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Sandman I (Wesley Dodds | Vertigo | DC) (Comic Book Character)

  • Sandman I aka Wesley Dodds | Vertigo | DC

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Character Stats

Real Name: Wesley Bernard "Wes" Dodds
Current Alias: The Sandman
Aliases: Grainy Gladiator, Wesley Dodd (See notes)
Identity: Secret
Alignment: Good
Affiliation: Former partner of Sandy the Golden Boy; former member of the All-Star Squadron; former member of the Justice Society of America
Relatives: Edward Dodds (father, deceased); Marina Dodds (mother, deceased); Gerald Dodds (brother)
Universe: New Earth
Base Of Operations: Formerly Manhattan, New York City; formerly Queens, New York City (with the All-Star Squadron); formerly Gotham City (with the Justice Society of America)
Gender: Male
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 172 lbs (78 kg)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Unusual Features: Formerly possessed black hair and blue eyes pre-crisis
Citizenship: American
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Socialite; detective; crime-fighter
Origin: Dream of the Endless was imprisoned on Earth and prevented from performing his duties. The universe, in an attempt to right itself, put a bit of Dream�s soul into Wesley Dodds. Wesley Dodds was ceaselessly haunted by nightmares and they only abated when he took on the identity of Sandman and began a crusade against crime.
Place of Birth: Manhattan, New York City
Place of Death: Mt. Kailash, Western Tibet
Creators: Gardner Fox, Bert Christman
1st Appearance: Adventure Comics #40
Died: JSA Secret Files #1


Prophetic Dreams: Due to an encounter with the entity known as Dream, Wesley Dodds possessed the power of prophetic dreaming. His dreams often came to him as cryptic, ambiguous visions, but Wes' keen intellect enabled him to properly interpret them. Through an unknown process, Wes passed on this power to his former ward, Sanderson Hawkins upon the moment of his own death.

Criminology: Wesley Dodds possessed a sharp intellect and was a skilled if albeit amateur detective.
Chemistry: He was also a talented chemist, creating the the sand-like substance used to transform Sandy the Golden Boy

Inventor: Wes was also a talented inventor. One of the devices that Wes created was a Silicoid Gun - a weapon ultimately responsible for transforming Sandy the Golden Boy into a Silicon-based lifeform.

As a hobby, Wes enjoyed reading, writing, poetry, origami and philosophy.

WWI Gas Mask: The Sandman used a World War I era gas mask to protect himself from the effects of his own sleeping gas.

Wirepoon: He also made use of a specially designed wire-poon gun, which fired a length of thin, steel cable.

Gas Gun: The Sandman's only known weapon was his gas gun, a handheld device fitted with cartridges containing concentrated sleeping gas. Pressing the trigger on the gun released a cloud of green dust rendering all within the Sandman's immediate vicinity unconscious. An upgraded cannister dispenser for the gun was provided for him by his close friend and confidante, Lee Travis. Wes was also known to conceal smaller knockout gas capsules in a hollow heel on his shoe. These proved ideal when placed in situations where his gas gun was not readily available.

Transportation: In the early days of his career, the Sandman drove a black 1938 Plymouth Coupe. The car was enhanced with various features to aid Wes in his crusade against crime. Should an adversary attempt to pursue the Sandman, Wes could pull a switch on the dashboard of his car, which released the detachable rear bumper. The interior of the bumper was lined with barbed spikes - ideal for tearing the tires of any vehicle attempting to follow him.


Wesley Dodds was most likely born in the early 1910s to wealthy investor Edward Dodds and his wife, Marina. In 1917, when he was still a child, his mother died under unrevealed circumstances. Little is known of Dodds's early life, save that he spent part of his youth in the and learned Oriental herbalism, martial arts, and origami. It is known that he is well-traveled, ranging from Europe to the . After college and his father's death, Dodds became the manager of a vast estate and an investor in his own right. Sometime before 1938, Dodds became plagued by extremely vivid dreams of criminal activities�dreams that would not allow him rest. Dodds used his fortune to finance a lab and developed a formula for a sedative and hypnotic gasses. He then bought several kinds of gas masks and set up an identity for himself, the Sandman, in which to pursue the criminals that haunted his dreams. In an early case, he encountered Lee Travis, a college chum, in his guise of the Crimson Avenger. The two initially fought but eventually joined forces against the Phantom of the Fair, who haunted the 1938 World's Fair. Travis gave Dodds a gun design that the Sandman ultimately perfected as his gas gun (Secret Origins vol. 2 #7). The Sandman then started his career in earnest, first confronting the Tarantula, a serial murderer (Adventure Comics #40, Sandman Mystery Theatre #1-4).

Later that year, Dodds met socialite Dian Belmont, daughter of District Attorney Larry Belmont, at local ball (Sandman Mystery Theatre #1, Adventure Comics #47). The two became lovers and, by year's end, Dodds had shared the knowledge of his dual life with her (Sandman Mystery Theatre #24). The Sandman's dreams often compelled him to pursue the most violent of criminals, such as the Scorpion (Sandman Mystery Theatre # 17-20), Dr. Death (Sandman Mystery Theatre #21-24), and the Butcher (Sandman Mystery Theatre #25-2Cool. Each time, he left the defeated criminal with a poem enclosed in a bit of origami.

In late 1940, the Sandman was selected by Doctor Fate to join the struggle against Nazi invasion forces at , alongside several other American mystery-men. The culmination of this encounter was the formation of the Justice Society of , of which the Sandman was a charter member. In mid-1941, he also took part in the case in which the JSA prevented Ian Karkull from murdering individuals destined to occupy the White House over the next 50 years. The culmination of this case was the destruction of Karkull and the exposure of the assembled heroes to the chronal energy stored in Karkull's body. As a result, the Sandman has aged much more slowly than normal humans (All-Star Squadron Annual #3).

A New Look
In late 1941, during a time when Dodds was away on business, Dian Belmont disguised herself as the Sandman and pursued some local Nazi agents in . As she raced toward them in her car, shots were fired and forced her to crash. was seriously injured minutes before the Sandman himself arrived on the scene. was later reported dead (All-Star Squadron #1Cool, but it was later discovered that she had survived (Starman vol. 2 #20). Nevertheless, shortly afterward, the Sandman began to sport a new gold and purple costume, one he bought for a costume ball earlier (Sandman Mystery Theatre #29) but which had been modified by . He also took over the guardianship of Dian's nephew, Sandy Hawkins (Adventure Comics #69), who became his costumed sidekick as Sandy the Golden Boy.
In December 1941, the Sandman was captured by Per Degaton along with the other active JSAers, plus Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Robin. Their rescue led to the formation of the All-Star Squadron, of which the Sandman was an active member (All-Star Squadron #1-3). The Sandman was active as a member of the JSA until mid-1945 (All-Star Comics #22). By this point, Dodds was beginning to show signs of familial heart disease; his first attack had precipitated his scaled-back activities and resignation from the JSA active duty roster (revealed in America vs. the Justice Society #3).

Sometime prior to 1951, the Sandman was plying his novice scientific acumen with his partner Sandy Hawkins in an attempt to make a weapon using silicon derived from sand. The weapon exploded during the experiment, and was transformed into a silicoid monster. Terrified at 's initial raving delirium, the Sandman caught him in a moment of weakness and sedated him. Unable to treat him and fearing that an misunderstanding public would demand his destruction, the Sandman kept sedated in a large chamber in a basement of his home (revealed in Justice League of America #113). Shortly after this, Dodds gave up the role of the Sandman completely and spent the intervening years in retirement with the rest of his Justice Society comrades.

In the 1960s, the Sandman emerged from retirement (Justice League of America #47) wearing the original gas mask and trench coat garb on his early days, to prevent himself from being reminded of Sandy's fate. The Sandman was semi-active as a member of the Justice Society. In the mid-1970s, an interruption in the gas sedation of allowed him to escape his chamber. 's silicoid body was now sensitive to seismic variation in the earth, and an impending earthquake had driven him on a rampage because of the intense pain the seismic variations generated in him. The combined might of the JLA and JSA subdued , and he revealed that he was not only lucid, but also had been conscious for all the years that the Sandman had kept him imprisoned (Justice League of America #113). then was sent to series of research labs and hospitals in an attempt to find a treatment for his condition.

The Sandman was nearly crushed by the shame of his pride and ignorance in not seeking other help for , and retired some time later. During this time, the weight of his guilt (and the probable loss of the intense dreams that drove his early career) led Dodds to seek psychiatric help from Dr. Raymond Baxter. With Baxter's help, Dodds was able to forget that he had ever been the Sandman. He spent years in blissful forgetfulness, until a gangster named "Snooze" Simpson sought revenge on the Sandman, with knowledge of Dodds obtained from Baxter's daughter. A pre-programmed code phrase, "Sandy Hawkins," reawakened Dodds's knowledge of his heroic identity. Simpson and his gang were sent back to jail, and the Sandman returned to his costumed activities (DC Comics Presents #42).

Some weeks later, the Sandman discovered that a disgruntled former scientist (now known as the Shatterer) had kidnapped from the research facility where he had been under observation. The Shatterer was using his own technology and the seismic "focusing" properties of 's silicoid body to generate enormous seismic currents and wreak vengeance on his former colleagues. Using a carbon-based ray similar to the silicon-based ray that originally transformed him, the Sandman reverted to his carbon based form. The Shatterer was enraged at the loss of this resource, but a final seismic tremor in 's body opened the ground beneath the Shatterer and then closed it upon him when he fell inside. The Shatterer presumably died as a result. Because his silicoid body had been immune to aging, was the same age he had been when he was originally transformed. Together and the Sandman resumed a life of at least semi-active crime-fighting (DC Comics Presents #47).

The Sandman has a medical history of cardiovascular disease; as a result, he suffered a stroke in the early 1980s (revealed in Infinity Inc. #1). Although this stroke forced the Sandman to restrict his activities, he participated to a limited degree in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and joined the rest of the JSA in Limbo as they fought to forestall Ragnarok (Last Days of the Justice Society #1). When the JSA returned from Limbo, Dodds had another stroke (Justice Society of America #1). The Sandman recovered in time to stop the murder of a visiting dignitary in the same hospital (Justice Society of America #6). He later returned to a quiet life, where it was revealed that the dreams of his early career had ceased to plague him (Spectre vol. 3 #20). The Sandman joined the JSA in its assault on Extant during Zero Hour. Along with the rest of the JSA, he was aged to extreme senescence (Zero Hour #3). He did, however, survive Zero Hour, and made a recent appearance at the Wake of Morpheus (Sandman: The Wake). Although in advanced old age, Wesley Dodds still ventures occasionally into the spotlight. Most recently he has joined the son of Ted Knight (Starman) in resolving the murder of a socialite, John Blaine (Starman vol. 2 #20-23). The adventure reawakened in Dodds the desire to have more than a quiet retired life. He and Dian liquidated their assets and resolved to the spend their last days traveling the world one last time (Starman vol. 2 #30).

Dian Belmont died shortly after their arrival in the Orient, presumably from cancer or some other chronic disease affected the elderly. Shortly thereafter, Wesley Dodds became aware of a growing mystic threat, a being known as the Dark Lord who would attempt to prevent the arrival of Dr. Fate in the land of the living. Working hastily, he contacted old acquaintance Speed Saunders and arranged for the protection of the 3 infants selected as potential hosts. When Dodds was finally confronted with the Dark Lord in Tibet, he took his own like rather than allow the mage to pry the information on the infants from his mind (JSA Secret Files #1). He was laid to rest alongside Dian at the mystery-man cemetary known as (JSA #1).

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