Characters : Sandman

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Attributes
Eyes

Brown

Features

Gritty feeling to his handshake

Hair

Brown

Height

Variable (6'1")

Weight

Variable (450 lbs)

Powers
Limitations

Sandman can form his body into hammers and other crushing weapons, and can suffocate opponents with his body.

Powers

Sandman can turn his body into a sandlike material which he can manipulate the shape and density of at will.

Strength Level

Super-Human

Summary
Citizenship

United States of America

Created By
Current Occupation

Unknown

Dual Identity

Known to the F.B.I.

Education

Didn't graduate from High School

Former Aliases

William Baker, Sylvester Mann

Former Bases

The Island Prison

Former Groups

The Sinister Six, Frightful Four, Avengers (Alternate Avenger Status)

Former Occupation

Professional Criminal

Known Allies

Spider-Man, Captain America, The Avengers, Crime-Master, The Big Man, Silver Sable, Silver Sable's Wild Pack, the Sinister Six, the Frightful Four,

Known Confidants

Spiderman, Captain America

Known Relatives

Mother (Mrs. Baker, MTU #1), Father (Floyd Baker)

Legal Status

Criminal Record in the U.S.

Major Enemies

Spider-Man, The Sinister Six, Fantastic Four

Marital Status

Single

Place of Birth

Queens, New York

Real Name

Flint Marko

Usual Bases

Unknown

Background

In William Baker's own words, "My childhood sucked, but let's not make it even worse than it was." The only child of an alcoholic mother who cleaned houses for a living and a father that ran out on the family, William had skill as an artist. Sand art, naturally. His teacher, Miss Flint, was proud of her star pupil, but his talents made him the target of the school bullies. His mother blamed herself when William would come home battered and bruised, wishing that she hadn't drank so much and forced her husband to leave them. At least his father could have taught little William to defend himself. The son promised his mother, "I AM a man. And I can defend myself. You'll see. They'll ALL see."

William swore that Vic and his fellow bullies would never hurt him again. The next time they came after him, he was the one to leave them hurt and bleeding. That day, he learned that guys feared and respected power and girls were attracted to it. When he was a good boy, he was beat up. When he was a rebel, he was respected. He liked the feeling. A lot.

His former bullies decided to make him one of them, and he became their leader. William took "Flint" as a nickname in high school, because it sounded tough and because it reminded him of his teacher, who he had a childhood crush on. He swore that he would never be the kid that he had been before. He became a high school football player, which is where his trouble really began. Vic came to him one night and begged Flint to start throwing some of the football games, so he could pay off his gambling debts to the mafia. Flint agreed, which brought him into conflict with the coach.

The coach confronted Flint, who promptly beat him up. He and Vic robbed a convenience store to get money to run out of town but were caught by the police and sent to prison. In prison, Flint met his father, a fellow prisoner named Floyd Baker. Floyd claimed that he liked Flint's bravery and wished that his wimp of a son had some of his guts. That way, he never would have run out on the family. Floyd introduced himself and Flint hastily came up with the name that he would use for the rest of his criminal career: Flint Marko.

Vic and Marcy, Flint's girlfriend, were always waiting for him when he got out of prison. They continued working for the mob as enforcers and inevitably would end up back in jail. The only up side to being back behind bars was seeing his father, who still didn't know he was talking to his own son. Then one day, Floyd was free and Flint was in jail. Wanting to be with his father, Flint escaped from prison and made it all the way to Georgia. Vowing never to be captured alive, he managed to stay one step ahead of the pursuing lawmen. But as the police dragnet drew ever tighter, he hid in the one place where no one would imagine a man would hide: An Atomic Devices Testing Center.

Realizing it was the only place where he could have a measure of safety, he remained on the lonely, forbidden area beach. Until the fateful day that a Nuclear test explosion caught him unawares. By some incredible accident, the molecules of his body merged at that radioactive instant with the molecules of the sand under his feet. In doing so his body took on the qualities of the sand itself. He became the Sandman, who is virtually indestructible.

Making his way back to New York, Flint went directly to Marcy's apartment to tell her that their problems were over, that he could now steal whatever he wanted, but found her with Vic. He nearly killed them for betraying him, but he decided that they were beneath him, that a man of his power needed a worthy enemy. He got his wish in Spider-Man. (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Annual #1)

Marko returned to his criminal ways (he was really just a thief at heart), and proved impossible for the police to capture. Bullets passed through him without hurting him, he could disappear by seeming to be nothing more than a pile of sand in a construction site and his malleable form made him able to fashion all sorts of weapons out of his hands. This talent brought him to the attention of Dr Octopus, who made him an original member of the Sinister Six.

Flint was always a street thug at heart, although he did try to be the mastermind once. He led the Enforcers (Montana, Ox and Fancy Dan) in an attempt to kidnap the Human Torch. It worked for a while, until Spidey showed up.

Flint met a woman that he was very attracted to named Sadie in a cheap bar one night, but she was already being pursued by Morrie Bench, aka Hydro-Man. She tried to keep her new boyfriends cooperative but they ended up fighting each other and merging into a mud monster. It was stopped after it climbed the Empire State Building and got struck by lightening.

After repenting from his criminal ways, Flint Marko changed his name back to William Baker, and tried to fight the good fight alongside Spidey, Silver Sable and the Avengers. While allied to Sable, Baker fought Ben Reilly. Sable was testing Reilly, who had been acting differently than how she remembered Spider-Man. Baker even offered to get a beer with Spidey after the fight was done. Still, Marko's evil ways lurked deep inside him. The Wizard, with a device he had previously used against the Fantastic Four to a similar effect, made Flint's dark side resurface so he could have his former ally back.

Again as Marko, he reformed the Sinister Six, with Alyosha Kravinoff and Daniel Berkhart taking the place of the dead, original Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio, respectively. Only this time the sixth member, Doc Ock, wasn't the leader - he was the target. The group was joined by Venom, who decided to eliminate them after he believed himself to have been insulted by them.

Catching up to Sandman and Spidey at the Daily Bugle after dealing with Electro, Venom took a bite out of Sandman. Now, usually this doesn't really harm anything, as Sandman always leaves some sand behind, but this time some vital sand organ must have been hit, because he started falling apart. He fell into the sewers and was dumped on a beach, where he had enough sand to reform, but not enough will to do it - his mind was shattered.

Eventually, several aspects of Sandman's mind reformed, his good side, his dark side, his feminine side and his inner child. After tracking down the evil side all over the city, Spidey watched as the 4 Sandpeople (sorry George Lucas) merged together, and fell apart again. After Spider-Man left, a single Sandman emerged, and apparently evil won over the inner battle for control.

Sandman may be evil again, but he was forced to join forces with Spider-Man to save his father from death row. Floyd had been convicted of a recent murder since he had last seen Flint. Whose murder, you ask? Ben Parker's, Peter's beloved Uncle Ben. Peter didn't understand how this was possible, since Ben had been killed many years earlier by a Burglar. The thing is, this wasn't the "real" Ben Parker: it was an Uncle Ben from a parallel universe, brought to Spider-Man by the Hobgoblin from the year 2211.

Hobgoblin 2211 came from the future to kill all Spider-Men from all times, and she used the alternate Uncle Ben to persuade Peter to give up being Spider-Man. The plan didn't work and Hobgoblin was defeated, leaving "Uncle Ben" to wander New York. He stumbled upon a homeless man, who tried to persuade him to take his own life. Ben refused, and the bum shot him. It was then that Floyd Baker found the body in an alleyway and picked up the gun, just as the police arrived. Mr Baker, with his long criminal record, was arrested for the murder of "Ben Parker."

This was all revealed by a giant pink lizard from the year 2211, a "Chameleon" of the future, who came back to our time when the Hobgoblin did. The Chameleon 2211 devoured its victim's DNA to assume their appearance and used the identity of the principal of Midtown High for the purpose of watching and learning about Peter Parker. The Spider-Man of our time is a legendary figure in the future and the 2211 Chameleon used the Hobgoblin to come back in time to battle the legend. During the three way battle between Sandman and Chameleon, Spider-Man used the technology from the Spider-Man from 2211 (who was dead, don't ask) to transport "Chameleon" into the electric chair of Floyd Baker. Chameleon was electrocuted and Floyd finally met his son, whom he considers a screw up.

Perhaps Flint wanted a real, loving family relationship. His father clearly wanted nothing to do with him, so that would explain why he kidnapped a little girl named Keemia Alvarado. Her mother, Alma, was a groupie for super criminals. She wrote them letters, and Keemia was the daughter of one of them. It was through this prison correspondence that Alma met the Sandman. After Flint escaped, he killed Alma and kidnapped Keemia, telling her that she was his daughter. Having never met her real father, she went along with him willingly. Flint took care of her,and she loved him like a real father. Sadly, after Spider-Man rescued her, she was taken into Child Protective Services, as her grandmother was seen as unfit to raise her.

Marko was still enraged over the loss of Keemia and joined Doc Ock and others in Ock's next scheme against the web slinger. Lily Hollister had just given birth to the newest son of Norman Osborn, when the infant was attacked by the super thugs and criminals gathered by Ock. Spidey rescued the newborn, but was dogged across New York by the myriad of enemies (Shocker, Tombstone, Electro, Vulture, Mysterio, Freak, Chameleon, Rhino and Doc Ock) as he tried to protect the child.

Flint rejoined the Sinister Six, after Dr Octopus promised to help him get whatever he wanted if he joined the team. In order to get Keemia back, Flint traveled with the Six to take on the Intelligencia, a group of super criminals consisting of M.O.D.O.K., Wizard, Klaw, Red Ghost and the Mad Thinker. The Intelligencia planned to use a magnetic device to blast certain places on earth into space, which was a threat to Doc Ock's latest master plan. Sandman took on the Wizard, a painful moment for both of them, as they were both members of the Frightful Four. Wizard offered to help Marko get Keemia back, until Ock blasted him into the stratosphere.

After the Sinister Six made their move for world domination, Sandman was captured after a battle in the Sahara by Spider-Man, Silver Sable and Black Widow. He was forced under torture to tell them the other locations around the world where Ock had his missile silos, which were launching satellites that could either increase or end the threat of global warming.

Sandman was soon under the control of Spider-Man (Octavius) at his hidden lair. He stayed a prisoner as Octavius collected the other members of the former Sinister Six. Eventually, Flint was forced to take a mind control chip and join the Superior Six (Electro, Vulture, Mysterion, Chameleon, Spider-Man) under Spider-Man's command. The group was re-organized as a group of former criminals seeking redemption by becoming heroes. Their first target was The Wrecking Crew, who was attempting to steal equipment from the new mega-corporation of Liz Allan's, Alchemax. (Superior Spider-Man Team Up #5)

The Superior Six soon arrived to battle Whirlwind, but this was a trap for the rest of the Masters of Evil (Titania, Absorbing Man, Mister Hyde, Thunderball, Blackout and others) to ambush them. Meanwhile, Spider-Man realized that this was a distraction from the theft of the quantum particle engine, that he left at Parker Industries. He was correct and the device was stolen by Lightmaster. The Six dealt with the Masters of Evil with the help of Sun Girl, a teenager that looked up to Spider-Man. She was, also, the daughter of Lightmaster, who was stunned to see his daughter helping his enemies. Spider-Man ordered Sun Girl to shoot the engine to destroy it, but instead it was activated and somehow made Sandman into a giant. (Superior Spider-Man Team Up #6)

Part of Sandman was huge enough to terrorize the Manhattan skyline and part of his consciousness stayed as a rock prison that held Spider-Man. Spider-Man tried to reason with him, but Flint mocked him and reminded him that he had controlled their minds. He was freed by Sun Girl and after the rest of the Six were beaten but was outmatched by the enormous Sandman, who again reminded Spider-Man that he had violated them with his mind control and that Doctor Octopus had been right: the whole world should have burned. Part of him had believed in Spider-Man but that part of him was dead now. He was then blasted through the head by Sun Girl. (Superior Spider-Man Team Up #7)

Appears In...

Sep 1963 1st: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #4
  Origin and first appearance.
Dec 1963 App: Strange Tales (Vol. 1) #115 (Story 1)
Nov 1995 App: Untold Tales of Spider-Man #3
Year 1964 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #1 (Story 1)
Nov 1964 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #18

Here is the Full Appearance List (141 Apps) for Sandman.

The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.

Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.