesses that his former self had never done so.
Daniel was named in accordance with Neil Gaiman's decision to give the Endless names or titles beginning with the letter 'D', and after the Biblical prophet who interpreted dreams. Whereas Morpheus almost always wears black, Daniel robes himself in white. Morpheus' garments also tended to be styled with a flame motif, while Daniel's are often adorned with floral patterns. Daniel is also unable to convince Fiddler's Green to return to the Dreaming but aside from this he largely recreates the entire land, including its populace, as it was before.
Appearances outside of The Sandman
Daniel has appeared from time to time in other Vertigo series. He was often alluded to, and infrequently appeared, in The Dreaming by Caitlin Kiernan. He appeared in Lucifer: Nirvana, helping Lucifer track an enemy that had struck through dreamers, and in The Sandman Presents: The Furies, in which he met his mortal mother for the first time since The Wake.
Within the main DC Universe, Daniel has made guest appearances in JLA #22–23, in which he helped prevent the Earth from being taken over by Starro, and in which he repaid the 'debt' his predecessor had owed the Justice League for help in finding his ruby. He also assured Kyle Rayner that he had surpassed Hal Jordan, and will continue to do so. Daniel next appeared in a handful of issues of JSA, in which he, among other things, transferred the prophetic dreams from Wesley Dodds to Sandy Hawkins. In another appearance, he prevents the time-traveling villain Degaton from tormenting his parents. Still later in the series, Daniel, in the form of a magic mirror, tells Hector Hall (reincarnated as Dr. Fate) and Lyta about Sand, who is trapped in a dream world created, again, by Brute and Glob. Daniel brought the spirits of his mortal parents to live in the Dreaming after their deaths.
He also appears in the webcomic JL8, starting in comic number 79.
- Infinity, Inc. #42
- JSA #59
- JSA #63
- JSA #80
- Justice Society of America #5