Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sanderson Hawkins is a Mouthy Little Bitch

In the JSA, Sanderson Hawkins has the reputation of being a quiet, responsible, sort of fellow. A little bland, naturally, but a nice, polite, proper guy.

But, every so often, when he was still Sandy the Golden Boy, he actually showed signs of being *gasp* a mouthy little bitch!

Of course, he's a sidekick. It's in the job description, but it's fun none the less, because while all sidekicks are mouthy, Sandy tended to be a little more acerbic, shall we say, than, for example, Dick Grayson was during the same time period.

So anyway, here's my tribute to Sanderson Hawkins's inner smartass.

Sometimes, little Sandy can be a little snide. As is evidenced in this scene when Sandy and Wes visit their bumbling detective friend:

See, he calls him "Watson" because he's a detective. *nod*


Now, one role of the sidekick in 1940s comics was to give the hero a sounding board so we can all appreciate how smart they are. The Sandman stories are really no different, but sometimes it seems like Sandy finds his own role just a little annoying:

What really makes the Sandy-Wes relationship much more interesting than the Batman and Robin relationship of the same time period is that every so often you get the distinct impression that as much as Sandy adores Wes, he also thinks he can be completely full of shit.


Like in this one. He's not actually *saying* anything smartass. But the expression pretty much says it all:

And what it says is "You are so full of shit, man, and if I weren't a creepy stepford child, I'd actually tell you that. But I'm snickering on the inside. And what possesses a grown man to wear burgundy? I still can't believe you go out in yellow and purple spandex."

(I know that later comic book writers try to blame the yellow and purple on Dian for sewing it, or Sandy for suggesting it to look more like other heroes. But I maintain that if they did, it was all subtle revenge against Wes for something. Because *they* actually know how to dress.)


Of course, while Sandy does get to be a bit sharper tongued than his panty-and-elf-boots wearing counterpart, he still gets to say the fun battle wisecracks as well, like here:

I am amused by the contrast between Sandy's intellectual critique of his ammunition while the criminal maligns the poor English language with bastardizations like "moiderin'".


No one quite belittles people like Sandy, though I think he's still upset about the being sucker punched by a little person and left on a railroad track thing...


Even being a god (and having previously beat the crap out of him) won't spare you from little Sandy's sharp tongue.

(Though, on an unrelated note, Sandy looks vaguely like a girl in that panel. I think it's the fit of the night-shirt. Heh, you know he's probably had to do the crossdressing thing too. Sidekick rite of passage...

He's clearly a Summer.)


Of course, now that he's an adult, he's mostly grown out of the smartass stage.

Except maybe when being chained to a rock by a sick fuck:

Or when Black Adam is trying to be intimidating:

Don't let that genteel disguise fool you, the inner smartass isn't dead, it's just buried, ready to strike at the right provocation.

...that is of course once they finally BRING HIM BACK. (*glares petulantly at DC*)


(These panels were taken from Adventure Comics 491, 492, 495 and 499, JSA 20 and JSA 21)


  • At April 23, 2006 9:47 AM, Blogger Scipio said…

    I didn't realize until I read this post that Sandy actually does have a distinct personality, and an amusing one at that.

    As a former sidekick, he's perfect for 'Team Smartass', a role which, sadly, usually goes to someone dumber or more crude.

  • At April 23, 2006 10:42 AM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    "We'll call Captain Marvel." Ooh, burn!

    Still, it's probably good he didn't say that more recently. Adam would have done the Stooges' Eye-Poke of Death on him.

  • At April 23, 2006 11:11 AM, Blogger Steve said…

    You know, I'd read maybe two comics with Sand in them up until now, but reading this blog, I really want him to come back now too.

  • At April 23, 2006 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just wondering...If you really want a certain character or group back,how do you go about it?

  • At April 23, 2006 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Slowly break into the industry, make a name for yourself, and pitch a revival of your childhood pet character. I figure if that if Kalinara starts now, in about 10 years we'll have The Return of Sand: Rebirth, in which Sandy comes back from limbo and beats the living crud out of this Kieran Marshall fellow.

    Those are some awesome panels, by the way. Snarky Sandy is one of my new favorite Golden Age characters.

  • At April 23, 2006 5:03 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    scipio: yep! I was actually surprised rereading JSA how many times something snarky/sarcastic *did* come out of his mouth, because he's so calm/polite that it's hard to notice.

    He also took part in/came up with some downright diabolical schemes during his time as Chairman, like faking half the teams' deaths against Extant, or getting Mid-Nite to record Sorrow's face in his goggles...he can be pretty freakin' ruthless, too. He's just so quiet and undramatic that it's hard to notice right away. :-)

    It makes it even more fun though when you *do* notice. :-)

    calvin: Eyepoke wouldn't do any good actually. One time a mind-controlled Wonder Woman slammed her fist *through* his chest, and he just dissolved and reformed, looking just a little urked.

    steve: yay, converting people to Sand-love one post at a time!

    anon: I actually think he'll be back soon enough. Johns indicated that ultimately the JSA line-up wouldn't be changed. So they're probably holding him in check for some reason or another for the right moment.

    Or he dies in IC, but I don't think so as people only die in that stuff for two reasons: cannon fodder or drama. He's got a team and is a useful support character there, so he's probably not gonna be Pantha/Wildebeest level cannon fodder, and he's not been featured prominently enough for a dramatic death in the last issue, I think. :-) I'm not *actually* terribly worried.

    spiritglyph: Hah My master plan, discovered! Though really, I have nothing against Kieran. Besides, if sales go well, Rieber mentioned possibly doing a sequel where they meet. Which would be cool, given their parallel and contrasting tendencies...

    Besides, there's room enough for both, with slightly altered focus areas. Kieran can keep the tradition SMT style cases, Sand could focus on occult/supernatural stuff, or something like that. :-)

    ...but I *am* gonna pitch a solo series. Because it *is* my evil master plan. Of course now that you know...*looks evil*

  • At April 24, 2006 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks over at Kal -nod- :)

  • At January 10, 2010 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    *waves hello*

    I realize this post is old and you are very busy (also AWESOME), but I adore your take on Sandy.

    I'm writing a big bang fic (final draft due the end of April) about Sand and wonder if you'd be willing to beta it for character?

    Thanks either way. :)

  • At February 22, 2010 7:19 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Aw, I'm sorry, I have no idea when that comment was posted. I'm guessing the time's long since past. But thank you for thinking of me!

  • At February 22, 2010 7:25 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    On the off chance that you did comment this year and come back to check though, I'd love to. Please email me at


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