One of the most critically acclaimed series from Vertigo, Sandman Mystery Theatre follows the exploits of Wesley Dodds, a man who protects the innocent from the Manhattan underworld. Written by Matt Wagner for the majority of its run with art from Guy Davis and others, Sandman Mystery Theatre re-told the early years of the original Sandman during the 1930's before he was a member of the Justice Society of America and dealt with mature themes such as racism and the politics of the approaching Second World War. The series re-worked some elements of previous DC Comics continuity, for instance, Dian Belmont did not die, and Sandy Hawkins did not exist except as a fictional character. However, Wagner did include references and appearances from other JSA members of the time and mainstream DC continuity of the time did incorporate the series to certain degrees. The series was launched due to the popularity of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (1989).