|Full Name:||William Baker|
|First Appearance:||The Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1) Issue #4|
|Created by:||Stan Lee; Steve Ditko|
|Place of Birth:||Queens, New York|
|Affiliations:||Formerly The Sinister Six, the Frightful Four, the Sinister Twelve, the Avengers, the Wild Pack, the Outlaws|
|Powers/Abilities:||The Sandman can alter his body by changing any part of it he desires into sand. He can create many shapes, and weapons out of his body, or make a part of it rock hard.|
|Height:||6' 1" (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||450 lbs (204 kg)|
"Web-Slinger, ya put me in the stir once too often!"
William Baker was born and raised in a rough neighborhood in New York City. At three years old, his father, Floyd Baker, abandoned him and his mother. In these early years she took her son to Coney Island beach. He lost himself happily in sand sculptures, a craft he would use in secondary school under the encouragement of his teacher (and first crush), Ms. Flint.
In preparatory school, a boy named Vic bullied William until he learned how to fight using opponents' motions against themselves, a technique he performed as if he "slipped through their fingers like sand." Vic and his buddies posed no match to William, who wore them down and who they even befriended throughout high school. At this time, William became a football player on his school's team, using football to channel his anger and to apply it to what he sensed as a nascent change to himself. While playing football he adopted the moniker "Flint".
Flint accidentally incurs a large debt to a mob. In desperation, he begs Flint to fix a football game he bet on to pay off his debt. Flint accepted this but finds himself kicked off the team after the coach discovers his involvement in this corruption. The coach vituperates the young, tenderfoot trickster by saying that he'll won't accomplish nothing of importance in his life. Flint soon beats up his ex-coach, resulting in his expulsion from school and segue into a life of crime.
His illegal activity increases in depth and scope, turning him into a violent and bitter man. Eventually he ends up in prison on Ryker's Island where he meets his father, Floyd Baker. He was friendly to his father but does not tell him who he is. He tells Floyd his nickname, Flint, and a false surname, Marko ( which was inspired by his former coach’s taunts about not "making a mark" on the world). He would use the alias Flint Marko from that point on. He used his code name to also to prevent his mother from discovering he's a criminal.) His father's presence ameliorates to him. After Floyd is released from prison, Marko escapes.
Flint flees to a nuclear testing site on a beach near Savannah, Georgia where he comes into contact with sand that had been irradiated by an experimental reactor. His body and the radioactive sand bond to him, which changes Marko's molecular structure into sand. Flint was impressed and proceeded to name himself the Sandman after his powers.
First Encounter with Spider-Man
Marko clashes with Peter Parker/Spider-Man in high school for the first time. He escaped Spider-Man in his first battle, but later Spider-Man found the Sandman hiding in his school. He defeats Marko with a vacuum cleaner and handed it over to the police.
The Sandman escaped by getting through his window after turning himself to sand again, but was recaptured by the Human Torch after the Torch lured the Sandman to a building by disguising himself as Spider-Man, he then activated the sprinkler systems. After a while the troubled youth resurfaces as a member of the Sinister Six, led by Doctor Octopus. He battled Spider-Man inside an airtight metal box, which was activated when Spider-Man touched a card saying where the Vulture was, but the Sandman was defeated due to Spider-Man having stronger lungs than him.
The Frightful Four
After another brief clash with Spider-Man, during which he teamed up with the Enforcers to kidnap the Human Torch, the Sandman joined the scientifically empowered Wizard, the paste-tossing Trapster and the then the bewildered Medusa (a member of the royal family of the Inhumans), Sandman bacame a member of the Frightful Four.
Together, they battled the Fantastic Four countless times. Marko later broke out of prison with the Wizard's help and broke into the Baxter Building a couple times, briefly teaming up with Blastaar when he first escaped from the Negative Zone. Marko even created a new suit that he used to mix various chemicals with his sand, using equipment that was made from Reed Richards' inventions which he stole. He also acted independently, most often coming into conflict with Spider-Man.
The Mud Man
The Sandman's criminal career crumbled when he joined forces with Hydro-Man, who could transform his body into water. In a freak mishap, the Sandman and Hydro-Man combined to form a grotesque, muddy-looking monster. The authorities subdued the creature, rendering it harmless, and its remains were transported to the police forensic laboratory in Manhattan. There, scientists sought to analyze the composition of unusual mud, but determined with the instruments at their disposal that it was inanimate. They decided to seal the substance in a container and dispose it. Apparently as a delayed effect of the analytic procedures, the mud spontaneously separated into the two criminals, who burst free of their container.
Turning over a New Leaf
Baker sinks into Depression where he is having second thoughts about evil. The Thing of the Fantastic Four sees Baker's angst and urges him to straighten himself out and use his ability to do good. He began boarding with the Cassadas and teamed up with Spider-Man against the Enforcers. Sandman makes sporadic appearances in Spider-Man comics assisting his former enemy. The first such appearance has him coming to the rescue of Spider-Man and Silver Sable, who are outnumbered and surrounded by the Sinister Syndicate. Silver Sable is impressed by Sandman's performance and recruits him as a freelance operative. Doctor Octopus coerced him to rejoining the Sinister Six, but he turned against the group, Doctor Octopus, turned him into glass for his treason. Spider-man, however saved Sandman. Sandman also appears as part of The Outlaws, a group of reformed Spider-Man enemies, such as Prowler, Rocket Racer, Puma and Will o' the Wisp, on one occasion that would aid Spider-Man.
Later he receives a presidential pardon and briefly joins the Avengers as a reserve member. Later, he becomes a full-time mercenary in the employment of Silver Sable, becoming a member of her Wild Pack, serving alongside heroes such as Paladin and Battlestar. Sandman is one of the few heroes that was temporarily overwhelmed by their evil doubles during Infinity War, this double almost killed them all.
Return to Evil
After he helped the Avengers defeat the sorceress, Morgan Le Fay, Marko turned against Spider-Man and his sometimes ally Thing and declared his allegiance to evil and his former employer, the villainous Wizard. It was revealed that the Wizard kidnapped Sandman and used his mind control machine called the 'Id Machine' to control him.
The machine worked too well and Sandman went about reforming the Sinister Six to destroy both Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, only to be double-crossed by Venom, who Sandman recruited as the sixth member of the team. During Venom's brawl against Sandman, a vicious black spider rips a chunk of sand from Sandman. The missing sand destabilizes Sandman, causing him to lose his ability to maintain his human form, before falling into the sewer. Sandman admitted that part of the reason for his fall from grace was the trouble he had to really cope with life on the good guys' side, and asks Spider-Man to tell his mother he's sorry for not fulfilling his promise to her as a force for good. Sandman washes away and slides down a sewer, from which he mixes into Jones Beach, New York and is thought to be dead.
Return from the Dead
Sandman's body and mind scattered with the grains of sand, part of his mind merged with the beach and began swallowing people in an attempt to piece himself back together. Spider-Man tried to free the captured people from Sandman's beach, which was his evil mindset, and succeeded when Marko exploded from too many clashing minds. Soon the sand on the beach began to spread to different areas around New York, and all of the different aspects of Sandman's shattered into individual beings, Marko's good side, evil side, feminine side and childlike side. Spider-Man located all of the different versions of Sandman and attempted to convince them to return into one being. Sandman's evil side merged with his child and feminine sides, but Sandman's good side didn't want to allow evil to become a part of him again. The new Sandman responded by abandoning his good side completely, which eventually crumbled into lifeless sand and blew away. While the new Sandman was not sadistic or a monstrosity that his purely evil side was, he was a criminal and seemed to lack any desire to become a hero.
Sandman was one of the villains recruited to recover the Identity Disc, but was seemingly killed due to mutinous behavior. It was revealed that Sandman was alive and working along with the Vulture to manipulate the other villains.
Recently, the Sandman approached Spider-Man asking for help in clearing the name of his father, who had been imprisoned for murdering a bum. Baker admitted that his father was a criminal, but insisted he would never go so far as to kill anybody. Baker also mentioned that the victim bore an uncanny resemblance to a picture of Peter Parker's Uncle Ben. Following a set of leads, Spider-Man and Sandman found out that the supposed killer was none other than an alternate version of Peter's supposedly dead Uncle Ben.
Sandman returned in Spider-Man: The Gauntlet, which redefined the character's powers and mental state. While investigating a series of murders and a missing girl named Keemia, whose mother is a victim of those murders, Spider-Man traces the murders and the abduction to the Sandman, the girl's father, who is hiding on Governor's Island with Keemia. Sandman's powers have evolved to where he can create duplicates of himself who have their own personalities and to Marko's shock claim they committed the murders.
Spider-Man sneaks away and uses a fan to obliterate the sandmen. Originally Spider-Man believed Keemia would be handed to her grandmother, but instead she was sent to a foster home by Child Protective Services. Carlie, one of Spider-Man's friends who had been under police suspicion for tampering with evidence from the murders committed by Sandman's duplicates is exonerated, but Sandman was at large.
During the Origin of the Species, Sandman is among the super villains invited by Doctor Octopus to join his villains' team where he becomes involved in a plot to receive a reward and securing some specific items for him. Sandman went after Spider-Man for Menace's child, believing that Doctor Octopus would reward him by reuniting him with Keemia. He ended up being accidentally struck with lightning by Electro, temporarily turning him into fulgurite. Spider-Man goes on a rampage against all the villains after the Chameleon stole the infant and tricked him into believing it died. In the dock, Sandman along with Shocker and the Enforcers are hiding, however Spider-Man collapses the floor of the building which falls into the water. Sandman attempts to rise an attack, but Spider-Man shoots him using Shocker's vibrating air-blasts.
Rejoining the Sinister Six
Marko joined Doc Ock's new Sinister Six along with Mysterio, Rhino, Doctor Octopus, Chameleon and Electro. He rises up against Doctor Octopus' plan to detonate New York, saying Keemia is still there. During a confrontation between the Sinister Six and the Intelligencia, Doctor Octopus teleport-s the Wizard into the upper atmosphere using the Intelligencia's equipment. Sandman was talking with his former Frightful Four teammate and old friend at the time, until the Mad Thinker goes after Electro, Sandman violently attacks him, claiming that he did not want to lose any more friends.
When Doctor Octopus puts his plan into action, Sandman is satisfied with the job because of the planned two billion dollar "compensation fee", which will help him gain custody of Keemia. However, although sent to guard a facility in the Sahara Desert giving him complete control of the largest body of sand in the world, he is defeated by Spider-Man, Black Widow and Silver Sable when Spider-Man identifies and isolates the one grain of sand that contains his conscious mind. Spider-Man and Silver Sable violently interrogates Sandman into revealing all of Doctor Octopus' secrets to them.
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 85 tons under optimal conditions.
- Density Control: His radical attributes 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, and 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.
- Glass Generation: More recently, the Sandman learned some new tricks from the Wizard, including altering the formation of his sand particles and reshaping them into glass. This grants him the ability to reflect light and energy off of him.
- 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).
- "Queen bee" Grain: Over the years, Spider-Man managed to discover that Sandman's consciousness is located in only one grain of sand, which has Marko's brain pattern and is responsible for commanding the other grains of sand what form to take. With the proper instruments, it can be induced to it different ideas which makes Marko change his form against his will. If that grain is separated from the anothers and isolated, Marko can't recover his mass.
The Sandman briefly used a suit that he created with Reed Richards' stolen equipment, that he used to mix chemicals with his sand to create new effects. Some of the chemicals could make his sand into a slippery puddle, a sandstorm, solidify him to a brick-like form, adhere him to vertical walls, and coat him with a substance that would turn into a poisonous powder when heated by the Human Torch's flame.