Can you tell me more about Destiny as horror host?
Back in the 1960s and 70s DC was really into horror anthology comics. They wanted to carry on where EC left off but with their own horror hosts.
Cain was essentially DC’s knock-off of The Crypt Keeper. Abel was their equivalent to The Vault Keeper.
The Sandman characters who began as horror hosts are
Cain, who began hosting The House of Mystery at issue 175. His creation was DC going “To Hell with the comics code! We want old school Gothic horror again!” Abel came shortly after and hosted The House of Secrets.
Here’s something interesting for you. House of Secrets was a spin-off of The House of Mystery. And from House of Secrets we get Swamp Thing (which began as a story in the horror anthology). From Swamp Thing we get John Constantine. So that means Hellblazer is a spin-off of a spin-off of a spin-off, of a Spin-off. And then we get Sandman- which used the characters from House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Swamp Thing, and Hellblazer. Eve used to host Secrets of Sinister House.Lucien The Librarian hosted Tales of Ghost Castle. His comic didn’t last very long at all. He would read stories from the library of a ruined castle, which Neil heavily indicated was Dream’s castle, while Morpheus was imprisoned and the castle was falling into ruin. Much like The House of Mystery and the House of Secrets, the castle could appear in The Waking World and The Dreaming.
Lucien also kept a werewolf as a pet. He named this pet werewolf Rover. I don’t know if this counts as slavery, kink, or just a misguided pet dynamic but it’s only vaguely referenced in issue 38 of Sandman where Morpheus makes a quip about Lucien bringing home strays when he brings the werewolf protagonist into the castle.
The Hecatae AKA The Three-in-one, The Fates / The Furies / The Kindly Ones began as horror hosts for The Witching Hour. Morpheus even name drops the title when invoking them. And they introduce themselves by their horror hostess names.
The Mad Mod Witch AKA The Fashion Thing was also a lesser known horror Host.
It’s as if Neil was in a comic book character grocery store and went down the horror anthology aisle and plucked almost all the abandoned DC horror hosts off a shelf and said “I’ll take this one and this one and this one and this one, and all of these. They’re my Nightmares now. These Storytellers will not fall into obscurity.” It almost sounds noble until you realize I visualize him shoving them all into a shopping cart, like action figures in a toy store.
Yes, Alan Moore was using some of them in Swamp Thing at this point and the House of Mystery even had Elvira as co-host for a time in the mid-80s, but I still imagine it this way.
Judge Gallows - who only appeared in Sandman continuity via two versions of the Dreaming (each time with a different first name) was also a horror host but no one really liked him… I don’t know why The Dreaming writers keep trying to dust him off. No one likes him.
And now we come to Destiny.
Destiny hosted the comic Weird Mystery Tales in 1972. He would tell stories from his Book of Destiny.
Destiny is the only member of The Endless not actually created by Neil Gaiman. Though until Neil came along he wasn’t “of The Endless.” He was just Destiny. He was created by Marv Wolfman (who recently helped write and guest appeared on CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths) and by illustrator, Bernie Wrightson. Bernie Wrightson is my favorite comic illustrator. Sadly Bernie recently passed away from a brain tumor. Bernie also co-created Swamp Thing, and Matthew Cable (back in his human state, pre-Raven).
Destiny’s character design is exactly the same as it is now. His hooded robe, with his right wrist manacled to his book. Whether he’s chained to his book or his book is chained to him is debatable. Either way he doesn’t seem unhappy about the connection. But it does look like a heavy burden to bear. There’s some symbolism there.
He appears to be blind but is able to see everything in his book. There is a chance his blindness is merely an expression of the fact that he sees everything all at once and therefor nothing at all really.
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