- Despair (DC Comics)
Despair of the Endless
Publication information Publisher DC Comics First appearance The Sandman vol. 2 #10 (Nov. 1989) Created by Neil Gaiman
In-story information Team affiliations The Endless Notable aliases Aponoia Abilities nigh-omnipotent aspect of despair and dread and its opposite, hope
Despair is the twin sister of Desire. She is squat, flabby and pale-skinned, with black hair, gray eyes, and pointed teeth. Her voice is little more than a whisper, and she has no odor, but her shadow smells musky and pungent, like the skin of a snake. She does not wear clothes. On a finger of her left hand she wears a ring with a hook attached to it, with which she habitually carves her flesh. The hook is her sigil in the galleries of the other characters. Her realm is a gray space in which floats a white fog and countless mirrors, which are connected to mirrors in the human world, through which she looks on those who are in despair. The only other inhabitants of her realm are her pet rats.
Despair sometimes acts together with Desire when she/he is plotting against the elder Endless, most notably when Despair takes on a challenge with Morpheus over the life of Joshua Abraham Norton, seemingly at Desire's bidding. She is less distanced from the family than Desire, though, and seems to have some feeling at least for Delirium, and also seems to miss Destruction. She does not say much, and consequently appears brusque, but her speech at Morpheus' wake in The Wake reveals her sympathy and feeling for him.
In the beginning of Season of Mists (Sandman #21), it is mentioned that Despair was once declared a goddess by a sect, called the Unforgiven, in what is present day Afghanistan. All empty rooms were proclaimed to be her sacred places. The sect existed for two years until the final member killed himself, having survived all others by seven months.
Late in the series, it is revealed that the Despair we see is not the first Despair, but a second aspect. The original Despair is seen in Endless Nights during Dream's story. She is depicted much the same way she is now, fat, flabby, and unclothed, but taller and with red tattoos all over her body, and more talkative. It is also revealed in Brief Lives that, like Daniel Hall, she was originally someone else who took up the mantle of the first Despair upon her death. In Worlds' End, we see that the Old Necropolis was destroyed because the inhabitants laughed at the other Endless for wanting the first Despair's cerements. The only hint to the manner of the first Despair's death is given by Daniel in his conversation with Lyta Hall during The Wake: "The person who was responsible for the death of the first Despair will take the rest of eternity to die. Only then will his pain cease... And he had better cause for what he did than you."
- The Endless
- Characters of The Sandman
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman The Sandman
Library1: Preludes and Nocturnes • 2: The Doll's House • 3: Dream Country • 4: Season of Mists • 5: A Game of You • 6: Fables and Reflections • 7: Brief Lives • 8: Worlds' End • 9: The Kindly Ones • 10: The Wake • 11: Endless Nights
SpinoffsThe Sandman: The Dream Hunters • Death: The High Cost of Living • Death: The Time of Your Life • Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold • The Little Endless Storybook • Death: At Death's Door • Dust Covers–The Collected Sandman Covers 1989-1997 • The Quotable Sandman • The Sandman Companion • The Dreaming • Sandman Midnight Theatre • Lucifer • House of Mystery Characters
The Endless: Destiny • Death • Dream (Daniel Hall) • Destruction • Despair • Desire • DeliriumFaire Folk: Auberon • Titania • Nuala
Dreams: Cain and Abel • The Fashion Thing • Goldie • Matthew Cable • Merv Pumpkinhead • Corinthian
Humans: Fury • Hector Hall • Jed Walker • Rose Walker • Foxglove • Hob Gadling • John Constantine • Dr. John Dee • Sandman (Wesley Dodds) • Element Girl • Prez • Martian Manhunter • Mister Miracle • Dr. Jonathan Crane • Wildcat
Demons: Lucifer • Mazikeen • Etrigan the Demon
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