Neil Gaiman's writing a prequel to Sandman in 2013

Given the hubbub and sales that Before Watchmen drummed up, it's not surprising that DC is looking to dip into their modern classics. And at last night's San Diego Comic-Con panel for the publisher's mature-readers Vertigo imprint, DC snuck in a bombshell — Neil Gaiman will be returning to his career-making comic The Sandman with a prequel miniseries that explains exactly what Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, was up to when readers met him in the first issue in 1989. The author delivered the news to the panel via a prerecorded message. Explained Gaiman (via DC):

When I finished writing The Sandman, there was one tale still untold. The story of what had happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in The Sandman #1, and why he was returned from far away, exhausted beyond imagining, and dressed for war.

Neil Gaiman's writing a prequel to Sandman in 2013

This new story will hit in November 2013 and be set to the appropriately ethereal artwork of J.H. Williams III (Batwoman, Promethea). And at DC's Comic-Con party last night, DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee gave the following quote to io9 about the project:

Neil is a friend of mine and a guy I really look up to. To have him do anything for us is huge for us. He's a long-time comic book writer, but he's a multi-talent who does children's books, screenplays, music, — the whole thing. For him to write this series — which falls on Vertigo's twenty-fifth anniversary — is obviously a big deal.

Exciting stuff, but I had my fingers crossed for The Corinthian's Untold Ophthalmological Adventures, a story which is sadly consigned to exist solely in my tattered, gin-stained Hello Kitty notebook.