Death (DC Comics)

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Death as illustrated by Chris Bachalo. in Death: The High Cost of Living #1.

Death is a fictional character from the DC comic book series, The Sandman (1988 - 1996). She was created by Sandman scribe Neil Gaiman and given visual life by illustrator Mike Dringenberg.

Like most anthropomorphic personifications of death, Death meets with the recently deceased and guides them into their new existence. However, Death is almost a complete opposite of traditional personifications of death, particularly in English culture, where Death is depicted as an intimidating skeleton in a black robe, bearing a scythe (See Grim Reaper).

Instead, Death of the Sandman series appears as an attractive, although pale, young woman dressed in casual clothes - often a black top and jeans. She also wears a silver ankh on a chain around her neck. She is pleasant, down-to-earth, and perky and has been a nurturing figure for Sandmanís title character. This strange paradox has helped make Death one of the most popular characters from Sandman.

Death is the second eldest of the Endless, a family of anthropomorphic beings. Unlike her siblings, Death's realm is not portrayed in the series, except for a brief scene in her 'house' in the Sandman Special, Song of Orpheus. This is where she keeps her floppy hat collection and her goldfish, Slim and Wandsworth.

Death first appeared in the final chapter of Sandmanís first story arc Preludes and Nocturnes, where she gave Dream direction and a degree of understanding. Death instantly became very popular to readers and she appears at least briefly in each of the nine subsequent story arcs. However, Gaiman attempted to entice and tease readers by rationing-out the number of appearances from Dreamís family so Death did not appear as frequently as one might expect for such a popular character. At the end of the ninth Sandman story arc The Kindly Ones, there is a lengthy and noteworthy appearance from Death, in which she finally brings her brother peace.

Death has also been featured in two mini-series, Death: The High Cost of Living (1993), and Death: The Time of Your Life (1996). Both were written by Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Bachalo and dealt with Deathís encounters with various mortals. The 2003 manga-style graphic novel Death: At Deathís Door portrayed Deathís activities during the fourth Sandman story arc Season of Mists. It was written and illustrated by Jill Thompson and may be part of a series. Death has also made occasional appearances in other DC comic books.

Despite some rumors, Death is not based on Tori Amos.

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