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Abandoned Love: So is Sandman a Good Guy or a Bad Guy or What?

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This time around, based on a suggestion by reader Gareth J., we take a look at Sandman’s journey from villain to hero to, well, villain again…

The Sandman was a recurring villain for decades in the Marvel Universe. First as a Spider-Man foe and then even more so as a Fantastic Four villain as a member of the Frightful Four. The first sign of humanity in the Sandman came in Marvel Team-Up #1, where the Sandman fought Spider-Man and the Human Torch at Christmastime…





He soon was right back to being a villain, though.

In 1982, though, after Sandman got through being merged with Hydro-Man, Tom DeFalco changed things in Marvel Two-in-One #86…



The Thing is called to the bar, and he finds Sandman odder than normal…



The Sandman tells him his origin, some parts of which resonate with Ben Grimm…


And in the end…



Ten issues later, Ben is near death in the hospital after his battle with the Champion in the classic Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2. The Mad Thinker plans it so that some villain is able to get to Ben while he is still defenseless. The Mad Thinker is surprised to see WHICH villain it is, though…



Sandman’s heroic journey is brought to a head in Amazing Spider-Man #338, where he is blackmailed into joining Doctor Octopus’ Sinister Six only to stand up to his former boss…



He gets turned into glass for his troubles and in the next issue, Spidey chooses to save him over catching Doc Ock…



A few months later, Sandman’s journey is completed when he gets a pardon and joins the Avengers in Avengers #329…



His reserve membership is not used very often and soon after he gets a steadier gig working for Silver Sable as part of her Wild Pack (here he is in #1 of the Silver Sable and the Wild Pack series)…


That series lasted a few years and then came Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #4, by Howard Mackie and John Byrne, where he see that the Thing has been keeping tack of Sandman for awhile now, never really trusting him…


And his suspicions prove accurate later in the issue…





Eight issues later, in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #12 (I say eight issues later since Amazing and Peter Parker were on the same schedule), Tom Brevoort explains Sandman’s heel turn by showing that the Wizard effectively turned him evil…




Nice of Brevoort to provide an explanation like that.

That’s it for this week! If YOU have a suggestion for a dropped plotline/character arc, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!