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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sand Should Get A Comic!

I've said this before, but I think Sanderson Hawkins (Sand of the JSA) deserves his own comic. And now I'll explain why.

First, because he's too quiet and lacking of melodrama to take a whole lot of attention in a group book. He's a good character but much more of a support character overall. Any issue in particular that centers on him is pretty good in general, but his usual role in the series is to be a relatively calm voice of reason and to kick ass in combat.

There's nothing wrong with that of course. Seeing Sand smack the crap out of Mordru was the highlight of JSA 79. But over the course of 81 issues, we've seen hints that there's more to this guy.

1) According to Batman, Wesley Dodds was almost the detective that he was. According to the other characters, Sand's actually surpassed Wesley in quite a few areas, including chemistry and detective work. However, except for a bit of forensic work in one issue, he's never gotten the chance to show this. That's fine, JSA is a team book not a detective book, but I'd like to see that aspect shown.

2) The precognitive dreams. Wesley, on his death, bequeathed his dreaming gift/curse to his ex-sidekick. They're mentioned occasionally in JSA, but very rarely used. Especially since Rick Tyler (and Rex Tyler) returned. The Hourmans have much clearer, more reliable precognitive abilities, which makes Sand's a bit superfluous. But they could make for some fun, surreality in his own comic.

3) Johnny Sorrow. Sand's got a built in adversary already. A lovecraftian scary adversary also. We see him occasionally, but he's a bit wasted in the Injustice Society. Imagine the sort of scary horror plotlines he could take part in, as the enemy of a solo-comic character. JSA isn't really a good place for Lovecraftian or Dark Demonic storytelling, but that doesn't mean there are no stories to be told.

4)Culture Shock. Sand's a fish out of water. He's twenty-five years old now, but when he was nineteen, it was 1945. There's a lot of fun to be had with that. A lot of interesting subplots to play with. And there could be flashbacks

5)Monsterdom. Relating to a darker horror theme, we've got a guy who at age 19 became a monster. Even if he's relatively well-adjusted, that sort of massive transformation would allow for more emotional and fascinating subplots.

6)The Nostalgia Factor. Especially if they made it a Vertigo line. Think about the possibilities for style and tone. Film-noir overtones, dark and quiet, with hints of dream-surreality, and the occasional drive-in B-movie interludes.

7) Legacy. Sandman's Mystery Theatre was great! A modern day version with a similar style would work really well I think.

8)Could start with a modern, post-crisis version of "The Creature in the Velvet Cage." That story is interesting for its time and significance, but at the time it was a cheap cheesy way to write out a stupid sidekick. And that's too awesome a title to waste on an old outdated pre-crisis story!

There are some really good ideas in there, but between the ghastly art, the silly multiverse stuff, and Wesley Dodds being written like a total selfish jackass...Well, I'd like any excuse to supplant the canon with something good. (Maybe from the monster's point of view, playing on the confusion, abstraction and surreality...since we already end up knowing it's Sandy, and he's a good guy, forgo the surprise whatsoever, and go for the imagery and emotion).


Anyway, I think it'd be awesome. :-) If it comes down to it, I'll find a way to write it myself! :-)


  • At January 04, 2006 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't know if I want a quiet rational person in a solo comic.

    That would sorta take the fun out of everything. He'd just point something out and stop the bad guy in a minuet.

  • At January 04, 2006 2:10 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    I think it could work if there were some big happening in JSA to spin off of.

  • At January 05, 2006 2:38 PM, Blogger Scipio said…

    You make a pretty good case (although a similar case could be made for many characters who wouldn't actually be able to carry off a book of their own ... heck, if AQUAMAN and the Martian Manhunter can't do it...!).

    And, too, the original function of the JSA was specifically as a 'try out' book from which to 'spin off' the most popular characters. But if we use THAT as the criterion, then wouldn't Power Girl, Dr. Midnight, or Mr. Terrific come first?

  • At January 05, 2006 4:41 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    mallet: Ah, but if the plots were more mystery based perhaps, where the hero had to reason out who's done/going to do what where, the quiet rationality could be a benefit. :-)

    Ragnell: Yep, just need something to branch off of.

    Scipio: You have a point. However, I still think it'd be worth a try. :-) It could be fun after all. And I think PG, Mid-Nite and Terrific should also get solo books! More solo books for everyone!

    (And Aquaman will be back on top and in his own book soon enough, I'd bet. :-))


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