The Corinthian was originally a dream construct the entity Dream (aka Morpheus/The Sandman). His original intention was to be a vehicle for which people would feel fear and nightmare. "A black mirror, made to reflect everything about itself that humanity will not confront,"
In the Corinthian spin-off, Death in Venice, the Corinthian claimed he was able to come to Earth through Stefan Wasserman, the soldier who was unable to sleep following Dream's imprisonment. He wandered the world, stopping in Venice. While there, he tracked down a woman who claimed to be the embodiment of plague. He made her teach him how to kill, claiming he would teach her how to switch bodies. She taught him, but he promptly murdered her. Corinthian claimed that he was a man now, that to kill made him an adult. This story was told by an unreliable narrator, a storyteller who claimed to be blind. It was proven as false by Sandman: Overture.
In Sandman: Overture, the Corinthian had been hunting in the waking world before Dream's capture. Shortly before Dream was drawn away on his quest, he captured and confronted the Corinthian, explaining that it was not a nightmare's place to harm in the waking world. He was going to unmake the Corinthian. At this moment, Dream sensed that there was a powerful force calling him. Sensing the moment of weakness, the Corinthian demanded to be tried by a jury of his peers. Dream left, paying him no heed. The Corinthian fled, saying he would 'keep running until the world looks like me'.
When the Sandman was imprisoned in a talisman, the Corinthian left the dreaming and walked the earth as one of the most notorious serial killers known. He was notorious even among The Collectors who attended the serial killer's convention. When Dream was summoned by Rose, he found Corinthian downstairs and he tried to stab the dream king himself. Dream then unmade him leaving only ash and a skull with the intent making him again properly.
He is eventually remade, saner and loyal to Dream. This version of the Corinthian is sent to find and retrieve Daniel Hall, who had been stolen from his home. Teaming up with Matthew, the Corinthian tracks Daniel's kidnappers from the Waking World to Svartelheim. It turns out Daniel was taken by Loki and Puck, and they were burning away his mortality. The Corinthian fights Loki, easily overpowering him. He leaves Loki with a broken neck and without eyes, but alive.
The Corinthian returns to the Dreaming with Daniel, acting as his protector until Daniel's eventual transformation into Dream.
He attends Morpheus' wake.
In the ensuing time, the Corinthian draws further away from the other dreams, living on his own on the outskirts of the Dreaming.
He was briefly made mortal, his position usurped by Echo. However, after growing to understand humans and mortality, he was allowed to return to his position.
The Corinthian is an impeccable dresser no matter the era. He wears sunglasses to cover his most distinguishing feature...he has mouths full of teeth where his eyes should be! His sign as a "Collector" was removing the eyes of his victims and eating them with his own eyes.
Powers and Abilities
The Corinthian possesses strength and speed beyond that of a normal human, easily overpowering a wolf within the dream world. He also has incredible pain resistance, capable of holding "fire" and having his flesh burned without letting go.
The Corinthian can see the last thing a dead person sees before dying by holding their eyes in his "mouths."