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Death in Sandman: Overture

"I'm not merciful or blessed. I'm just me. I've got a job to do and I do it....When the first living thing existed, I was there. Waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I'll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave." ~Death


Death is Dream 's elder sister and the second oldest of the Endless. She loves her job and takes it very seriously. Death - by her own admission, was not always who she now is.  At the beginning of time, she thought she had the hardest job among the Endless, and it made her quite sad, so sad, in fact, she stopped doing it.  When nothing died, chaos reigned, and she was begged to return to her realm.  She did so, but she became "hard and cold and brittle inside." A suggestion of this could be seen in Endless Nights: The Heart of a Star in her arrogant and icy attitude. Her demeanor didn't change until she was asked by one she collected; "How would you like it?" After that she resolved to live for one day to see how she liked it, and what she could learn. It was only after her taste of mortality that she altered the way she thought about her job, she decided that at the end, most would be glad for the company of a friend, and that was what she tried to become. Death's persona is now friendly, optimistic, and caring. She has taken the role of the maternal sister among her siblings. She can be frequently seen throughout the The Sandman series, serving as Dream's confidante, giving advice, and pointing out his faults or getting angry at the twins Despair and Desire for their "games", which often interfere with the other Endless' affairs. She is closer to Dream than any other member of the family, and he sought her advice on several occasions.

AppearanceEdit

Death appears as an attractive, pale young goth woman usually dressed in casual clothes - often a black tank top and jeans. She also wears a silver ankh on a chain around her neck, and has a marking similar to the Eye of Horus around her right eye.

Unlike all of her siblings, Death's speech bubble is completely normal, which is suggestive of the idea that she is the most human of the endless.

Death's look was said to be inspired by model Cinnamon "Sin" Hadley.

PowersEdit

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She has the power to free the soul of a body and escort a soul to its appropriate destination (usually an afterlife or reincarnation). Death sometimes leaves this task to various death gods. For death gods or demons to claim a soul instead of Death herself, they usually have to have a valid claim on the soul; either a contract with the deceased, or the deceased worshiped the death god's pantheon. The exact nature of the relationship between death gods and Death itself is unknown.

Death apparently is also there at the time of ones birth and can infuse a body with life. She commonly does this at the time of birth or at certain times to give another a second chance (reincarnation) the criteria for the latter is not known.

Omnipresence: Being Death, she is everywhere on Earth at any moment, but not in a form visible to humans, usually.

Omniscience: Death is possibly the most powerful of the Endless having been shown (in a flashback in Brief Lives) to be virtually omniscient and being able to intimidate the Furies, who show no fear of the other Endless, simply by raising her voice. She can see all possible futures and ends for all the beings who fall under her auspice.

Death is one of the most powerful beings in the DCU, she is the anthropomorphic embodiment of a universal fact.  In Madame Xanadu #6, Death was referred to as "she who trumps and defines all of existence".

Death could change her appearance and clothing instantly and  at will.

She can travel instantly anywhere in the mortal realm, and, so long as she shows proper respect, she can easily enter and transit most magical realms too.

Immortality: Death is ageless and virtually immortal.

WeaknessesEdit

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Death, as drawn by Miguelanxo Prado in Endless Nights: The Heart of a Star

Ancient Rules: Despite her great powers, Death, like the rest of the Endless, is bound to a complex set of rules and customs. One which requires her not to spill the blood of family or she is no longer protected as the personification of Death from other Personifications.

Another rule is that she cannot fall in love with a mortal or the mortal's downfall is assured.

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