The latest Netflix series, The Sandman, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s critically acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, has attracted a lot of attention ever since its release on August 5.
Gaiman’s mystical characters, be it the protagonist - Lord of the Dreams Morpheus - or the blood-thirsty antagonist - The Corinthian - had viewers hooked right from the beginning. But the character that has become a fan favorite is the servant of Morpheus, a Raven named Matthew.
Matthew was borrowed by Gaiman from DC's Swamp Thing series.
Voiced by American stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt, Matthew the Raven was phenomenal and left viewers in awe of the way in which a simple raven can evoke an immense range of emotions. Besides the impeccable visual effects, Oswalt’s voice acting hit it straight out of the park.
Oswalt, who is a comic book enthusiast, has previously written and starred in the animated show M.O.D.O.K. He also voiced the little rodent chef Remy in the 2007 Pixar film Ratatouille and played the character of Pip, a friend of Eros in Eternals.
Matthew, the second raven of The Sandman, is a powerful ally
Viewers were introduced to the world of The Sandman through the perspective of a raven. The swooping visuals of the bird flying across the living world and through the gargantuan gates into the realm of dreams is surreal.
When the Lord of Dreams was taken into captivity by Mage Roderick Burgess, his loyal Raven Jessamy waited outside the Burgess manor for a decade.
The cunning bird eventually found a way to distract the guards and was about to free his master when a bullet from Alex Burgess' gun left him splattered. Morpheus was grief-stricken after the death of his his loyal servant. Hungry for revenge, he chose to stay captive for a decade instead of forgiving his friend’s murderer. After breaking free, he traps Alex Burgess in eternal sleep and returns in search of his magical tools.
While Morpheus was in search of a sand pouch, Dream’s loyal librarian created another servant for her master. Before becoming the Raven, this servant was an ordinary human being called Matthew John Cable.
For The Sandman graphic novel, Gaiman borrowed Matthew’s character from Swamp Thing.
In it, Matthew was caught in a car accident but is possessed by his wife’s uncle. While he does break the spell with his immense willpower, he eventually succumbs to his injuries and slips into a coma. At the hospital, when his wife chose to end his life support, Matthew dies while dreaming.
He was given the option to be the eyes and ears of the Lord of Dreams. The Sandman, buried under the guilt of the death of his previous bird, was initially hesitant to get help from another Raven. However, he later opens up to his bird friend and accepts his assistance.
The Raven remarkably served his master in the battle against Lucifer Morningstar, the Lord of the Underworld. In a battle of wits, when Lucifer claimed Anti-Life, it was Matthew who told his master to claim hope. Matthew’s help was the final blow against Lucifer as Morpheus was able to win back his Helm.
In a later episode of the series, Matthew was also seen keeping his eyes on Rose Walker, a Dream Vortex.
The Sandman on Netflix offers a great ensemble cast with Patton Oswalt voicing Matthew the Raven, Tom Sturridge as Dream, Mason Alexander Park as Desire, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, and Donna Preston as Despair. Gwendoline Christie essays the role of Lucifer, with Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian.