The following comprises spoilers for The Sandman Season 1, now streaming on Netflix.

The Sandman #6 (by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Robbie Busch, and Todd Klein), aka “24 Hours”, is extensively thought to be one of many darkest and most terrifying problems with your complete collection. This is all due to the horrifying actions of the primary villain, John Dee. While the Netflix present presents John as a run-of-the-mill psychopath in sheep’s clothes, in comics, the character is a long-time foe of the Justice League. He is called Doctor Destiny, and he possesses the flexibility to convey folks’s desires and nightmares to life.

Driven by a deeply-rooted grudge in opposition to the Justice League, most of Doctor Destiny’s appearances earlier than and after Crisis on Infinite Earths painting him as one of many group’s deadliest adversaries. However, 1996’s Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare #1 (by Mark Waid, Fabian Nicieza, Jeff Johnson, Darick Robertson, John Holdredge, Anibal Rodriguez, Pat Garrahy, and Ken Lopez) noticed him convey collectively one of the vital well-known incarnations of the Justice League to avoid wasting himself from a nightmare of his personal making.

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The difficulty opens on a radically completely different model of the DC Universe the place all of DC’s heroes led seemingly common lives as their secret identities with no reminiscence of their previous adventures. Meanwhile, a phenomenon referred to as “genetic sparking” was inflicting folks across the planet to develop superpowers. Powerless people have been slowly changing into a minority as conflicts between newly-awakened metahumans started to interrupt out in main cities all around the world.

Amidst this rising disaster, Batman and Superman have been instantly confronted with weird conditions that lower than subtly referenced their origins, snapping every of them out of their amnesia. Meeting up within the Batcave, the World’s Finest deduced that somebody had positioned them and the remainder of the world right into a rigorously constructed waking dream. With the worldwide battle between metahumans worsening by the minute, the duo wakened the core members of the Justice League.

The newly assembled Justice League shortly realized that their present state of affairs matched Doctor Destiny’s MO. They additionally observed that their foe had intentionally freed them from their psychological conditioning and offered them with clues to his location. Expecting a entice, the Justice League tracked Doctor Destiny to his lair in a closely fortified secret facility in Montana. The heroes fought by traps particularly tailor-made to their respective talents, solely to seek out the villain strapped to a tool that torturously amplified his dream-based talents and begging for assist.

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Once freed, Doctor Destiny revealed that the plot to remodel the folks of Earth into metahumans wasn’t his personal. The true mastermind had approached him in a dream and provided him the possibility to create a world the place the Justice League can be out of date. Unfortunately, he was ultimately betrayed and imprisoned after realizing that his new “partner” noticed him as nothing greater than a instrument. At that second, the true mastermind, Know Man, revealed himself.

Know Man was as soon as a Neanderthal who’d been given immortality by a villainous off-shot of the Guardians of the Universe referred to as the Controllers. He defined that his “creators” had tasked him with creating a military that would stand in opposition to a prophesied cosmic menace. Believing that the Justice League’s need to emulate humanity made them weak, Know Man used Doctor Destiny’s talents to meet his dream of giving humanity superpowers whereas permitting the Justice League to reside out their dream lives as “mere mortals.”

Determined to see his plans by, he trapped the Justice League in illusions of their worst nightmares. However, Doctor Destiny used his remaining energy to assist Martian Manhunter save his comrades and foil Know Man’s ambitions. As the world round him slowly returned to regular, Doctor Destiny admitted that he could not deal with being accountable for the planet and was completely happy to lastly get up from the nightmare he helped create.

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While Justice League: A Midsummer Nightmare has largely pale into obscurity, the miniseries was a turning level within the Justice League’s historical past. By bringing the “Big Seven” collectively for the primary time in years, it introduced the period of the Justice League International to a definitive finish. A couple of months later, Grant Morrison and Howard Porter started their seminal run on JLA, which deserted the give attention to the newer, less-powerful characters that’d outlined Justice League International and introduced extra {powerful} and recognizable heroes again onto the group.

In many respects, the Justice League that emerged from Justice League: A Midsummer Nightmare was the best incarnation of the group in its historical past. Almost each model of the group that succeeded it adopted the instance it set. All of this makes it even stranger to assume that this rebirth of DC’s flagship group would by no means have occurred if it weren’t for Doctor Destiny, a person who has tried to destroy the Justice League again and again.

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