The Sandman (DC Comics Golden Age)

For other comic book characters with the same name, see The Sandman (comics).

Missing image
Adventure Comics #40 (July, 1939)
Missing image
Sandman Mystery Theatre #29 (August, 1995)

The Sandman, alias Wesley Dodds, is a comic book superhero in the DC Comics universe, best known for his stories set during the 1940s and his "costume" consisting of a green business suit, fedora, and gas mask. He is a member of the Justice Society of America. He was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Bert Christman and first appeared in World's Fair Comics #1 (1939).

Following his debut, the Sandman appeared in Adventure Comics from issues #40 to #102. The Sandman was one of the earliest superheroes (then called "mystery men" for lack of a better term), though his status as such is debatable as he came rather from the detective tradition seen in the pulps of the 1930s. He had no superhuman powers, but was armed with an exotic "gas gun" that could compel villains to tell the truth, as well as put them to sleep.

Missing image
Adventure Comics #84 (March, 1943)

In 1941, he was given a more superheroic yellow and purple costume by artist Chad Grothkopf, as well as a yellow-clad kid sidekick, Sandy the Golden Boy. This version of the character was famously written and drawn by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

During and after the Silver Age the Sandman made occasional appearances in JSA/JLA teamups. He was one of a number of JSA members who found themselves in the "Ragnarok Dimension" during the early Modern Age. A minor retcon in Neil Gaiman's Sandman suggested that his chosen identity was a result of Dream's absence from his realm, and that he has an aspect of the Dreaming within him.

A film-noir retelling of the original Sandman's adventures appeared in a 1993 series intended for adult readers entitled Sandman Mystery Theatre.

A one-shot special by Gaiman, Sandman Midnight Theatre, has the Sandman interact with the back-story of Gaiman's book, as a visit to Britain leads to an encounter with Roderick Burgess and the imprisoned Dream.

In the present day setting, the JSA were released from Limbo, and a retired Wesley Dodds was shown as the "elder statesman" of superheroes, most notably in a team-up with Jack Knight, the son of Dodds' JSA teammate Starman.

In 1999, a year after the end of the Sandman Mystery Theatre series, Wesley died in JSA #1. His still-youthful but now grown-up sidekick, Sandy the Golden Boy, became known simply as Sand and took his mentor's place as a member of the Justice Society of America. Like the Marvel Comics Sandman, Sand had gained the power to turn into sand, though otherwise he was the true heir to the original, pulp fiction-inspired Sandman in all but name.


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