Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed graphic novel, The Sandman, houses various creepy monsters and beings. Be it the stark-naked Despair piercing straight through your soul or the spooky Satanic Triumvirate, Gaiman’s creatures are truly nightmare fuel. However, one of them, The Corinthian, the literal embodiment of the nightmare, is the most terrifying of all.
Morpheus, one of the seven Endless and the Lord of Dreams, created Corinthian to act as the dark mirror for society so that they can look at their subconscious dark selves and acknowledge their twisted emotions. The being was made to scare people and obey the higher powers. However, Corinthian has plans of his own. His tale is a classic example of an invention created for a boon turning into a curse.
In the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman, The Corinthian is the main antagonist played by Boyd Holbrook, famous for his roles in Logan and Narcos. The series follows Morpheus, who wants to put an end to the conflict created by his creation.
In The Sandman comics, Morpheus destroys The Corinthian but later remakes a different version of the nightmare
The Corinthian first appeared in The Sandman #10, The Doll's House #2. The nightmare is characterized by a man in his 30s dressed fashionably and sporting a pair of black sunglasses. One might mistake him for an ordinary human being. However, the nightmare begins as soon as he removes his sunglasses. Corinthian has no eyeballs; instead, he has two rows of teeth in his eye socket.
The Corinthian is a bloodthirsty being who enjoys murdering people in cold blood and consuming their eyeballs. He has the power to possess humans, and when he does, the person’s eyeball is consumed by their teeth as they bleed profusely. He can see what his host has seen in their lifetime and can even predict the future.
The Corinthian in The Sandman once went on a trip to Paris with Morpheus, but when Dream was distracted by his brother Destruction, Corinthian went ahead to consume the eyeballs of an ape undergoing research.
The Corinthian was harmless in the dream realm as he was always meant to scare humans and not hurt them. He despised the boundaries between the living and the dreaming worlds and wished to be free. When Morpheus was trapped by mortals for a century, The Corinthian found his opening and escaped into the living world, wreaking havoc.
In both the comics and the series, after Morpheus acquires his helm, sand pouch, and ruby, he goes after Corinthian to trap him. However, the nightmare would befriend Rose Walker, who, as a dream vortex, possesses the power to combine the dreams of people. Corinthian would convince Rose Walker that Morpheus is the bad guy, as she puts some distance between Corinthian and Morpheus.
The Corinthian would later be destroyed by his creator, Morpheus, for disobeying his orders and leaving the dream realm. The entity was later re-created, and despite having the same memories as the first nightmare, he is an entirely different version.
Fans can witness the nightmarish Corinthian on Netflix’s new series The Sandman. The show has a phenomenal ensemble cast with Tom Sturridge as Dream, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Boyd Holbrook as Corinthian, and Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven.