The Corinthian is a fictional character in Neil Gaiman's series The Sandman. He was first seen in The Sandman #10 (October 1989), which is part of The Doll's House. The Corinthian is a nightmare created by Dream, who then destroys him for going rogue, and failing to fulfill his original design. Dream later recreates him with "some changes", though the exact nature of these changes is not explicit.
Appearance EditThe Corinthian is generally an impeccable dresser and will often wear only white clothing. The Corinthian's most notable physical feature is his lack of eyes: in their place, two rows of small, jagged teeth line each eye socket, which he often covers with sunglasses. He can speak, eat, and even respire through these mouths. He does not seem to suffer in any way from his lack of eyes, and indeed claims to be able to see very well; he is shown driving adequately, even while wearing sunglasses at night. He is, however, fond of taking the eyeballs of his victims and "eating" them by placing them in his eye sockets.
The Corinthian is able to possess human beings. When he assumes control of a new host, the eyes are consumed and replaced by teeth, and the hair of the victim turns white. During the process, the eye sockets bleed profusely. All other physical characteristics remain the same for the host. This lets the Corinthian jump between bodies, and even show himself as his victims if he is able to hide or explain the physical changes. Consuming the eyes of his victims allows him to view what they have viewed in their lives and even see the future in some cases.
The second incarnation of the Corinthian is skilled at hand-to-hand combat. He is extremely resistant to damage and seems to be completely fearless. During his search for Daniel Hall in the Norse land of Swartalfheim, the Corinthian, with little effort, snaps the neck of a supernatural wolf with his bare hands, and later sees through the deceptions of the Norse god, Loki, and defeats the deity in single combat.
- Neil Gaiman has stated that the Corinthian is gay in The Sandman Companion in that the first Corinthian consumed eyes only from boys. The second Corinthian is featured with a boyfriend as written by Caitlin R. Kiernan in The Dreaming.