Cover Price: $.12
Value: $5,000 (Near
"Nothing Can Stop...The Sandman" - 21 Pages
It's the fourth issue of Amazing Spider-Man
with three major villains already introduced in the first three issues. Can this
issue bring about a fourth one? You betcha! "Nothing Can Stop The Sandman" is
the title of this story, and at first look at this new, seemingly invincible
villain, you just believe it!
The story begins as Spidey discovers some petty thief's waiting to rob a jewelry store, but they get away when they call the police over to apprehend Spider-Man. Remember, Spider-Man at this point, is looked at by many as a menace, especially with a new series of articles in the Daily Bugle are began by J. Jonah Jameson. Swinging away moments later, Spider-Man gets his first glimpse of Sandman
using his Spider-Man Beacon to shine some light on him. Spider-Man has heard of him before as he is wanted by the police from Maine to Mexico by robbing banks. The inevitable battle ensues with Sandman literally falling through Spidey's hands by turning himself into soft sand, then almost breaking his fist by punching him in the jaw as Sandman hardens that part of himself. After a beating by the Sandman, Spider-Man tears his mask and runs away fearing his secret identity. Sandman then promptly robs a bank with great ease while Peter is back at home sewing up his torn mask.
It's at this point we learn of Sandman's origin as told over a television broadcast. He was an ordinary prison inmate at Island Prison known as Flint Marko. He escaped through an unguarded drainage tunnel on night and eventually hid at an atomic device testing area where he was on a beach when a nuclear test explosion occurred. Somehow, the molecules of his body merged with the molecules of the sand and his entire body took on the quality of the sand itself. In the present though, Sandman is currently robbing yet another bank as televised and witnessed by many including young Peter Parker, who goes to bed after his Aunt May tucks him away ( embarrassing!).
The next morning at the Daily Bugle, Publisher J. Jonah Jameson walks in and of course he thinks there is a connection between Sandy and Spidey. Here is where we first meet Jonah's Secretary named Betty Brant. She would go on to become one of the longest supporting cast members and ex-girlfriends of Peter's in the Spider-Verse. Peter asks Jonah for an advance on his next check and of course he is turned down. Next stop for Peter is school while the Sandman is on the loose being chased by the cops. Of all places he looks to hide,
he chooses Peter's school where he startles the principal by demanding that he write him up a diploma, but Spider-Man appears just before Sandman can lay a hand on the principal. He lands a quick punch to his jaw at first then flips him through a door before Sandy makes his counter-attack. Sandman attempts to pile-drive his hardened fists through Spidey but gets more of the wall than of Spider-Man. The battle continues it's way into the school gym where Spider-Man attempts to web-up Sandman to no success. Sandman easily re-arranges his molecules after "sifting" through the webbing ready to continue the battle. At this point, Sandy is putting a beating on Spider-Man and it looks very bleak for him. Desperately, Spider-Man tries anything. Letting himself be coated by Sandman and tumbling down a staircase didn't shake Sandy off him, Using an electric drill to try and bore through him fails miserably, but out of nowhere, a brilliant idea of using a huge industrial size vacuum cleaner and sucks him up into the heavy canvas bag inside the vacuum. Only bad thing for Peter was he forgot to take some pics for the Bugle, so he fakes some by throwing some sand in the air and poses while "battling" the sand. The story ends as Spider-Man delivers the Sandman in one neat package to the police as J. Jonah Jameson also demands that they apprehend Spider-Man. The pics are delivered to J.J.J. by Peter undeveloped, but Jonah accepts them anyway by declaring that he will deduct those costs out of his pay!
Yet another extremely important issue in the history of the Spider-Verse. The Sandman will go on to have and up and down career eventually turning his life around and becoming a hero and reserve Avenger to again turning to a life of crime. The next appearance for the Sandman will be in Strange Tales #115 where Spider-Man makes a minor appearance in the Human Torch's solo title. Then he would appear as part of the Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 & Amazing Spider-Man #18 & #19.
Also of note: Spider-Man makes his first appearance in another title this month when he appears in Strange Tales Annual #2 battling the Fox alongside the Human Torch.
Marvel Collectors' Item Classics #2
Marvel Tales #141
Spider-Man Classics #5
Marvel Masterworks Vol. 1
Spider-Man Essentials I
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