The Sandman

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These best stories of the comic books are preceded by their issue number.

The Sandman

The Sandman is another figure in the same tradition as Batman: a costumed crime fighter with a mask, secret identity as a wealthy socialite, technological gimmicks, but no super-powers. He has a gun that shoots wire harpoons, known as a "wirepoon"; these lodge into buildings, allowing the Sandman to climb up the buildings on the wires. The Sandman wears a business suit and mask; in this he resembles the Crimson Avenger, who first appeared in 1938, the year before both the Sandman and Batman debuted in 1939.

The Sandman appeared in Adventure Comics, from #40 (July 1939), through #102 (March 1945). He was also a member of the Justice Society of America, and appeared with them in All-Star Comics, from XXX through XXX.

The Van Leew Emeralds (1940). Writer: Gardner Fox. Art: Chad Grothkopf?. Both the Sandman, and his secret identity Wesley Dodds, get caught up in the search for the stolen Van Leew emeralds. The plot here is complex, and hard to follow. There are numerous different sets of crooks. My favorite: a crook named Fencet.

This story is notable for its depiction of Wesley Dodds in white tie and tails. The artist is especially vivid at drawing Wesley's circular black top hat. There is a good close-up of Wesley in his evening clothes (p2).

Crime Visits the Opera (1941). Writer: ? Art: Craig Flessel. Racketeers demand protection money from opera singers, to avoid being booed and hissed by their stooges.

Wesley Dodds and his girlfriend Dian Belmont attend the opera here at the opening. Wesley is in white tie and tails, the favorite costume of many super-heroes of the Golden Age, while in their secret identities.