Netflix’s adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel The Sandman has panned out well with viewers and critics alike. With an amazing cast and breathtaking visuals, many have termed it a comic book in motion.
The story follows Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, finally escaping captivity after a century. In his pursuit of acquiring his three magical artifacts (The Helm, Sand Pouch, and Ruby) and rebuilding his dream realm back to his former glory, Morpheus crosses paths with several enemies.
Dream’s helm is in the custody of Lucifer Morningstar, the ruler of hell. Morpheus approaches hell to retrieve his belongings but is challenged by the underworld’s ruler in a battle of wits.
Morpheus wins the fierce competition as he invokes hope, a concept Lucifer agreed to be unbeatable. The latter accepts defeat and is humiliated before her subjects from hell as the fallen angel vows to kill the Lord of Dreams.
In the final episode of The Sandman, as an infuriated Lucifer is dissatisfied with her recent defeat, a comrade makes an appearance: Azazel, a demon of the underworld and one of the lords of hell.
The demon says that he has the armies of hell ready to conquer the dream realm, the living world, and then the silver city, to which Lucifer says that she has plans of her own:
"Something that I have never done before. Something that will make God absolutely livid. And bring Morpheus to his knees,"
In The Sandman comics, Azazel is co-ruler of hell along with Lucifer Morningstar
Like in the comics, Azazel is represented by a dark spirit, a sort of rift in space with multiple faces. It has shining eyes, sharp and jagged teeth, and a voice that can easily evoke dread in the hearts of the living.
Voiced by Game of Thrones star Roger Allam, Azazel appears to be the general of Lucifer Morningstar. However, in the comics, it shared ranks with the Lord of Hell.
Deemed as the co-ruler of hell, the comic version of Azazel formed a triumvirate along with Beelzebub and Lucifer after the Civil War in Hell.
Azazel in the Netflix series seems to be in the lower ranks of Lucifer. However, the character seems to share the same conniving attitude as its comic book counterpart.
In the comics, when Lucifer abandons the Kingdom of Hell and gives its keys to Morpheus for safekeeping, the power-hungry Azazel approaches the latter in the dream realm and requests the key to hell in return for offering him his former lover, Nada.
Morpheus respectfully refuses the offer to which Azazel turns sour and lashes at The Sandman. Forgetting that it is in the dream realm controlled and ruled by Morpheus, Azazel is easily overpowered by the Lord of Dreams and is trapped inside a bottle.
Morpheus places the djinn in a bottle in his trophy cabinet.
Azazel and Lucifer’s plan in the final episode defies comic books
The Sandman comics have not mentioned hell invading the dream realm, but with Neil Gaiman himself as the show’s writer, fans can expect things to change.
They can look forward to Lucifer holding Morpheus’s former lover Nada, an Egyptian princess, hostage to make terms with Morpheus and attack the Lord of Dreams. Meanwhile, just like in comics, Azazel could be plotting against Lucifer to try to take control of the underworld.
The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix. The series boasts a fantastic ensemble cast with Tom Sturridge as Dream, Mason Alexander Park as Desire, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Donna Preston as Despair, and Gwendoline Christie in the role of Lucifer Morningstar.