William Baker was the son of Floyd Baker and his wife. William's father left while William was an infant. As a child, impoverished, he learned how to steal. Young William loved going to the beach and building sand castles, but trips to the beach were far and few between because his mother was an alcoholic. One day, William built a large and detailed sand castle only to watch it wash away when it started to rain. The young Baker boy became determined that he was going to make something that would last. William took his love of making things out of sand and used it for school art projects. He had developed a crush on his teacher Miss Flint, but was heart broken when he learned that she was engaged to a stockbroker. This made William believe that the only way to attract a beautiful woman was with money. Baker was tormented by an older student named Vic. On the day he learned that Miss Flint was going to be married, Vic and his friends trashed William's work and beat him up. William ran home to his mother without telling any of the school administrators what happened, and was determined to look after himself. The next time Vic and his friends tried to bully William, he fought back and easily trounced them. When he got in trouble with the school principal, William couldn't help but notice that not only were his bullies afraid of him, but girls noticed him fighting back as well. For the first time in his miserable life, William felt joy. Soon enough, young William became a bully in his own right, beating up on those smaller than him.
Soon William became friends with Vic and his goons and rapidly rose to be the leader of their gang. To sound tougher, William began calling himself Flint, after his old teacher. In high school, Baker became a football star and began dating a cheerleader named Marcy. William has given two accounts of what happened next. He has stated that he accepted money from the mob to throw one of his games. While a late recounting, William has stated that his friend Vic had racked up heavy gambling debts and threw the next game to get out of trouble. Whatever the case, William's coach figured out what happened and had him expelled from school. However, in the later account, William had stated that he violently assaulted his coach after he confronted him. Flint and Vic then began committing petty crimes and started working their way up. When Flint tried to give gifts to his mother she rejected them, having heard rumors of his criminal activities. Arrested while making his getaway from a robbery, Flint found himself in the same prison as his father. Wanting to know who his father was, but ashamed to reveal his identity, William introduced himself as "Flint Marko". When Flint was out he, Vic and Marcy plotted heists, and when he was arrested again, he spent time with his father until the day his father was released from prison.
The events that led up to William Baker becoming the Sandman vary from account to account. In one telling, Flint caught Vic and Marcy having an affair. After beating up Vic, he went on a crime spree that led to yet another incarceration. Sent to Ryker's Island, Flint eventually broke out of prison, causing the manhunt that led to him getting his powers. Another states that during one of his later arrests, Flint learned that his father was released from prison and broke out in order to be with him.
It was during his flight from the authorities that Flint Marko was exposed the radiation that gave him his powers. Accounts of the actual cause vary. Originally, it was stated that Flint hid from the authorities at the site where a nuclear bomb was being tested. Another account states that Marko was near the site of a nuclear reactor that detonated, and yet another states that he hid in a cave where radioactive waste was being stored. Whatever the case, after being exposed to radiation, his body interacted with the sand under his feet mutating Marko in such a way that he could turn his body into sand and manipulate each grain to shape any form he desired. Flint has stated that it was after his powers he caught Vic and Marcy together and unleashed his powers on them in a fury before fleeing, but he left them alive.
While on the run in New York City, Flint, now calling himself the Sandman, began a crime spree and crossed paths with the novice hero Spider-Man. Spider-Man battled the Sandman but was forced to flee when his mask ripped open in order to protect his secret identity. Later the Sandman decided to hide out from the law at Midtown High School. There he decided to try and force the principal to give him a high school diploma, but he refused. Baker's big mistake was choosing the high school that Spider-Man attended in his alter ego of Peter Parker. Spotting the villain, Peter slipped away and battled him as Spider-Man. Ultimately the Sandman was defeated when Spider-Man sucked up his sand form in a vacuum cleaner and left him for the authorities. Sandman has later stated that he had intentionally allowed Spider-Man to "defeat" him as he had learned that his father was once again incarcerated. Back in prison, Flint broke himself and his father out. They then fled to Coney Island where they had the bad luck of running into Spider-Man again. This time the Sandman was outdone by nature when it started to rain. Losing his cohesion, the Sandman was felled by a bolt of lightning and was forced to flee the scene. His father regarded the Sandman as nothing more than a "good for nothing bum" and fled the scene.
Apparently the Sandman either previously or later began dating one of the teacher at Midtown High, and returned again to try and get her to come with him while he was on the run from the law. Peter Parker once again slipped out of class to become Spider-Man and battled Marko once again. This time around Marko was defeated when Spider-Man turned on the fire sprinklers then fused him into a solid sand form with the electrical power from a Stark Industries energy generator that was being demonstrated for a science class. Flint was then taken into police custody once more. Later, the Sandman was pulled forward in time with a number of other super-villains by the Orrgo who was under the command of the Headmen. The Sandman and the others villains then clashed with the Defenders before being returned to their proper eras, apparently with no memory of the events as they were under Orrgo's control. The Sandman escaped from prison and the Fantastic Four were asked to help bring him in. With most of the team busy, their youngest member the Human Torch was dispatched to locate the villain. The Torch confronted the Sandman on the George Washington Bridge, but he managed to escape. Unable to locate Spider-Man, the Torch briefly posed as the hero in order to draw the Sandman out of hiding. Battling it out in a department store, the fire sprinklers affected the Sandman's powers, forcing him to retain human form in order to prevent washing away. Although the Torch could not flame on, he was able to waylay the Sandman with a single punch and turn him over to the authorities.
The Sandman dried out while being brought to the police station and managed to escape by resuming his sand form. He then continued his crime spree only to be confronted by Spider-Man again. When trying to convince Spider-Man to leave him alone failed, the Sandman easily trounced the over confident hero and continued his business. He was pursued by the authorities and even the Avengers but still managed to evade capture. Spider-Man later caught up with the Sandman and as the two battled it out, the wall-crawler defeated him by pushing him through a wind turbine that spread his sand particles all over the city.
The Sandman later joined Spider-Man foes Doctor Octopus, the Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and Electro in forming the Sinister Six in order to get revenge against the wall-crawler. To this end they kidnapped Daily Bugle employee Betty Brant and Peter Parker's Aunt May and held them hostage. Each of the Sinister Six then fought Spider-Man one-on-one, and if defeated would give a clue that would bring Spider-Man closer to the hostages. The Sandman was Spider-Man's fourth foe, battling the hero in an air-tight room. The Sandman did not reckon that Spider-Man could hold his breath longer, and passed out from lack of air. Spider-Man then advanced on and ultimately saved Betty and Aunt May from Doctor Octopus. The members of the Sinister Six were then incarcerated by the authorities.
During a period in which Spider-Man was being branded as a coward, the Sandman went on yet another criminal rampage. When he happened to cross paths with his old foe, attacked the wall-crawler, only to be surprised when Spider-Man fled the scene. When the Human Torch began hunting the Sandman, the villain employed the Enforcers to help him capture the youthful member of the Fantastic Four. By this point, Spider-Man had gotten over his apparent "cowardice" and tracked down the Sandman and the Enforcers. Freeing the Human Torch, the two heroes easily defeated the Enforcers and send the Sandman fleeing. Flint was quickly apprehended by the authorities as he was too tired from fighting Spider-Man and the Torch to use his sand shifting powers.
Escaping captivity once again, the Sandman attempted another bank robbery only to be stopped by Spider-Man and Captain America. As Flint was being incarcerated the Enclave of Rogue Scholars, time travelers from the future of Earth-10737 appeared seeking to destroy him, warning both heroes that the Sandman was destined to murder one third of everyone on Earth. Unwilling to allow the Enclave to commit murder, Spider-Man and Captain America fought to save Marko's life. During the course of the battle, Flint was struck by an evolutionary bolt from the Enclave's Kafka, causing the very crisis they had come to prevent. Spider-Man convinced the Enclave's Tesla to use his powers to overload the Sandman's inhibitor collar causing their foe to revert back to his original state. with the threat over the Enclave returned to their own time and the Sandman was taken back into custody.
The genesis of the Frightful Four began with three villains who commonly battled the Fantastic Four's youngest member the Human Torch. The Wizard, the Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete were all defeated at the hands of the Torch. During his last clash with the Human Torch, the Wizard was sent floating uncontrollably into the upper atmosphere when one of his anti-gravity disks failed to work. This coincided with a break out by the Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete who had hijacked a plane to escape. While flying through the air, they spotted the Wizard during his ascent and rescued him suffocation in the upper atmosphere. Realizing that they all had unique powers and a mutual hatred of the Fantastic Four, the Wizard suggested that they form a group that would be the evil counterparts to the Fantastic Four.
Needing a fourth member to their group, the Wizard had heard of a strange woman hiding out on a remote island on the Mediterranean who had complete control of her hair. Travelling there, the Wizard convinced Madame Medusa to join their ranks. Her past a mystery, Medusa agreed to join them and the Frightful Four was born. In order to keep Medusa under their control, the Wizard implanted a device that kept her lost memories from resurfacing. Their formation came just after the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic and Invisible Girl had announced that they were engaged to be married. After an engagement party, the Frightful Four attacked the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building headquarters. Although they incapacitated the Thing, Mister Fantastic, and the Invisible Girl they were too late to stop the Thing's girlfriend Alicia Masters from sending out a signal flare to the Human Torch who was away from the building at the time. Although the Frightful Four used anti-gravity disks to end the Fantastic Four in the same way the Wizard almost perished, the Torch came to their rescue. Outclassed by the veteran heroes, the Frightful Four decided to retreat in the ensuing battle, setting their anti-gravity craft to self-destruct providing cover for the group to escape. The Frightful Four were later pulled forward in time by Aron the Rogue Watcher to battle the future Fantastic Four and their allies Fantastic Force. When Aron's plot to destroy the universe to recreate his own reality was stopped, all were returned to their appropriate time and place with no memory of what happened.
Regrouping after their first defeat, the Wizard quickly organized a new plan to destroy their mutual enemies. During this period Paste-Pot Pete reinvented himself with a new name, the Trapster, in an attempt to sound more menacing. They captured the Invisible Girl and kept her prisoner on deserted military outpost in the South Pacific. When the Fantastic Four came to rescue their teammate they fell into the evil FF's trap. While the heroes rescued Sue, the Wizard activated his q-bomb while his team fled the scene. While the Fantastic Four survived thanks to one of the Invisible Girl's invisible force-fields, the radiation from the blast stripped them of their powers. The Frightful Four then returned to the Baxter Building to confirm if the Fantastic Four were dead or not. However they fled the scene when they confused the arrival of the Asgardian warrior Balder the Brave on Earth to be the Human Torch. The Fantastic Four survived the assault, and eventually restored their powers.
However, following the restoration of their powers, the Fantastic Four's Thing was angered that he once again lost his humanity and quit the team. Slipping out of town on the back of a truck, the Thing fell asleep as the vehicle crossed over into New Jersey and a bumpy road threw him from the flat bed. The sleeping Thing was discovered by the Frightful Four who quickly kidnapped their sleeping enemy. By this time the Wizard had developed an ID machine and used it to change the Thing's personality so that he was evil. Although the Frightful Four bickered and fought among themselves, the group were able to defeat the remaining members of the Fantastic Four came to rescue their friend, they were easily captured with the aid of the Thing. The Wizard then reminded the Thing that Mister Fantastic was responsible for his transformation, sending the Thing into a frenzy. When the Fantastic Four attempted to break free another fight broke out. While Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl managed to escape, the Human Torch was captured and apparently enthralled by the ID machine as well. In reality the ID machine was damaged by the Invisible Girl and the Torch was only pretending to be under the Wizard's thrall, allowing his teammates to capture the Thing and escape. Mister Fantastic then created a device to restore the Thing back to normal. When the Frightful Four finally saw through the Torch's trick and attacked the Baxter Building, the Thing had full recovered and turned the tide of battle. While the male members of the group were apprehended, Medusa managed to escape in their anti-gravity ship. The Sandman was also involved in a new grouping of the Frightful Four that included the Beetle, although he was defeated by the Fantastic Four again, his activities during this period are unrecorded.
Escaping prison once again the Sandman decided to try and make a name for himself by aligning himself with the Sang Du Mort Brotherhood, attacking the U.N. Building on their behalf. His attack was thwarted by Spider-Man, who irresponsibly tossed a newly made chemical compound on the villain. It initially immobilized the Sandman, but as a side effect it caused dust, dirt, and garbage to be attracted to the Sandman, increasing his mass and affecting his mind. Marko broke out of prison once again and went on another rampage to draw Spider-Man out in the hopes the wall-crawler would cure him. Uninterested in doing so, Spider-Man merely incapacitated the Sandman again while they were battling in a warehouse by smothering his foe in fire extinguishing foam. The Sandman then continued to wander the streets of New York City, his condition continuing to deteriorate. Spider-Man eventually decided to take responsibility for his actions and cured the Sandman of his condition. In thanks, the Sandman throttled the hero and fled the scene.
Back in prison the Sandman and the Wizard attempted a break out. Although the Fantastic Four interfered with the attempt the Sandman managed to escape. He later attacked the FF at their headquarters, and when he was locked in one of Mister Fantastic's labs he stole a bunch of equipment and then escaped. Utilizing the technical training imparted to him by the Wizard the Sandman used the stolen technology to construct a suit of armor that could infuse his sand form with chemicals and other mixtures to enhance his powers. He then attacked the Fantastic Four again. The group was unprepared for the Sandman's new enhancements. In a ditch effort to defeat their foe, Mister Fantastic opened his portal to the Negative Zone to try and suck the Sandman in. Marko managed to escape by jumping out a window while Reed was a victim of his own trap. When the Fantastic Four later rescued Reed from the Negative Zone they unknowingly allowed Blastaar the Living Bomb-burst into their dimension. When Blastaar left the Baxter Building bent on conquering the this dimension he crossed paths with the Sandman who convinced the invader that they should pool their resources and defeat the Fantastic Four together. The pair rampaged in the streets of New York, but were opposed by the Fantastic Four and their Inhuman allies Triton and Crystal. During the course of the battle Sandman attempted to escape by rolling off a pier into New York Harbor, and his sand form dissipated in the water. Blastaar was then defeated by the Fantastic Four who sent him back into the Negative Zone, he later reformed on a beach not far away. The Sandman quickly rejoined his comrades in the Frightful Four who had since relocated to Europe. The Frightful Four made an attempt to force Medusa to rejoin their ranks upon learning that her lover -- Black Bolt, ruler of the Inhumans -- was incapable of speech without destroying anything in his path. The Wizard at this point had converted his ID machine into a ray gun in the hopes of making it a more practical weapon. The evil FF convinced Medusa that Quadranium-99 could cure Black Bolt. In exchange for the material, Medusa promised to rejoin their ranks. This plan ultimately failed when Medusa figured out that the Wizard was fooling her and that the Quadranium was going to be used to power his new ID ray. Medusa then fled from their ship with the Quadranium and returned it to the United Nations facility in France where it had been stolen from.
Back on his own again, the Sandman learned that the Air Force was testing out a new space-warp ship and sought to obtain it for himself, hoping to use it to free his ally Blastaar from the Negative Zone. En route to the military base where it was stored, the Sandman crossed paths with the Hulk. He convinced the Hulk to attack the army base and while General Ross and his forces were busy fighting the Hulk, Marko attempted to steal the ship. The Hulk soon turned on the Sandman when the life of Betty Ross was threatened. During their battle the Hulk clapped his hands causing enough force to send the Sandman's form scattered across the area. The Sandman was located and approached by the Mandarin who sought to get revenge against the Hulk for a past defeat. The pair agreed to work together and captured both the Hulk and Betty. When the Hulk saw that Betty was their prisoner he broke free from their trap. In the ensuing battle the Sandman was knocked into pressurized vat while the Mandarin fled. The pressure inside the vat transformed the Sandman into a being made of brittle glass. Since his foe was now incredibly fragile the Hulk allowed him to leave with his life.
When all the members of the Frightful Four were free from prison they regrouped and began plotting against the Fantastic Four again. The Wizard used his scientific skill to cure the Sandman of his condition. Rejoining them was Medusa who, unknown to the Wizard and the others, had since recovered her memory and was now an ally of the Fantastic Four. By this point Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl had a son, named Franklin, and were seeking a babysitter to care for the boy whenever they were on a mission. When they agreed to visit the witch known as Agatha Harkness at her home in Whisper Hill, the Fantastic Four were attacked by their evil counterparts. It was during this battle that Medusa revealed her true allegiances and turned on the Frightful Four. The Frightful Four proved no match for Harkness, who was a powerful mystic, and easily trounced the remaining members of the Frightful Four, securing her job as Franklin's caretaker.
Without Medusa, the Frightful Four once again attempted to recruit a fourth member into their group. At the recommendation of the Sandman they attacked the Baxter Building to access their portal to the Negative Zone to free his onetime ally Blastaar. While the other members of the Fantastic Four were already in the Negative Zone trying to stop Doctor Doom from acquiring the Cosmic Control Rod belonging to Negative Zone leader Annihilus, the Frightful Four attacked. They easily incapacitated the Invisible Girl and pulled Blastaar from the Negative Zone. They did not anticipate that the young boy named Rick Jones was present and were unprepared when he clashed his Nega-Bands together summoning his ally Captain Marvel to Earth. Despite this surprise attack the Frightful Four succeeded in defeating Captain Marvel. However the addition of Blastaar proved to be short lived as an insult towards the Negative Zone angered Blastaar sufficiently that he attacked his comrades. During the ensuing battle, the rest of the Fantastic Four returned home and defended it from the invaders. While Blastaar was knocked back into the Negative Zone, the rest of the Frightful Four were easily defeated and turned over to the authorities.
The Wizard's cure proved only to be temporary and the Sandman found that his body was slowly changing back into glass. Desperate for a permanent solution the Sandman learned that Doctor Marquand had perfected a method of total blood transfusion. Seeking out the doctor the Sandman forced him to perform the treatment on him. As fate would have it, the only patient with the same blood-type as the Sandman was Betty Ross, who was in admittance to the hospital after a mental breakdown. The night that the transfusion was done was also the same evening the Hulk's alter-ego Bruce Banner had managed to track Betty down. Sure enough, moments after the transfusion was complete, the Hulk found the Sandman and the two battled it out. They were both captured by General Ross in a cage specially made for the Hulk. However it could not withstand the strength of both combatants and Ross was forced to dump them in the ocean, lest they get loose in a populated area. The Sandman was defeated by another one of the Hulk's powerful claps, that sent his sand form spread across the ocean. Despite this defeat, the Sandman was ultimately cured of his condition. Reforming in New York City, Sandman crossed paths with Spider-Man and battled the hero until he realized that it was Christmas Eve and fled the scene. He was pursued to New Jersey by Spider-Man and the Human Torch. However when the heroes realized that he was going to spend the holidays with his mother -- who was apparently no longer aware that he was a criminal -- they decided to leave him alone for the time being.
The Frightful Four reunited once again and attempted to manipulate the Negative Zone once again. To this end they captured Spider-Man and hypnotized him into joining their ranks. They used Spider-Man to infiltrate the Baxter Building when only the Human Torch was home. The Torch was easily subdued allowing the Wizard to gain access to the Negative Zone portal. This plan backfired when Annihilus attempted to use this intrusion to free himself from the Zone and onto Earth. Ultimately the Torch freed Spider-Man from the Frightful Four's control and the pair subdued their foes. Spider-Man then used his scientific know-how to deactivate the Negative Zone portal before leaving the Frightful Four with the Torch to turn over to the authorities.
The Frightful Four soon obtained their first new recurring member, Thundra, a Femazon of the alternate future of Earth-715. The Wizard had promised her the opportunity to battle the most powerful man on Earth in exchange for helping them destroy the Fantastic Four. The quartet attack the Thing at a construction site. Although their attack was interrupted by Medusa, who had come to the Thing's aid, Thundra provided them with the upper hand and both the Thing and Medusa were subdued. Thundra's membership was not without its own troubles as she did not wish to allow the Frightful Four to eliminate the Thing as she viewed men as inferiors. While the evil FF conceded on that point for now, they attacked the Baxter Building, subduing both the Thing and Mister Fantastic. When they discovered the Invisible Girl with her son Franklin, Thundra refused to allow any harm come to the child and fought back against her opponents. Ultimately the Fantastic Four broke free and fought their evil counterparts into retreat once again. In the aftermath of the battle the Invisible Girl left the group over differences with Mister Fantastic, taking their child with her, Medusa then took her place on the team.
However Thundra was not finished with the Thing, seeking to utterly crush him once and for all she challenged him to a one-on-one fight to the finish. In order to force the Thing to agree to the battle, Thundra captured his girlfriend Alicia Masters and left her in the hands of the Frightful Four through the duration of the battle. While the battle took place at Shea Stadium, the Thing was briefly transformed back into human form by Mister Fantastic so that Thundra would forfeit the battle and flee. Meanwhile, the Human Torch rescued Alicia, forcing the Frightful Four to once again flee the scene. The Frightful Four later broke into the Baxter Building waiting to ambush the Fantastic Four after they seemingly lost the Invisible Girl to their sometimes foe the Sub-Mariner. Although the Frightful Four had the upper hand, Thundra's continued differences with the group -- particularly their constant sexism toward her -- prompted her to turn on them. Thundra then helped free the Fantastic Four and defeat her former comrades. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman were then contained at the Baxter Building before the Fantastic Four went on to battle the Sub-Mariner who appeared to be calling for another invasion of the surface world. As it turned out this was merely a mock battle that was staged so that Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl could reconcile their marriage after a lengthy separation.
The Sandman, discarding his enhanced armor, was later hired by the new Crime-Master who sought to get revenge against Spider-Man for his involvement in the death of his predecessor. The pair ended up in forcing their way into a similar scheme by the new Big Man and the Enforcers who sought to get revenge against Spider-Man. When the Big Man captured the Human Torch to lure Spider-Man into a trap, Crime-Master and Sandman appeared to eliminate the wall-crawler themselves. The ensuing brawl was interrupted by the kung fu masters known as the Sons of the Tiger after hearing the battle from their dojo next door. Outnumbered the villains all fled. Sandman, the Enforcers, and Crime-Master later regrouped and attacked the Sons at their headquarters. They were interrupted by Spider-Man who came to their aid. In the ensuing battle the Sandman was knocked out by the Sons of the Tiger. Meanwhile, the Crime-Master fatally shot the Big Man, and realized too late that it was his girlfriend Janice Foswell -- daughter of the original Big Man -- the heroes were shocked to learn that the Crime-Master was the son of the original and through a cruel twist of fate both decided to take up the identities of their parents in an attempt to get revenge from Spider-Man. Breaking out of prison again, the Sandman was recruited by the Kingpin who recovered Sandman's enhanced armor. The Sandman was then hired to steal a cryogenic converter and was once again opposed by Spider-Man. During the ensuing brawl, the Sandman became victim of the very device he was hired to steal and was frozen solid and left for the authorities.
After escaping captivity again, the three founding members of the Frightful Four reformed, and during an extended absence of their foes put out a classified ad seeking a new fourth member, telling all applicants to meet at the Baxter Building. The Fantastic Four and their ally the Impossible Man soon learned of this and rushed to their headquarters to confront the Frightful Four. While the Impossible Man was distracted by a television, the Fantastic Four were quickly defeated and incapacitated. The Frightful Four then began screening potential members. They rejected the powerless Osprey, and the heroic Texas Twister before Thundra came crashing in on them. Thundra warned her former teammates that the Fantastic Four were off limits, but she was quickly subdued and made a prisoner along side her new allies. The Wizard and the others then rejected the pyrophobic Captain Ultra, before they were attacked by Tigra who briefly freed the Fantastic Four. This escape attempt was then quashed by the most promising recruit to potentially join up with the Frightful Four: the Brute, Reed Richard's double on the distant world of Counter-Earth. The Brute helped defeat the Fantastic Four and their allies, securing himself as a member of the group. The Frightful Four then attempted to hold their heroic counterparts hostage for a massive ransom. When the governments of the United States refused to pay the ransom the Wizard decided that it was time to finally kill his hated foes. However, before he could activate his device the broadcast day had ended cutting off the television transmission that kept the Impossible Man preoccupied through out the entire battle. Seeking to boost the signal, the Impossible Man attempted to boost the signal causing a power surge powerful enough to temporarily cut the power in the Baxter Building to allow the Fantastic Four and their allies to break free. The Frightful Four were easily trounced by the good FF, Thundra, and Tigra. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman were captured once again, while the Brute was seemingly lost in the Negative Zone. The Frightful Four later broke out of prison together, although they went their separate ways at that time.
With all his past failures filling him with doubt, the Sandman attempted to rob a bank only to be thwarted by the novice heroes Crime-Buster and Nova. The Sandman was delivered a humiliating defeat when he was locked in the very bank vault he intended to rob, but managed to escape through a drain in the floor. He was confronted by Nazi war criminal Karl von Horstbadden who was posing as a psychologist who offered to help the Sandman get over his hang ups. The Sandman agreed and was exposed to a psychological device that made him a slave to Horstbadden's master the terrorist known as the Yellowclaw. The Sandman was then sent to capture Wakandan scientist Doctor T'Kora. This kidnapping attempt was interfered with by Nova, but the Sandman's new confidence allowed him to defeat the hero and take him prisoner as well. Nova was placed in a death trap while the Sandman was sent on another mission to kidnap Truman High School student Mike Burley, who unknown to all was a classmate of Nova's alter-ego Richard Ryder. The Sandman attacked Mike at Truman High, but was surprised when Mike's classmates Donna-Lee Dover, Roger "Caps" Cooper, and Bernie Dillon attempted to stop the kidnapping. Nova eventually broke free and came to Mike's aid, and defeated the Sandman by dumping him in a cement mixer located at a construction site across the street from the school. Immobilized, the Sandman was turned over to the authorities once again. Breaking out of prison once again, the Sandman tried to rob yet another bank. This time he was stopped by the Fantastic Four who quickly dispatched him when the Human Torch fused him into glass once again.
The Frightful Four were quickly incarcerated again, but just as quickly broke free while being processed by the authorities thanks to the Wizard's ingenuity. The group then began seeking out yet another member. They selected Spider-Man's longtime foe Electro. After succeeding in a test run of his powers, they admitted Electro into their group. Seeking to get revenge against both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, the new Frightful Four went to the Statue of Liberty. Electro then used one of the Wizard's devices that imitated the Human Torch's powers in order to trick Spider-Man into meeting them there. Expecting the Human Torch, Spider-Man was instead ambushed and overpowered by the Frightful Four who easily defeated the wall-crawler. The Tapster then disguised himself as Spider-Man in order to infiltrate the Baxter Building where he easily subdued the Human Torch and the Thing before disabling the security systems. The Frightful Four then made an attack on Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl, but the real Spider-Man managed to break free and join the fray. With the regrouped Fantastic Four, the evil Frightful Four were easily defeated and once again turned over to the authorities.
The Sandman was late imprisoned at Ryker's Island shortly after it got upgraded by Stark Industries. When Doctor Octopus staged a break out he freed the Sandman, Electro, and the Grey Gargoyle to help him escape. While Octopus managed to escape, Sandman and the others were defeated by Iron Man. He was later broken out by Baron Brimstone who wished to employ the Sandman's talents in getting revenge against his foe Machine Man. To this end they kidnapped Machine Man's love interest Pamela Quinn from the offices of the Delmar Insurance Company. This attempt was interrupted by both Machine Man and Spider-Man but the two villains succeeded in kidnapping the Quinn woman by teleporting away. However, Spider-Man managed to tag Sandman with a Spider-Tracer which allowed the two heroes to follow their opponents back to Baron Brimstone's estate. Although Baron Brimstone managed to escape, the Sandman was incapacitated by Machine Man and put back into police custody.
The Wizard was later broken out of Ryker's Island prison by the Sub-Mariner's foe Llyra. Llyra required the Wizard to defeat her old foe and he agreed to assist her provided that she help him destroy his old foe Spider-Man which would have Llyra posing as a new tenant that Peter Parker would find attractive. Tracking the wall-crawler with a special device to his civilian home Llyra and the Wizard attempted to trap him by setting the apartment building ablaze. Spider-Man managed to save his fellow tenants, foiling the Wizard's plans. Llyra had the Wizard break out his fellow Frightful Four members, Sandman and the Trapster to help in her plot to get revenge against the Sub-Mariner. Llyra's activities got the attention of her prey who came to New York. The Sub-Mariner detected Llyra's presence and attacked the hotel where Peter Parker and his fellow tenants were put up for the night. This led to a battle between Sub-Mariner, Spider-Man and the Frightful Four. The villains then blasted the two heroes with a weapon provided by Llyra. The device succeeded in transferring Spider-Man's spider-sense to the Sub-Mariner. Despite this handicap, the two heroes defeated the Frightful Four. While the Wizard and his cohorts were turned over to the authorities, Namor took Llyra into his possession to answer for her crimes in Atlantis.
While on the lamb again, the Sandman stopped into Duffy's Bar where he started romancing a local floozy named Sadie Frickett. Sadie was immediately attracted to the Sandman, but the crook found competition from the similarly powered criminal known as Hydro-Man. The two competed for Sadie's affections, fighting in the bar and later stealing expensive items. The two later came to blows in her apartment when their mutual foe Spider-Man came crashing in on them.
Their fight took them to the New York docks where both the Sandman and Hydro-Man were knocked into the river. A combination of the raging storm, and polluted water caused both Hydro-Man and Sandman to merge into a massive creature later dubbed the "Mud-Thing". The nearly brainless creature fought off Spider-Man and crashed into the home of Sadie Frickett. She quickly realized that the creature meant no harm as it had the combined feelings that both Hydro-Man and Sandman felt for her and she managed to convince the authorities to stand down.
With assistance from the law office of Nelson and Murdock, Sadie was able to get the Mud-Thing cleared of any wrong doing committed by its composite parts. She was then approached by showbiz agent Travis Rave who sought to exploit the Mud-Thing for personal gain. Part of this plan involved romancing Sadie in the hopes of manipulating her into following his schemes. On the big night the Mud-Thing was revealed to the public, the creature saw Sadie and Travis kissing and went into a rampage. Spider-Man arrived on the scene to try and quell the beast, but it was only stopped when the authorities doused it with a gas that caused the Mud-Thing to dry out and crumble into dust. The pieces of the Mud-Thing were then gathered up by the NYPD to be examined by their scientists.
NYPD scientists tried all sorts of chemical and radiation based treatments to try to separate the Sandman and Hydro-Man but they eventually gave up. The remains were then put into a container and dumped in a landfill. However the last radiation treatment had a delayed effect that successfully separated the two villains. Finally free, both the Sandman and Hydro-Man were deeply disturbed and felt violated by their experience and parted ways. The Sandman was deeply troubled and went to a bar to drink his sorrows. His presence was alerted to the Thing of the Fantastic Four. When the Thing realized that the Sandman was not looking for a fight, the pair sat down and had a drink.
After telling the Thing a version of his past, the Sandman expressed a desire to go straight. Not having the heart to bring the Sandman in, the Thing left him alone hoping that the villain would make the best of his second chance. Later when the Thing was hospitalized, an army of supervillains attempted to attack him at his weakest moment. These attacks were held off by various superheroes who came to protect their mutual friend.
While the opposing factions were busy fighting outside, the Sandman paid a visit to the Thing, bringing him beer and cigars to pass the time. Still haunted by his past as a supervillain, Sandman assumed the alias of Sylvester Mann and eventually managed to get a steady job at a warehouse and rented out an attic room from Roberto and Rosa Cassada and their family in Brooklyn. The Sandman eventually learned that the Kingpin's minion the Arranger had hired the Enforcers to start a protection racket in Brooklyn and was hassling Roberto at his candy shop.
Tracking the Enforcers to their hideout, he found that they had captured his old foe Spider-Man and were giving him a beating. Putting his past differences over the wall-crawler aside, the Sandman came to his rescue and they both defeated the Enforcers. Spider-Man tried to convince the Sandman to turn himself over to the authorities, but Flint refused to do so. Spider-Man then decided to let the Sandman go his own way when the former villain used his body to shield the wall-crawler from a grenade tossed by the Arranger.
The Sandman later reconnected with his former Sinister Six allies Electro and the Vulture for a drink. The trio had a good laugh when novice villains Doctor Sax and Johnny Guitar tried to drink with them. The Sandman and an army of supervillains were later drawn to Earth-1219 by Clyde Wyncham, a mentally deficient mutant and that world's only superhuman, and where the daily lives of those native to the Sandman home reality Earth-616 where chronicled in comic books and considered works of fiction. Wyncham was upset that his old comic book collection was being sold after his family home was put up for sale and so he used his vast powers to bring the villains to his reality and attack the towns people. Likely against his own will, the Sandman was sent to the home of Edgar and Delores Bowman, where he murdered Delores and sent Edgar fleeing from his home only to be killed by Electro. The Sandman later regrouped at the old Wyncham home with other supervillains who were using it as their home base.
Eventually, avid comic book reader Toby Goodman, managed to get the heroes from the Sandman's native reality to stop the villains in his own and end the crisis there. During the final battle the Sandman was defeated by Spider-Man and taken into custody. Either escaping or being allowed to resume his new life, the Sandman began working along the docks. There he witnessed Spider-Man battling arms smugglers and remarked over his new costume, but had to lay low when the authorities arrived. Allowed to continue working later, he spotted Spider-Man when he returned. Unaware that Spider-Man's costume was really a living organism, and that it had taken control of Spider-Man at the time, the Sandman was surprised when the wall-crawler attacked him. Sandman was no match for the shape-changing costume and was easily defeated in battle. Flint soon discovered that the accident that granted him his powers also gave him terminal cancer. He sought an experimental treatment involving radiation at the East Coast Medical Center, he stormed the facility.
When the scientists refused to test out their experiments on a human being, Marko took control of the facility and began exposing himself to various doses of radiation. The Avengers were later called in when the facility's nuclear reactor was about to melt down. They sent their teammate Wonder Man to contain the situation. The Sandman was beat to a stand still and Wonder Man prevented the meltdown from happening. Taken into custody the scientists were surprised to find that the random doses of radiation cured the Sandman of the cancer ravaging his system.
While out for a walk past Coney Island, the Sandman spotted a battle raging between Spider-Man, the international mercenary known as Silver Sable and the Sinister Syndicate. Despite his misgivings about Spider-Man, Marko helped defeat the Sinister Syndicate who fled the scene. Impressed by the work that the Sandman had done, Silver Sable offered him a job working for her organization. The Sandman was later hired to accompany Silver Sable in liberating the monarch of Belgriun, who was removed from the throne by a resistance army led by the Sinister Syndicate.
They also gained the assistance of Spider-Man, dispelling his reservations of restoring the brutal monarch by pointing out that he had a young daughter who might have been killed. The plan went sideways when Spider-Man managed to get captured, forcing Sandman and Silver Sable to blow their cover. Despite this set back, the trio stopped the Syndicate and prevented their employer, Doctor Octopus, from stealing the royal treasury as well.
When it was learned that the communist Red Skull had stolen a nuclear detonator and was hiding out in the nation of Algeria, Silver Sable sent the Sandman to recover it. When he was captured, she sent the heroes Hawkeye and la Peregrine to rescue him. The pair stormed the Red Skull's fortress and liberated the Sandman, but were forced to destroy the nuclear device in order to save their own lives.
Despite this setback, they were able to capture the Red Skull and turn him over to the authorities. The Sandman and Silver Sable brought Hawkeye to the Orly International Airport in Paris to see him on his way. Their arrival coincided with an attempted hostage taking by the Bartovian Liberation Front terrorist organization. The trio caught the terrorists off guard and rounded them up for the authorities. Back in the United States, the Sandman was hired by Silver Sable for yet another job, this time to hunt down and apprehend a Neo-Nazi named Franz Kraus.
Sable also hired Spider-Man to assist with the job, and the trio tracked Kraus to a warehouse in New York where Kraus was gathering drugs to sell in order to fund their take over a South American island and set up a new Nazi nation. When Spider-Man accidentally blew their element of surprise, Sable and Sandman rushed in and took down Kraus and his army of Neo-Nazis. When Silver Sable learned that Madame Menace and Doctor Octopus were involved in an arms deal, she sent the Sandman to capture Madame Menace. The Sandman called in Hawkeye for an assist although the famed archer was upset by the fact that the Sandman was only seeking to capture Menace. As a result of their differences, the villains were tipped off to their presence and managed to escape capture, although the pair foiled the arms deal.
When Spider-Man was hired by Silver Sable to rob the home of millionaire Winston Walker, it was in order to trick him into revealing the location of the financial records that connected him to the Maggia. However when photos of Spider-Man's robbery were published in the Daily Bugle, his sometimes allies the Prowler, the Puma, the Rocket Racer and Will O' the Wisp all went looking for Spider-Man to determine if the reports were true. This led them to Ellis Island where the reports appeared to be true. The gathered superhumans attacked Spider-Man and Silver Sable, but the Sandman was present to defend them.
Eventually, Spider-Man stopped his attackers long enough to explain the situation. In the aftermath of the battle, Silver Sable offered the Prowler, Rocket Racer, Will O' the Wisp, and Puma the opportunity to work with her in the future. The nation of Bosqueverde later hired Silver Sable to hunt down former mercenary Marc Spector for the murder of Ricardo Dominguez, the former president of the country. She hired Sandman and Paladin to work with her Wild Pack soldiers to capture Spector.
Not long after this, the Wizard and the Trapster reunited and sought to bring the Sandman back into the fold. When they found the Sandman they offered him to rejoin them, but the Sandman was making an effort to reform at the time. When he refused the Wizard threatened to inform the authorities of his location, as the Sandman was still wanted at the time, but the Sandman warned the Wizard that the biggest mistake he could make was being in the same prison as him if that happened. The Wizard then conceded, allowing the Sandman to go his own way.
The Sandman was not so lucky when Doctor Octopus sought to reform his Sinister Six. When he approached the Sandman, Octopus threatened to harm the Cassada family if he did not agree to work with him. Eventually, Doctor Octopus gathered Electro, Mysterio, the Vulture, and the Hobgoblin. Octavius then explained that he intended to take control of a satellite that was being used by Empire State University to spread a gas across the Earth that would allow them to study ley lines in the hopes of harnessing them for future energy needs. Octavius planned on taking control of the satellite and loading it with a poison which could wipe out the Earth if his demands were not made. Part of this plot involved the use of an experimental submarine, and so Doctor Octopus sent the Sandman and Vulture to recover it.
Although they faced interference from Spider-Man, they succeeded in stealing the sub from a Roxxon facility. On launch day the Sinister Six attacked the facility in order to enact their plan but were once again opposed by Spider-Man. Having finally had enough, the Sandman turned on the Sinister Six, but he was quickly incapacitated when Doctor Octopus used a device to turn him into glass again. Spider-Man eventually defeated the Sinister Six, but was forced to let Doctor Octopus escape in order to recover the device needed to restore the Sandman back to normal. In the aftermath of the battle, Spider-Man convince the arriving authorities that the Sandman was actually assisting him in stopping the villains in order to protect him from being arrested.
Outlaw and Avenger
The Sandman found himself working with Spider-Man, Prowler, Puma, and the Rocket Racer when the wall-crawler was manipulated by the Young God known as Calculus and the Space Phantom into releasing a cannibalistic swarm from the demolition site of an old tenement building owned by the Kingpin. Part of this scheme involved pitting these Outlaws against the Avengers to ensure victory. The Space Phantom posed as both Spider-Man and She-Hulk in order to escalate tensions, and later briefly possessed the Sandman when he and Rocket Racer went to the hall of records for information on the tenement.
Although the Space Phantom released his hold on the Sandman, the Outlaws welcomed him back in their ranks as Spider-Man decided it was best to work with the Avengers. When the Outlaws and the Avengers met at the ruins of Avengers Mansion the Space Phantom manipulated another battle, but his presence was ferried out by the Puma. The two teams then worked together to uncover the mystery of the killer swarm and destroy it.
The Sandman later parted on good terms with the gathered superheroes. Sandman was later hired along with the Prowler, Rocket Racer and Paladin to join Silver Sable on a mission to recover a stolen nuclear simulator that was stolen by Professor Walshe of the Darkmoor Research Center in England. This led to a clash with England's mutant team known as Excalibur.
Walshe was later revealed to be a construct of Nazi geneticist Arnim Zola. When Sable and her allies incapacitated the Zola construct they accidentally released his irradiated clones and their guardian, a creature known as the Sheppard. The two teams pooled their resources to destroy the creatures. With the threat over, Sable was allowed to recover the stolen technology.
When the Avengers reformed under a new United Nations charter, chairperson Captain America formed a new team which included Thor, the Eternal Sersi, Quasar, She-Hulk, the Vision, and Black Widow. He also elected a reserve team which included Spider-Man, the Black Knight, Falcon, Hercules, and Captain Marvel.
He also surprised the gathered press by also selecting the Sandman and novice hero Rage as probationary Avengers. The announcement was soured when the deities known as the Tetrarchs of Entropy appeared and absconded with the primary team to another dimension, leaving the reserves and Sandman and Rage behind. While the reserve members dealt with the crisis at hand, Sandman and Rage got to know each other and complete their background checks with the Avengers. Ultimately the primary team managed to free themselves and return to their home dimension. Sandman and Rage then underwent rigorous training under Captain America. When the new Avengers Compound was officially opened, the Avengers threw a party for UN officials and members of the superhero community.
However the festivities were marred when Dr. Doom infiltrated the facility with his Doombots. Sandman, the Vision, and Captain America battled two of the Doombots in the sub-sub-basement of the facility, while supposedly the true Dr. Doom revealed himself to the party attendees on the main floor. Doom threatened to destroy Avengers Compound if the team refused to use their dimensional traveling abilities to help him rescue his mother from another dimension. However his plan fell apart when Sandman, Vision and Cap destroyed the Doombots in the basement. Then the rest of the team discovered the "Doom" in their presence was also a Doombot as well and disabled him, foiling Doom's plot.
Flint and the rest of the Avengers got involved in the so-called Subterranean Wars when Moloids and Lava Men fled to the surface world. Traveling below the Earth they learned that the Mole Man, Tyrannus and Grotesk were warring with the Deviant known as Brutus and his Mutates for dominion of Subterranea.
Seeing the trio as the lesser of two evils the Avengers agreed to fight. The Sandman was among the Avengers who were captured during the initial strike against Brutus and his forces. They were later liberated by the West Coast Avengers and they defeated Brutus and his forces. When Grotesk attempted to slaughter everyone on the surface with an oscillatron created by Brutus, the combined Avengers teams stopped him as well. The fame that being a reserve Avengers brought soon paid its toll on the quiet life the Sandman had tried to create himself. The press swarmed the home he rented from the Casada family, prompting Rosa to ask him to leave.
Seeking to do some good, the Sandman discovered that some terrorists were attempting to hijack a shipment of radioactive material going through the Brooklyn Trainyards. Sandman then called in his fellow Avengers and stopped the attempted theft. In the aftermath, Captain America cautioned the Sandman for using Avengers resources for civil conflicts, as the organization was now under the purview of the United Nations. Misinterpreting this advice as though he was being fired, the Sandman stormed away before Captain America could explain things further.
Believing that going straight had failed him, the Sandman then took up a job working for a political zealot in Canada named Boussard. Boussard had kidnapped the daughter of his political opponent Eduard LeBon in order to force him to resign his position in the Canadian Parliament. Unknown to Boussard, Flint intended to turn on him in order to prove he was a hero. Silver Sable International was hired to rescue LeBons' daughter and Silver Sable recruited Rocket Racer, the Prowler and Will O' the Wisp to help her on the mission, warning them that the Sandman was working with Boussard. Sure enough when they arrived at Boussard's stronghold in central Quebec, the Sandman appeared to be defending the political zealot.
When it became clear that Boussard intended on killing LeBons' daughter anyway, the Sandman dropped his cover and rescued the girl. Impressed with his work, Silver Sable gave him a full contract to work with her in the future.
Sinister Six vs.
Fearing that Doctor Octopus might strike at him through the Casada family, the Sandman began watching over them. One day his worst fears came true and a bomb went off at their house. Blaming Doctor Octopus, the Sandman sought out the other members of the Sinister Six who were looking to get revenge against Octopus for betraying them previously.
In order to make sure that things did not get out of hand, the Sandman contacted Spider-Man to watch over the situation. However the confrontation between the Sinister Six and Doctor Octopus exploded in violence that was complicated by the arrival of the Hulk. During the course of the battle Sandman realized that it was the Sinister Six who planted the bomb, framing Octopus, in order to secure the Sandman to their cause. When Sandman fought back, Doctor Octopus transformed him into glass again. After defeating both Spider-Man and the Hulk, Doctor Octopus convinced the rest of the Sinister Six to join him on his current attempt at world domination and they fled the scene with the inert Sandman as their prisoner.
Sandman was stored at Doctor Octopus' hideout in New Jersey. After arming themselves with advanced weapons, Doctor Octopus shattered the Sandman's glass body and then led his minions on an attack of a Hydra facility. Flint managed to reform his body out of the broken shards of glass and followed the Sinister Six to the Hydra hideout. when he arrived he witnessed as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Nova, the mercenary known as Solo, the cyborg Deathlok, the Ghost Rider and the Hulk battled it out with the Sinister Six. Consumed with rage, Sandman attacked Doctor Octopus, seriously wounding him with shards of glass. Flint was stopped form killing Octavius by Spider-Man who told him that he needed to do better if he wished to be a hero. With the villains defeated, Spider-Man used Doctor Octopus' weapon to restore the Sandman back to his normal form.
When Silver Sable began forming an elite team within her Wild Pack, consisting of mercenaries with checkered pasts that were seeking a second chance, she and Sandman trained new recruits. During one training session she selected former KKK bodyguard Doug Powell. When Silver Sable went to deal with a Hydra hostage taking at Cranewood School for Girls in Long Island, Sandman and Powell disobeyed orders to give her back up. En route, Powell made a bet with Sandman that he could romance Silver Sable, putting a thousand dollars on the line. Sandman instigated the bet due to his growing feelings for Sable. With the help of the pair and Spider-Man, Silver Sable was able to save her cousin Ana from Dmitri Petrovich the leader of the operation. Sable was not impressed with the interference and threatened to dock them pay for disobeying her orders. The ranks of the Wild Pack were increased, with former Hydra agent and sadist known as the Crippler, female assassin Amy Chen, and Quentino a former LA gang member and recovering drug addict.
The Wild Pack were later hired by crooked televangelist Reverend Donald Smithfield to protect him from assassins seeking to kill him. Sandman posted as Smithfield foiling an assassination by the mercenary known as Gattling and the Watchdogs, however they failed to capture Gattling. The Wild Pack were soon joined by the super-strong Battle Star, and eventually they uncovered that the man who hired Gattling to assassinate Smithfield was his rival, George Chesterford, who sought to control the supply of drugs in the region that Smithfield controlled. While the Wild Pack took down Gattling, Chesterford was murdered by Silver Sable's ex-husband the Foreigner.
While Silver Sable was away on a dinner with her ally Doctor Doom, Sandman and the Wild Pack learned of the so-called Infinity War which saw Earth's heroes fighting evil doppelgangers of themselves. When Sable failed to report in, the group decided to mobilize to see if she was all right. Left alone, Sandman was attacked and his body possessed by his own doppelganger. When they arrived in Latveria, they quickly learned that Sable was fighting for her life against a Doctor Doom impostor. When the possessed Sandman attacked, the Wild Pack knocked him out and later saved Sable. While knocked out, the doppelganger and Sandman separated and the impostor apparently died.
As this was happening the Magus managed to get control of the Infinity Gauntlet and used it's power to render everyone one Earth inert, including Sandman and his allies. When Earth's heroes ultimately defeated the Magus, everyone on Earth was freed from his thrall. The Sandman then took a vacation from the Wild Pack and agreed to meet with mercenary Agent X who offered the Sandman a job working for his own outfit the Next Wave, offering to pay him more money than Silver Sable International. His loyalties with Silver Sable wavering the Sandman told Agent X that he would consider their offer.
Sandman rejoined Silver Sable and the Wild Pack on a mission with Paladin to South America to hunt down a rogue faction of Hydra called the Genesis Coalition, which consisted of escaped Nazi scientists Franz Lubischt, Ivan Trevkov as well as Sable's old foe Dmitri Petrovich. They discovered that the scientists were converting the natives into animal hybrids and smashed the operation although the Genesis Coalition members escaped. One of the transformed captives they rescued, later dubbed Man-Killer joined Sable's ranks.
During this battle, the Sandman began to doubt his contributions to the team, thinking he was only there to take orders from Sable. Later, Sandman came to Silver Sable and informed her that he was quitting her organization. Sandman joined Agent X and his operatives in the Next Wave and they were quickly hired by Baron Strucker's Hydra to steal a vessel stolen by the Genesis Coalition. They arrived at the same time as Silver Sable and the Wild Pack who were on a mission to destroy the Genesis Coalition's Cyberwarriors, making it an awkward situation for Sandman and his former allies. Because of the Next Wave's interference, the Genesis Coalition and their Cyberwarriors managed to launch their attack on the nation of Transia and Wundagore Mountain. The Wild Pack, Next Wave and rogue Cyberwarrior Siege helped the Knights of Wundagore defend their land. Realizing that the Next Wave were sloppy and unstable, Sandman sheepishly asked to rejoin the Wild Pack and was welcomed back into their ranks. The mysterious Fin also left the Next Wave and joined up with Sables crew.
When the Sandman learned that the Human Torch was being put on trial for accidentally setting Empire State University on fire, the Sandman went to watch the trial as a sign of solidarity to his friend the Thing. Silver Sable accompanied him, and the two were present when the Fearsome Four attacked the court house. Sandman joined Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers in defending the Torch from the Foursome, who fled the scene. Sandman later returned to active duty with the Wild Pack, preventing the Viper from committing acts of anarchy across the United States.
Sandman led the Fin, Man-Eater, and Paladin to search for the Viper in Kentucky, but found only one of her Pit-Viper impostors there. Eventually, Silver Sable and the rest of the Wild Pack -- with some assistance from Captain America -- managed to capture the real Viper. During the Infinity Crusade crisis, the Goddess caused a shift in personality of those on Earth, making them more benevolent in order for them to accept her rule. Around this time, Silver Sable had formed a sub-group within the Wild Pack, the Intruders, which consisted of Sandman, Paladin, Fin, and Man-Eater.
Slightly under the influence of the Goddess Sandman and his Wild Pack comrades went to deliver food supplies to an impoverished region of Somalia. Their activities were opposed by the local mutant group known as the Bio-Genes as well as Strucker's Hydra. The Bio-Genes later decided to help the Wild Pack and Intruders fight off Strucker and his forces, a feat they accomplished with the assistance of Nick Fury and his spy agency SHIELD. Eventually the heroes of Earth defeated the Goddess and the natural order was restored.
Sandman then joined the Wild Pack on a mission to San Francisco to capture the vigilante known as Venom, who had previously eluded the Wild Pack on a prior mission. This time with the power of Sandman, they were more of a match for Venom, but the battle took a turn when San Francisco was enveloped in a mystical black fog. Sandman and the Wild Pack were then swarmed by an army of Lilith's Lilin, and grudgingly accepted Venom's help in defending themselves. In exchange for assisting them to safety, Silver Sable agreed to allow Venom to go free.
Eventually the demonic crisis dissipated. Later when the Daily Bugle reported that Empire State University was experimenting on matter collected from his body and that of the similarly powered Quicksand, the Sandman went to investigate.
He crossed paths with Spider-Man just as the lab doing the experiment exploded causing research student Tony Trainer to mutate into Sandstorm. Sandstorm went on a rampage, goaded on by Quicksand, but Spider-Man and Sandman tried to calm him down. Ultimately the two heroes managed to reverse the process changing Sandstorm back to normal while Quicksand escaped. Sandman then accompanied Tony into custody to ensure that he was treated fairly by the authorities.
Sandman and the Intruders joined the Wild Pack in quelling gang violence that had exploded in Beverly Hills led by Latisha Arnold. When Arnold's gang could not fight off the Wild Pack, her employer Justin Hammer sent in his costumed operatives the Beetle, Blizzard, Blacklash, Spymaster, Boomerang, Cyclone, and Afterburner to deal with the mercenaries. Sandman and his allies managed to stop the villains and quell the gang violence, but not before Quentino was seriously wounded. At Quentino's behest his friend and former gang member Larry Arnold was accepted into the ranks of the Wild Pack.
Once again filled with self doubt and questioning his worth, the Sandman went out for a walk when he came across an apartment fire. When he disobeyed a police officer to enter the building and save the lives of people and firemen trapped inside, he was hailed as a hero, convincing William that he had worth after all. With the addition of Lightbright to their team, the Sandman led the Intruders to provide the Wild Pack back up in Bosnia. There Sandman aided his comrades in preventing the Genesis Coalition in framing Hydra for trying to invade the country, stopping both terrorist organizations. The Sandman later reconnected with his old Frightful Four ally the Trapster, who claimed to be going straight. The Sandman invited him to stay at the Symkarian Embassy and petitioned Silver Sable to allow him to join the Wild Pack. However the Sandman soon discovered that the Trapster was merely using him to rebuild his equipment to commit a series of robberies to pay off his gambling debts. Deeply upset and hurt by this, the Sandman took down his former ally and turned him over to the authorities. Later when Man-Eater's animalistic side took over, the Sandman joined the Wild Pack and NYPD's Code: Blue in subduing him and taking him for treatment.
When Amy Chen's former assassin allies tried to pull her back into the fold, she sought to take them down her own way. She enlisted the Sandman's aid to pose as Maggia mobster Joey Capo, whom Chen "killed" in order to win the loyalty of her assassins. Later Amy took down the assassins with the aid of Silver Sable. Sandman later joined Silver Sable and the Wild Pack in preventing a group of men from looting ancient Aztec temples in Mexico on behalf of the American government. The mission took a turn for the strange when the Wild Pack were seemingly transported back in time to the age of the Mayans and forced to fight to the death. Sandman came to their aid by posing as the Ahau death god, Ah Puch, scaring away the Mayans.
Escaping back through the temple which they came, the Wild Pack were transported back to their own time. Upon their return to the United States, the Wild Pack were shocked when Silver Sable was arrested for murder. Sandman and the other members of the Wild Pack were ordered to wait out until Silver Sable's name was clear. Sandman took an active role trying to convince their former clients and backers to come to Sable's defense only to find they had all been stonewalled by the United States government. However Sable was soon released when her exposure of an attempt to frame her for an escape attempt forced the CIA to release her, however it was conditional on her leaving the United States.
When Sable later went on a mission to stop the mobster Hammerhead from blowing up a foreign made bullet train in Japan, the Sandman became concerned about her suspicious behavior. He had the recovered Quintero hack into Silver Sable International's database and Sandman was shocked to learn that Sable was apparently pregnant. Heart broken, but concerned for his employers safety, Sandman launched a rescue mission. He helped Sable retake the train, however the bombs on it were still prepped to go off. Sandman helped Sable disarm the bombs, but Hammerhead managed to escape. In the aftermath of the battle the Sandman revealed how much he felt for Silver, and that he would be willing to help raise her child regardless of who the father was. The two shared a brief kiss but their romance was not meant to be, as Sable's doctor revealed that the pregnancy test was flawed and that she was not actually pregnant.
With the prospect of being a mother quashed and her struggles with killing her foes, Silver Sable then backed away from combat missions telling her employees that she was taking on a purely administrative role. It appeared that all romantic possibilities between William and Sable were quashed. Later, Silver Sable had Sandman take the Intruders on a secret mission, the details of which are unrevealed. However, Silver Sable eventually returned to active duty within her organization.
Later when Doctor Octopus was murdered, the Sandman attended his funeral held for his former ally. When there were rumors that Spider-Man had been replaced by a successor, Silver Sable and Sandman went to investigate. They intercepted Spider-Man as he was going to meet the Human Torch at the Statue of Liberty and a battle broke out.
In the end, both Sable and Sandman were convinced that it was a new Spider-Man, but were impressed by his abilities.
However the original Spider-Man soon returned to the job, and the Sandman flew out to Greece after Spider-Man was stuck there following an adventure with Hercules. As payment for a flight back to New York City, Spider-Man was forced to accompany the Sandman from stopping the terrorist organization known as ULTIMATUM from attacking Buckingham Palace and killing the Royal Family in an attempt to disrupt financial negotiations among members of the European Union. The pair got unlikely assistance from ULTIMATUM's leader Flag-Smasher whose members went rogue. When the ULTIMATUM rogues were captured, the Sandman stopped a bomb set by Flag-Smasher to blow up Buckingham Palace. After returning Spider-Man to New York, the Sandman gave him information on the Authority, the man who had sent Spider-Man on a series of missions across the globe. Silver Sable sent Sandman to confirm the identity of Spider-Man after he was framed of murder and kidnapping.
When their mutual foe Hydro-Man took hostages in order to draw Spider-Man out of hiding and collect the 5 million dollar bounty on his head, Sandman arrived on the scene. While Spider-Man rescued the hostages, Sandman forced a merger with Hydro-Man, and while the pair were disorientated Silver Sable froze them in liquid nitrogen and had them carted off so Hydro-Man could be separated and incarcerated. Eventually, Spider-Man cleared his name.
Returning to Symkaria, Sandman joined a new incarnation of the Wild Pack which included the Cat, Paladin, and Madcap -- who was disguising himself as Nomad at the time. Silver Sable and the Wild Pack were hired to protect Professor Wolfgang Hessler who was constructing bio-weapons to sell to the highest bidder. Silver Sable's fortress was later attacked by the Heroes for Hire who sought to capture Hessler before he could complete his work, leading to a clash between the two groups. Sandman squared off against Power Man and ultimately the Wild Pack defeated the Heroes for Hire. With the attackers contained, Silver Sable allowed the Sandman to leave to the United States for Avengers business.
Sandman was drawn back to the Avengers when various former members were attacked by Asgardian creatures. Sandman was among those gathered and sent to investigate. But they were too late to prevent the 6th century sorceress Morgan Le Fay from using the Norn Stones, Twilight Sword and the hex powers of the Scarlet Witch to alter reality to her whims. This reality warp caused Sandman's native Earth-616 to be replaced with Earth-398 where he was forced to live the life of his Earth-398 counterpart, the Quarryman who was a member of Morgan le Fay's Queen's Vengeance.
Unchanged by the spell, the Scarlet Witch began reaching out with her powers from the dungeon she was contained. While other Avengers began to remember their original identities, the Sandman was one of those who remained under Morgan's control. Eventually, Morgan le Fay was defeated thanks to the recently resurrected Wonder Man, and with le Fay's defeat, reality was restored to normal. With the crisis over, the Sandman returned to working for Silver Sable Incorporated.
Return to Evil
One day while leaving the Symkarian Embassy, the Sandman was knocked out by his old ally the Wizard. By this time the Wizard had built a new version of his ID machine and used it to try and bring back his evil persona. The Sandman broke free, and fought off the Wizard, warning him to stay away from him in the future. However the device had the desired effect, as the Sandman began referring to himself as Flint Marko once again. The Sandman later began working with his old allies the Wizard and the Trapster. Using his connections with the Symkarian Embassy, the Sandman arranged an unauthorized job to work as a body guard for US Senator Stewart Ward. This was all part of a scheme to assassinate Ward. The Trapster blew Sandman's cover by attacking outright and the battle drew out Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. Out numbered and his cover ruined, the Sandman and Trapster fled the scene, unaware the whole point of their mission was to make the public sympathetic to Senator Ward. The Sandman then sought out Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, Electro, and the Vulture to form the Sinister Six once again. The group once more tried to get revenge against the recently resurrected Doctor Octopus, who was also protecting Senator Ward. Their attack was interrupted by both Spider-Man and yet another of his foes, Venom. Sandman allowed Venom to join the Sinister Six, promising to allow him revenge against Spider-Man once they completed their primary objective. When they finally had Ward and Octopus cornered, Senator Ward surprised everyone when suddenly he unleashed an energy blast sending the Sinister Six fleeing. The Sandman later battled Spider-Man at a construction site. This conflict was witnessed by the two young mutants named Artie and Leech. The pair distracted Sandman long enough for Spider-Man to knock him out. Later, the Sandman was approached by Mach-2 of the Thunderbolts who was seeking his past knowledge in Symkaria to infiltrate the country so that they could find the mysterious V-Battalion and rescue their teammates and ally Atlas and Dallas Riordan. The Sandman accompanied the Thunderbolts to Symkaria, and helped them locate the V-Battalion's cloaked helicarrier the Vanguard. During the battle between the Thunderbolts and the V-Battalion, the Sandman slipped away to Silver Sable's castle. There he attacked the Wild Pack until a united Thunderbolts/V-Battalion team came to stop him. The two teams succeeded in incapacitating the Sandman by fusing him into glass once again.
Sandman later broke into the Davis Gallery to steal an alien artifact. He was caught in the act by his former employer Silver Sable and her Wild Pack. Silver gave her former employee the chance to walk away, but the Sandman refused to give up his prize. Although the Sandman learned how to use his powers in new, more deadly ways, he was outnumbered by the Wild Pack and was forced to flee the scene. Shortly there after Venom began stalking the other members of the Sinister Six to get revenge for denying him the right to destroy Spider-Man. Pursued by Venom, the Sandman hid out at the Daily Bugle in the hopes that their battle would draw Spider-Man's attention. Sure enough when Spider-Man did show up the three battled it out. During the course of the fight, Venom ate a chunk of the Sandman's body. Unable to maintain a cohesive form, the Sandman fled the scene. With his body slowly falling apart, the Sandman blamed Mysterio for his current condition and went on a rampage across New York to try and find him. This was also met with interference from Spider-Man. Although Sandman managed to find Mysterio, the illusionist also had Electro with him and a fight broke out. When Spider-Man caused the warehouse they were battling in to collapse, the Sandman fled outside where Spider-Man left him to be rounded up by the authorities. Escaping the authorities, Sandman's condition worsened. Flint tried to consume other sources of sand, but his body rejected it. Coming apart at the seams and believing that he was about to die, Marko wrote a goodbye letter to his mother before attacking Spider-Man for what he thought would be the last time. The battle lasted too long and Sandman lost all control over his body and crumbled into the street where he was washed down a storm drain.
However this was not the end of the Sandman as he was washed ashore of Jones Beach. When Sonic TV threw a massive beach party on the beach, The Sandman began absorbing the spoiled and egotistical celebrities who were making guest appearances at the big event. This drew the attention of Spider-Man, whose investigation was hampered by being sucked into the celebrity celebrations.
The Sandman then began seeking out other celebrities to fill the missing part of his body. However their star driven personalities began to have an effect on the Sandman, transforming him into a fame driven caricature. As he battled Spider-Man and consumed more celebrities, Sandman's body could no longer handle the foreign matter and he exploded, freeing all the celebrities trapped within. The resulting explosion caused the facets of the Sandman's personality to fragment into separate personalities. First his inner-child, conscience and evil "Flint Marko" personality surfaced. while the inner-child and conscience sought a peaceful existence, the evil persona went on a rampage, drawing Spider-Man in once again. The wall-crawler encountered the good portions of the Sandman's personality, and convinced them to seek out his evil component. Along the way, they came across the Sandman's feminine side. Spider-Man and the trio tracked down Sandman's dark side, and during the ensuing battle his inner child "grew up" into a manifestation of the Sandman's insecurities. Sandman's feminine side stopped the battle and convinced the evil side that they all needed to be together. The inner child, insecurities, and feminine side all merged with Sandman's evil persona, the only one holding back being his conscience who refused to merge with the others. Satisfied with this, the evil Sandman fled the scene, and once the majority of his parts were gone, the Sandman's conscience became inert and fell over, shattering on the ground. The Sandman was now totally reformed but apparently devoid of a conscience.
Shortly thereafter the Sandman's universe and the universe of a distant cosmos were at risk of destruction when the cosmic being known as Krona attempted to merge them together. This plan was opposed by the Avengers and the Justice League of America. The final battle took place on the corpse of the world devourer Galactus where various members of the Avengers and JLA from different time periods were forced to fight an army of villains brought forth by Krona. As a one time Avenger, the Sandman was one of the many being pulled from time and space to participate in this final battle. Eventually the Avengers and Justice League defeated Krona and saved their universes from mutual destruction.
The Sandman was later coerced into working for Valeria Jessup who claimed to work for the legendary criminal known as Tristram Silver. Marko was gathered with Vulture, Bullseye, Deadpool, the Juggernaut, and Sabretooth. Jessup blackmailed them all into agreeing to steal the so-called Identity Disc that was in the possession of AIM. Even though the life of his mother was one the line, Marko did not buy into the Tristram Silver angle and tried to fight back only for Jessup to shoot him with a special bullet that caused his sand form to dissolve, seemingly slaying the Sandman. The others went about their mission only to learn that the entire incident was a ruse laid out by Jessup and Sabretooth. The Sandman had also deceived the others by faking his death so he could report to Tristram Silver and inform him what was being done in his name. He later met with Silver while vacationing in St. Lucia, where he was thanked for his services. The Sandman was later apprehended and incarcerated in the Big House, a prison that used Pym Particles to shrink the inmates down to size. When the Mad Thinker staged a break out, the Sandman was one of the many inmates who smuggled themselves out of the prison on the She-Hulk's body. When She-Hulk later arrived at the offices of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway, the villains tried to escape. The Sandman was quickly recaptured when GLK&H's secretary Awesome Andy sucked him up in a vacuum cleaner.
Free again, the Sandman got into a drunken brawl with some college students until the fight was broken up by Spider-Man. The Sandman was later drafted into the Green Goblin's Sinister Twelve along with the Vulture, the Lizard, the Shocker, Hydro-Man, Electro, the Chameleon, Hammerhead, Boomerang, and Venom. When the Goblin tricked Spider-Man and the Black Cat into breaking him out of Ryker's Island prison, the Sandman and the others were waiting in surprise for the wall-crawler. Spider-Man and the Black Cat defeated the Sinister Twelve with the assistance of the Fantastic Four, Avengers and Daredevil. Spider-Man defeated the Green Goblin shortly thereafter. Later the Sandman clashed with both Spider-Man and the mutant known as Iceman, although the details of this battle are unrecorded. The Sandman was later seen at a card game between himself, the Mandrill and two other unidentified players. Later when the Thing was building a youth center in his home neighborhood of Yancy Street, the Maggia sent the Sandman and Trapster to sabotage the construction because the Thing was not paying them a graft. The Thing stopped the two villains from blowing up the construction site with some help from Spider-Man. The Sandman was caught in the Trapster's paste and the pair were taken into police custody.
Back in Black
When the United States government enacted a new Superhuman Registration Act, a Civil War broke out between superheroes who were for and against registration. At the time Spider-Man was in support of the SHRA, and revealed his secret identity to the whole world on national television. Sandman was one of the many viewers who learned that Spider-Man was really Peter Parker. Eventually, Spider-Man turned against registration and became an outlaw himself.
Sandman later learned that his father was now on death row, accused of murdering Ben Parker, who was trapped on Earth-616 from his native reality of Earth-6078. Knowing that his father was innocent, the Sandman sought out his old foe, tracking Peter Parker to the home of his long time friend Flash Thompson. Initially Peter Parker refused, showing the Sandman a family photo which also included his version of Ben Parker who died years ago. The Sandman then shocked Spider-Man by telling him that was the man his father was accused of murdering.
Peter decided to help the Sandman after all, and the two went in disguise to learn what they could from the NYPD. When the Sandman's temper caused him to blow their cover, the pair decided to investigate the most obvious location, the cemetery where Ben Parker was buried. There they found a young man named Dennis who had acquired the helmet belonging to the recently deceased Spider-Man of the year 2211 of Earth-9500. Using the helmet, Spider-Man and Sandman tracked the killer of Ben Parker to Midtown High School where the Chameleon of Earth-9500 was posing as the principal of the school. During the course of the battle, Spider-Man commanded the helmet of his future successor to mete out "poetic justice". By placing the helmet on the Chameleon's head, the Chameleon swapped places with Floyd Baker just as he was being executed. Floyd was unimpressed that the Sandman was unable to save him until the last minute, and although he finally learned that Flint Marko was his son, Floyd did not make mention of it. Presumably, Floyd parted companies with his son to start a new life.
Seeking to save the life of his Aunt May, Spider-Man later made a deal with the demon Mephisto to save her life. In exchange for saving May's life, Spider-Man agreed to allow Mephisto to alter reality so that he was never married to his wife Mary Jane Watson. Part of the deal also saw that Spider-Man's true identity was erased from the minds of everyone on Earth, as such the Sandman no longer remembered that Spider-Man was Peter Parker.
By this time, the Sandman had gained even greater control of his powers, able to animate any sand in his vicinity. He also spent many of his times in prison corresponding with Alma Alvarado, a woman who was attracted to incarcerated super-villains. During his times out of prison he spent time with Alma and bonded with her daughter Keemia. With the identity of Keemia's biological father a mystery, she eventually took to calling Marko "daddy". Unable to have children of his own following his mutation, the Sandman accepted this and began considering Keemia as his own daughter. Eventually, Keemia's mother began dating concert promoter Deshawn Price. During his next visit to see Keemia, the Sandman was told to leave by Alma. Sandman forced his way in to see Keemia, told the young girl that she deserved a diamond of her own one day, and left. Unknown to the Sandman at the time, this was once again fragmenting his personality. The Sandman learned that Price had invested heavily in a music festival on Governors Island and kidnapped Keemia and brought her there. Convinced that she was a princess and the island was her kingdom, Keemia was willing to accompany her "father". Meanwhile, aspects of Sandman's personality that resented Alma and her new lover murdered the pair. These aspects literally turned into the murder weapons to kill their victims and allowed themselves to be gathered by the NYPD as evidence before returning to Governors Island. In his capacity as a photographer for the mayor's office, Peter Parker noticed the grains of sand when he accompanied an investigation of the lost "evidence" and eventually pieced together the mystery and tracked the Sandman down to Governors Island. There the Sandman held his own against the wall-crawler with his new powers, unleashing an army of Sandmen against his long time foe.
Spider-Man was trounced and made a prisoner, but the wall-crawler tricked Keemia into freeing him. The Sandman tried to prevent Spider-Man from fleeing with the girl, but the hero tricked the Sandman into following him into a ventilation building that serviced Brooklyn/Battery Tunnel. There Spider-Man pushed the Sandman into a ventilation turbine, causing his body to be scattered all over the city. Spider-Man then turned Keemia over to his ally Glory Grant in the hopes that she would reunite Keemia with her grandmother. Unfortunately, Glory -- as an employee of the city of New York -- instead turned Keemia to child services and she was placed in a foster home instead. When the Sandman reformed, he sought to steal the diamond that he promised to get for Keemia. This led to a battle with Spider-Man and the Moon Knight. Using his new powers to increase in size, the Sandman went on a rampage across New York City. The heroes lured the Sandman to the docking port of the USS Intrepid. There Spider-Man, Moon Knight, and the Knight's ally Frenchie disbursed the Sandman's body once again, this time using a subsonic jet engine to do the job.
Origin of the Species
With Lily Hollister about to give birth, the dying Doctor Octopus, believing the child to be the offspring of Hollister and Norman Osborn, sought to claim the child to use its unique Goblin Formula altered DNA to cure himself of his condition. He hired an army of supervillains, including the Sandman, to help him capture the Hollister, in exchange for whatever they wanted. The Sandman's motivation was to get Keemia back into his custody. The villains chased Lily to the Coffee Bean, the business owned by her former boyfriend Harry Osborn. There, Doctor Octopus fought off Spider-Man, and when Lily went into labor, he delivered the child. Spider-Man recovered the newborn and fled to get it to safety, with the villains in tow. Sandman and Electro attempted to capture the child together, and were defeated when Spider-Man caused them to crash into each other, their powers working against each other. When the baby was later captured by the Chameleon and Spider-Man was led to believe it had died, Spider-Man went on a path of vengeance against supervillains all over the city. The Sandman and the Shocker sought refuge at the Pier 92 hideout of the Enforcers. Spider-Man tracked them down and sank the hideout into the water. Spider-Man then incapacitated Sandman with Shocker's vibro-gauntlets and then learned that the baby was still alive and was taken to Kravinoff Mansion. However Spider-Man was too late to stop the Lizard from kidnapping the baby from that location. Eventually Spider-Man recovered the child, and after a test learned that it was just a normal baby and of no use to Doctor Octopus, foiling his plans.
With his days numbered, Doctor Octopus began planning one final scheme before his body failed on him. He gathered a new Sinister Six consisting of the Sandman, Chameleon, Electro, Mysterio, and the Rhino to assist in this scheme. They first launched an attack of Octo-Mechs on New York City in order to keep Spider-Man and the Avengers busy while they infiltrated Andru Air Force Base to place Macro-Octobots on a spaceship stored there. Still seeking to cure himself, Octopus captured Iron Man in order to force the hero to use his inventive genius to cure him. In order to force Iron Man to help, Octopus threatened to unleash a nuclear weapon. In addition he sent Sandman and Electro to Broxton, Oklahoma to take Stark's ally Tim Cababa hostage. This hostage taking was interrupted by the arrival of Stark's assistant Pepper Potts. The two villains attempted to take Pepper hostage, but she used the powers granted by her Arc Reactor to hold them at bay. She was assisted in stopping Sandman and Electro by Spymaster. While Pepper continue to fight the villains, Iron Man proved incapable of saving the life of Doctor Octopus. In admitting his inability to do so and begging for the lives that Octopus had threatened, Iron Man satisfied the villain's ego and he teleported his minions away, disabled his bomb, and let Iron Man go free.
Seeking to gain access to the technology of Mister Fantastic, the Sinister Six tricked the newly formed Future Foundation into travelling to the Caribbean where Doctor Octopus kept the heroes busy with an interdimensional portal as well as robot duplicates of the Sinister Six. While the heroes were distracted, the Sandman helped the other members of the Sinister Six by breaking into the Baxter Building. By the time the Future Foundation realized what was going on, the Sinister Six had taken what they wanted and fled. The Sandman attempted to go on a solo jewelry store robbery, only to once again clash with Spider-Man. He was defeated when the wall-crawler tricked Flint into piercing a tanker truck containing liquid nitrogen, freezing the Sandman solid. Sandman and the Sinister Six were next dispatched to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France. There they attempted to steal a fissile power generator. Doctor Octopus created various global threats to keep the Avengers busy so that they would be forced to send the novice Avengers Academy to respond to their attack. Sure enough the Academy cadets were no match for the Sinister Six. Octopus then hacked into Giant-Man's dimensional door technology so that they could escape with the generator. When Doctor Octopus was later targeted by the Young Masters of Evil, he sent Sandman and Electro to deal with them. Both were incapacitated by the Teen Brigade's Ultimate Nullifier. Ultimately the Young Masters were beaten back by the Teen Brigade.
When Doctor Octopus later learned that a rival group of genius supervillains known as the Intelligencia were seeking to destroy the world with their Zero Cannon, he sent his Sinister Six to clash with them. During the fight, the Sandman clashed with his old ally the Wizard. Ultimately the Sinister Six won the bout when Doctor Octopus caused most of the Intelligencia to be jettisoned into space by their own weapon. They then sent Intelligencia leader MODOK fleeing an destroyed the facility. The Sandman was present when Doctor Octopus gathered the last of the technology he needed for his master plan when he wrecked a space station build by Horizon Labs. Prior to unleashing his final plan, Doctor Octopus sent the Sandman and Rhino to the Hulkbuster Base in New Mexico to recover Alpha/Gamma Disruptor created by the Leader.
The Sandman was present when Doctor Octopus unveiled his Octahedral device that he informed the world that he could use to either worsen or correct the advance of global warming on the Earth. Octopus then provided the data of his invention to the governments of Earth and claimed that he only sought to protect the planet from global warming. Not trusting Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man created a suit of armor to face off against the Sinister Six and assembled the Avengers to deal with him. The Sandman was present when Doctor Octopus led the Avengers into a trap along the Mediterranean Coast. Although they lost Electro in the battle, they incapacitated all the Avengers. However, Silver Sable arrived on the scene and rescued Spider-Man and the Black Widow from captivity. Having convinced the world governments to follow through with his plans, Doctor Octopus had them wire 2 billion dollars into the bank accounts of each of his comrades and offer them full pardons under the law. Sandman was pleased that this would finally allow him to take custody of Keemia. Octavius then sent Sandman to guard a missile silo in the Sahara Desert where some of his space probes would be launched. He was attacked by Spider-Man, Sable, and the Black Widow who were shutting down the various missile silos across the globe. Although the Sandman had access to the sand of an entire desert, he was defeated when Spider-Man was able to utilize the technology in his armor to extract the one grain of sand from Sandman that contained his consciousness. They contained this particle in a container and put enough sand for the Sandman to reform his head. They then threatened him with acid until he revealed the location of the last missile silo. However they were too late and Doctor Octopus revealed that he actually intended to destroy all life on Earth, unwilling to let humanity continue while he died. Ultimately, Spider-Man defeated Doctor Octopus and foiled his plans. The Sandman's head was later incarcerated within the Future Foundation's Baxter Building headquarters.
While the Sandman was in captivity, Doctor Octopus managed to swamp minds with Spider-Man, ultimately Spider-Man seemingly died while trapped in the failing body of Doctor Octopus, leaving Octavius free inside the body of Spider-Man. Otto swore to become a more superior hero than Spider-Man ever was. For months, Doctor Octopus posed as Spider-Man, fooling everyone.
While assigned by the Fantastic Four to babysit their young wards, the Future Foundation, Spider-Man recovered the head of the Sandman and kept him prisoner for months. Spider-Man also captured Electro, the Chameleon, Mysterion, and the Vulture. Using mind controlling Spider-Bots, Spider-Man enslaved his former allies in the Sinister Six. When the Wrecking Crew attacked Alchemax Inc. to steal a new prototype Quantum Particle Engine, the Sandman and the others were forced to be a part of Spider-Man's Superior Six. With the assistance of the novice hero known as Sun Girl, prevented the Wrecking Crew from stealing the device. Spider-Man took the generator with him when he and his Superior Six left the scene. Contained again, Sandman and the others vowed to kill Spider-Man for his violation of their personal freedom.
Sandman and the Superior Six were then forced to battle a Hydra Dreadnought robot. By this point the Wrecking Crew's employer Lightmaster had reformed the Masters of Evil and laid a trap to attack Spider-Man and his team. During the course of the fight, the quantum particle engine was struck by Lightmaster's light powers causing a massive energy surge that freed Sandman and the others from Spider-Man's control. They then turned on Spider-Man and Sun Girl, with Sandman using massive amounts of sand to attain a gargantuan height. The Superior Six tortured Spider-Man until he was freed by Sun Girl. Eventually each member of the Six fell, the last being Sandman. Unaware that Spider-Man's body was now being controlled by his old enemy Doctor Octopus, Sandman found this violation more heinous because he believed that Spider-Man would never cross that line. Marko considered Spider-Man "dead" to him, before he was blasted by Sun Girl and his sand particles were scattered across the city. Sandman was later recaptured and contained by Spider-Man once again and briefly imprisoned at his headquarters Spider Island II.
Fall of the Fantastic Four
The Sandman later found himself transferred back to Ryker's Island Prison where he was reunited with his one time ally the Thing, who was incarcerated pending a murder trial. Sandman informed Ben Grimm that the prisoners were all under the rule of his former lover the She-Thing and expressed his suspicions that the villains were all transferred there in anticipation of the Thing's arrival. The Sandman later silently watched as She-Thing defeated Thing in a one-on-one fight in the prison exercise yard. Later during shower time, when the other inmates attempted to attack the Thing in the showers, the Sandman came to his aid, tripping up those who were attacking him.
Later when the Thing asked why Marko came to his aid, Flint explained that he had learned that the Thing had been purchasing presents for Keemia while he was in prison and helped Ben in the shower out of gratitude. The two then began plotting to break out of prison in order to clear Ben's name. With the help of the Fantastic Four and the She-Thing, the Sandman and Thing broke out of prison and where whisked away by Medusa and the Inhumans. When the Quiet Man launched his all out invasion of Earth using the Avengers and mutated creatures from Franklin Richards' Counter-Earth dimension, the Sandman joined the Wizard, Thundra, and She-Thing in a new Frightful Four to help fight back the invaders. Ultimately the Fantastic Four ended the Quiet Man's invasion once and for all.
Following the World War Hate, the Sandman saw a number of his supervillain fraternity turning to the side of good. Deciding to relive his days of heroics and do something right, the Sandman foiled Boss Dixon from breaking out of Ryker's Island penitentiary. Although he succeeded in preventing him from breaking out, and freeing his friend Rico Ramone whom Dixon allowed to be incarcerated for murder, the media still painted him as the villain of the entire episode.
The Eternal Sandman
Marko started fearing for his mortality after he began to progressively lose control over the consistency of his body. He sought help from the Wizard and the Mad Thinker, but none could find a solution. Additionally, he occasionally slipped into reveries of his past, as well as moments from the alternate future of Earth-51838. When Sandman was hospitalized after one of his collapses, Spider-Man visited him. He escaped with Marko and took him to the beach where he spent his childhood, and offered him company until his body broke down and was swept by the wind.
Sandman didn't actually die; he had simply lost the ability to take a human shape. However, Marko's new form was taken over by the future version of himself. This future Sandman had lived for billions of years and wanted to escape the death of the Earth. Finding a way into the present through a rift between realities, the future Sandman took over the body of his past self. While fighting for control, Flint sought Spider-Man's help. When Spider-Man was caught in a sandstorm caused by the future Sandman, Flint realized he could hand over control of his sand form to another person. Flint transferred this ability to Spider-Man, giving him enough room to fight the future Sandman's takeover. With help from the Human Torch, Spider-Man used a device for multiversal travel called the Multisect which sealed the rift and sent the future Sandman back to his time, leaving him floating in the void of space. Spider-Man and Flint later bid farewell, with Sandman hoping to get used to his new form, while having developed a fear of his newly-discovered immortality.
When Doctor Octopus sought to reform the Sinister Six under the command of Kindred, he located Sandman in a tropical beach, where Marko displayed the ability to assume a human shape once again. Sandman agreed to rejoin Octavius' new enterprise when the villain offered to put his scientific genius to use in returning Marko his mortality. After recruiting two other members, the team broke into Curt Connors' lab and managed to separate the scientist's Lizard side into a separate entity that would join them. Continuing Kindred's plans, the Sinister Six went to recruit Mysterio at the premiere of his film and the team briefly clashed with the Savage Six, who wanted revenge on Mysterio.
After Spider-Man was delivered to Kindred by the Sinister Six, the villain forced them to participate in a battle royale against other teams of Spider-Man's foes for the hero's head. The villains were forced into the contest by Kindred lodging deadly centipedes into their brains, but they were ultimately freed from Kindred's grasp after Doctor Octopus cobbled together a device which killed the insects.
Sand Body: Sandman's body is an amorphous blob of animated sand. He originally possessed the ability to mold the sand into a shape that appeared to be completely human, and from that form convert his body (or parts of it) back into sand at will. How much control does he have over this form and how similar does it function to his previous state is not yet known.
Sand Control Transferral: Since Marko's original body is dead, he is capable of giving control of his sand form to another body. He once used this ability with Spider-Man.
Immortality: Sandman is immortal in the sense that he no longer ages. A possible future version of him had lived for billions of years.
- Self-Sustenance: Sandman also no longer require the need for food, air, or rest.
Body Conversion-Sand: Sandman originally possessed the superhuman ability to convert his body into sand by mental command. The sand functioned identically to, and appeared to be, normal flesh. However, he could convert all or parts of his body into animated sand at will. His brain had attained subliminal awareness of all granulated particles of his body. Through conscious effort, he could 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. There appears to be no limit to how long the Sandman could remain in his sand-state. If he had been 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. Sandman's mind continued to function in astral form even when he had turned his head into sand and even when the particles of sand that composed his brain were widely scattered. The limit to how far the particles of his brain can be dispersed before he was unable to reassemble is not yet known.
- Superhuman Strength: As a consequence of having a body composed of animated sand, the Sandman possessed phenomenal superhuman strength, able to lift up to 85 tons under optimal conditions.
- Density Control: His radically mutagenically altered body composition and increased density enabled 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 could shape his sand-state body into any continuous shape he can imagine, including his forearms into weapons like hammers, spiked maces, and large fists, forming ram horns on his head, 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 could 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: Sandman learned some new tricks from the Wizard, including altering the formation of his sand particles and reshaping them into glass. This granted him the ability to reflect light and energy off of him.
- Reformation: The Sandman maintained mental control of the particles of which his body is composed so that he could reform his scattered grains unless a substantial portion of his body mass has been isolated.
- Sand Conversion: He could 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 could increase his overall size and volume (to some as yet unknown limit), or that of his limbs.
- Sand Clones: Thanks to having such good mental control over his own molecules, he was able to create duplicates of himself, each one capable of acting on its own.
- Giant Form: The clones, should they be in agreement, were all able to fuse together into a giant Sandman, about the size of an eight story building.
- Wall-Crawling: He was somehow capable of using his sand to allow him to walk up walls.
The Sandman has an above-average knowledge of science, being self-taught.
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: Temperatures of 3,400 degrees Fahrenheit can cause his highly impure silicate composition to fuse into amorphous silicate (glass).
Soul Molecule: 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 another 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.
- Sandman was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- This character appears in TSR, Inc.'s RPG adventure The Weird, Weird West. In the plot, he had been hired by Doctor Doom in 1968 to travel back in time to 1871 Dodge City. Alongside with other supervillains (including Black Knight, Scorpion and Mysterio), he was to provide support to Doom while he analyzed a time anomaly and tried to obtain profit from it. Doom took his lackeys (no name was provided for the team) to a Krozzar camp to deal with the Krozzars. Doom eventually found the origin of the anomaly, a chronovore, but he and his lackeys were also found by time-traveling heroes from 1989, and defeated.
- Sandman doesn't have a driver's licence.
- A number of Sandman's clones have appearances based on previous appearance from previous comics, including body style and outfits.
- 285 appearance(s) of William Baker (Earth-616)
- 18 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of William Baker (Earth-616)
- 68 minor appearance(s) of William Baker (Earth-616)
- 38 mention(s) of William Baker (Earth-616)
- 9 mention(s) in handbook(s) of William Baker (Earth-616)
- 303 image(s) of William Baker (Earth-616)
- 8 quotation(s) by or about William Baker (Earth-616)