| This has got to be the worst alternate universe ever. -Spider-Man
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|Full Name:||Flint Marko|
|First Appearance:||Survival of the Fittest|
|Created by:||Greg Weisman|
|Place of Birth:|
Flint Marko (of Earth-26496) was a petty criminal until an accident turned him into a being comprised of and able to control sand, known as Sandman. He became a member of the Sinister Six to defeat Spider-Man.
Flint Marko was one of the many robbers working under the Big Man, and his partner in crime was Alex O'Hirn. When Spider-Man surfaced as a costumed crime-fighter, Marko and O'Hirn often saw their efforts foiled.
Clashing with Spider-Man
On the last night before school started, Marko and O'Hirn rob the Jewelry Center. They make their way to the top of the building after triggering the alarm. Marko is happy with grabbing a million dollar loot, though O'Hirn does not share his excitement because they have to give the Big Man his share. When the duo is about to jump to the building across, O'Hirn is apprehended by Spider-Man. Marko complains about being repeatedly foiled by Spider-Man. Marko swings the bag of jewels at Spider-Man, but he is too slow for the agile superhero, and is quickly neutralized. Some time later, Marko and O'Hirn are back to business. They are assigned to draw Spider-Man's attention and lure him into a trap set up by Montana. So, they rob a jewelry store and deliberately set off the alarm, and then they make their escape into a warehouse. Marko is more concerned in getting paid, but O'Hirn some payback. The two tackle Spider-Man, but both are swiftly put away. After Shocker takes care of Spider-Man, he releases Marko from his entrapment. Marko and O'Hirn assume Spider-Man is dead, and decide to grab as much loot as possible before word gets out and sets off a plundering spree. Unfortunately for them, Peter was about to enter the store Marko and O'Hirn were robbing. As usual, Spider-Man steps in and foils the robbery. He then tells them to inform Shocker that he's up for a rematch. Marko and O'Hirn are left webbed to their loot, and were presumably arrested. Some time later, Marko and O'Hirn rob another store and blow their way out into the sewers thinking they can evade Spider-Man. They abscond with two bags of cash, but they don't make it too far. As usual, the webslinger was swinging by and throws the couple in jail. Marko bemoans his bad luck, when a police officer informs them that their bail has been paid. Marko and O'Hirn step outside the Police Precinct to be welcomed by Hammerhead .Marko is taken to an undisclosed location. Hammerhead tells him that the Big Man has had his eye on Marko and wants him for a special job. Gullible, Marko is riveted with the prospect of meeting the Big Man in person, but Hammerhead tells him no one meets the Big Man. Marko is then taken inside, where he's strapped and hooked to a machine by Dr. Otto Octavius. He is then told that he will be infused with millions of microscopic silicon granules, creating sub-dermal silicon armor and making him impervious and undetected to scanners. During the proceeding, Marko morphs into sand and bursts, seemingly dying.However, Marko is able to reassemble himself almost back into his human self, but he is not happy with the results and starts hammering on the one-way window. Hammerhead addresses him as "Mr. Sandman" and tells him to calm down. While being escorted out, Marko manages to reshape his entire body back to normal.Hammerhead tries to play Marko against Spider-Man, but Marko is not so much interested in revenge as in getting rich. So he disregards Hammerhead instructions, dubs himself Sandman and leaves to rob the Midtown Bank. He walks in through the front doors, takes the money, the alarm goes off, and burst out from where he came in. Outside, Spider-Man is waiting for him, but, as Sandman, Marko is overconfident and takes on Spidey with his powers. He proves to be an opponent to be reckoned with. Sandman inadvertently slips the Big Man's name, and then takes off to rob more banks, but neglects to take the loot he had just robbed.He goes on a crime spree across town, robbing ATM machines and banks with relative ease. When he hijacks an armored car, Spider-Man takes him on again. The ensuing fight drives the car out of control and they crash into a construction site. Sandman shows Spider-Man how his webbing is useless on him and buries him under girders. Sandman maintains the upper hand during most of the fight. However, his overconfidence eventually gets the best of him, and Spider-Man manages to bathe him in concrete. Sandman is instantaneously solidified. He is eventually taken into prison where he is incarcerated in a cell designed to release air pressure if he tries to escape. At some point, Doctor Octopus makes contact with him, probably through the Vulture who was working as a trustee, and gets in on a plan to break out and take down Spider-Man. On the day of the escape, the Vulture brings him a sandwich, and Sandman berates him, saying he only can only ingest raw silicones. The Vulture then informs him the escape is scheduled for that night. When the time for the breakout comes, Electro overloads the power generators of the prison, shutting down Sandman and Rhino's cell. Then Sandman releases the Enforcers and everyone make a run for it.
On the next day, Rhino goes on a rampage in Times Square, calling Spider-Man's attention. When he shows up donning the black suit, the rallied super villains make and entrance and attack the webslinger. When Spider-Man realizes they are too much to handle, he retreats into the sewer. Sandman, Shocker and Doctor Octopus go after Spider-Man, but Sandman asks to be excused as the contact with water is turning him into mud. Shocker insults him so he pursues the search.
After the hunt comes to naught, the Sinister Six celebrate in a restaurant in anticipation to Spider-Man's defeat. The group soon starts quarreling over their personal interests, until Electro takes a stand claims that they must trust Doctor Octopus so that everyone can get what they want.
Then, so as to lure Spider-Man, the Sinister Six take hostages in a bank near Central Park. The plan succeeds and Spider-Man arrives only to be ambushed and quickly subdued. Unbeknownst to them, Spider-Man was being controlled by his black suit, which fights back on its own and a battle endues. Sandman is repeatedly foiled and is finally overpowered when Spider-Man uses Shocker's gauntlet to disintegrate him and keep him from reforming. After the Six are defeated, the police take them into custody.Sandman is thrown back to Ryker's Island where he stays until he is somehow extricated by the Master Planner. He joins the mysterious benefactor's new Sinister Six to make another attempt to kill Spider-Man. The Master Planner employs a new tactic this time: teaming the villains in pairs to as to wear Spider-Man down. Sandman is paired with his old buddy, Rhino, and the two attack Spider-Man in a tire barn, after he had neutralized Electro. They toss Spider-Man around for a while but are lured to the docks. Sandman decides he wants to unmask him before delivering the final blow, but Spider-Man evades and goes after a fire hydrant. He cracks it open, soaking Sandman until he becomes mud. Sandman manages to recover and goes after Spider-Man, but the night air starts freezing he water in his body, saturating his silicones and thus making him slower. Upon realizing this, Spider-Man lures Sandman into being covered with snow, freezing him completely. The Tinkerer eventually extracts him at the behest of the Master Planner. After the Master Planner's plan comes to naught, Sandman is loaded out to Hammerhead. He robs a jewelry store to fence the goods, but Spider-Man tries to foil him as usual, and the two fight. Sandman is forced to retreat empty-handed as the police arrive. He begs Hammerhead for another chance and is sent to steal theUrn of Morpheus from a museum. However, as the alarm goes off, Spider-Man shows up. Sandman asks him how he always intercepts him while doing a job, and wonders if he has some kind of "spider sense." Sandman hides himself in a room filled with statues, posing as a stone ornament. When Spider-Man passes by unsuspecting, Sandman attacks and ensnares him. He tries to suffocate the webslinger but Spider-Man is able to break free. He also notices how Sandman has grown bigger, and the super villain explains that while in prison he learned how to absorb silicones, thus enhancing his powers. Spider-Man calls him pathetic, saying that he could do something good with his powers, but instead wastes them on crime. Sandman stands down and wonders if he can be a real hero, but as soon as Spider-Man lowers his guard, he strikes him. Sandman sneers and bursts out with the stolen good.
On the next day he meets with Hammerhead on Rockaway Beach to collect his payment. Some kids were making sandcastles there, and as they taunt a little girl for her work, Sandman forms a real size castle in from on them, scaring the bullies away. The little girl thanks Sandman and he tells her to go home because it's getting late. Hammerhead witnesses this act of kindness and taunts Sandman for being nice to little girls. Sandman protests claiming he only wanted to torment the teens. When he finally gets his severely reduced fee, Hammerhead explains that his payoff got cut down after the Big Man and the Master Planner collected their shares. Sandman was aspiring for a big score, so Hammerhead suggests he hijacks an oil tanker, which would secure a big payoff.
Sandman absorbs massive amounts of sand and takes on the taker with ease. Spider-Man steps in and the two fight. Hammerhead's henchmen start draining the tanker, but Sandman chases after Spider-Man, neglecting the purpose of his job. In the ensuing fight, he rips the tank open, spilling oil over the sea. Then he inadvertently sparks the tanker ablaze. Sandman grabs Spider-Man who tries to warn him of the collapsing tanker. He thinks that's a trick but when he realizes what had done, he lets go of Spider-Man and takes the tanker's crewmen to safety. Sandman claims he didn't intend for that to happen, and then grabs Spider-Man and hurls him away to safety. Just when the tanker is about to explode, Sandman grows into an even bigger size and encases the tanker. He takes the full impact of the explosion, which turns his body into glass. Spider-Man assumes he died, but Sandman slips away intact, looking pleased with himself.
Powers & Abilities
- Body Conversion- Sand: The Sandman possesses the superhuman ability to convert his body into sand by mental command. The sand functions identically to, and appears to be, normal flesh. However, he can convert all or parts of his body into animated sand at will. His brain has attained subliminal awareness of all granulated particles of his body. Through conscious effort, he can affect the degree of molecular cohesion between the numerous adjoining surfaces of his particles and thus cause locomotion of discrete volumes, down to the individual grains.
- Superhuman Strength: As a consequence of having a body composed of animated sand, the Sandman possesses phenomenal superhuman strength, able to lift up to 60 tons under optimal conditions.
- Density Control: His radically mutagenically altered body composition and increased density enable him to compact or loosen the particles of sand that make up his form. Consequently, the Sandman can become as hard as sandstone, or disperse his body so that he becomes invulnerable to physical attacks. A favorite tactic of the Sandman is making himself slightly dispersed when an opponent punches him, and then making himself rock-solid again, entrapping his opponent's appendage.
- Shape-shifting: He can shape his sand-state body into any continuous shape he can imagine, including his forearms into weapons like hammers, spiked maces, and large fists, stretching, elongating, deforming, expanding, flattening, or compressing all or portions of his body at will, like Mr. Fantastic, phase through small openings, etc.
- Sand Blasts: He can project his sand particles outward at high speeds and, when in the shape of a bulky object, with the impact of a large sandbag.
- Reformation: The Sandman maintains mental control of the particles of which his body is composed so that he can reform his scattered grains unless a substantial portion of his body mass has been isolated.
- Sand Conversion: Apparently, he can also convert common grains of sand around him into constituents of his body to replenish portions he might lose track of during battle. In this manner, he can increase his overall size and volume (to some as yet unknown limit), or that of his limbs. There appears to be no limit to how long the Sandman can remain in his sand-state. If he were to be rendered unconscious while in his sand-state, he would remain in that state, although the relaxing of his control over his particles would cause him to become an amorphous pile of sand. The Sandman's mind continues to function in astral form even when he has turned his head into sand and even when the particles of sand that composed his brain are widely scattered. The limit to how far the particles of his brain can be dispersed before he is unable to reassemble is not yet known.
- Water: The Sandman's weakness that makes him most vulnerable is water. Water can soften his sand granules therefore, Sandman cannot control them and has to wait for them to dry.
- Heat: The Sandman is vulnerable to heat. Temperatures of 3,400 degrees Fahrenheit can cause his highly impure silicate composition to fuse into amorphous silicate (glass).