DC Comics History
DC Comics History: Sandman (Late Golden Age)
By Deejay Dayton
August 15, 2015 - 19:56
Publisher(s): DC Comics
The heyday of the Sandman had passed once Simon and Kirby left the strip, and the stories that ran in the last couple of years of the run were a pale imitation of what had come before. On the surface, little had changed. Sandman and Sandy still wore their purple and gold outfits, and dreams were still a part of most of the tales.
What was lacking was the exquisite renderings of Simon and Kirby. Many of the covers for Adventure Comics were by them, and simply served to make the interior stories look weak in comparison. Even the one issue that contained Kirby art was not quite up to par.
As I mentioned, some of the stories did continue the dream theme that had been introduced into the Sandman series. The story in Adventure 93 has criminals selling sleeping draughts to insomniacs, and then robbing them while they are fast asleep.
The villain in Adventure 95 has nightmares about Sandman. He is a forger of paintings, who copies them and replaces the originals, apparently on the spot. He is so upset by his dreams of getting caught that he leaves a brush behind at the scene, which enables Sandman to track him down.
One of the better stories in the period deals with a daydreamer, Timothy Quiver, whose fantasies wind up getting him enmeshed in a criminal plot. It's one of the more innovative variations on the dream theme, but the art is so awful that it ruins the tale.
The one Kirby Sandman story from this era ran in Adventure 100. Because it is not quite up to par, I have the suspicion that it had been drawn earlier, but not published.
The story is a fairly standard one for the time, in which thieves stash their gems in boxes of candy. And then, of course, the candy boxes get sold to unsuspecting people, including Wesley Dodds.
Sandman's final story 102 deals with an urban planner, Peter Green, who "dreams" of building safe areas for children to play in, but is being blocked by the slum lords who own the decrepit buildings he wants torn down.
Sandman and Sandy come to his aid, defeat the evil building owners, and rejoice with Peter and the kids in their new playground.
None of the stories from this period gave Sandy much to do, nor did any develop either character in any way. It's hardly a surprise that Sandman got cancelled at this point. It's more of a surprise that he retained his cover status for so long.
Sandman would return in a mid-60s Justice League/Justice Society crossover, but Sandy would have to wait till the 70s, when we would learn that, shortly after the events in this story, Wes was working on a new, silicon-based gun, which exploded. Sandy was transformed into a monster, and, in grief, Wes ditched the yellow and purple Sandman outfit. In all later appearances, Sandman is back to his classic look, with the gas mask.
Sandman: Adventure Comics 93 - 102 (Aug/Sept 44 - Feb/March 46)
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