Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #56

Background

Ever since Venom took a bite out of his side back in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #16, the Sandman has had a rough time of it. The Venom bite disrupted Sandman's powers, causing him to lose cohesion and basically melt. When he last turned up, insane and out of control, it took the combined powers of Spider-Man and MTV (don't ask... see PP:SM #42-43 for details) to splatter him all over the beach. But as is always the case with the Sandman, it's only a matter of time before he pulls himself back together...

Story Details

  Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #56
Summary: (#154) Sandman Returns
Arc: Part 1 of 'Reborn' (1-2)
Editor: Axel Alonso
Writer: Zeb Wells
Pencils: Sam Keith
Inker: Sam Keith
Cover Art: Sam Keith
Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (PPSM) #5
Articles: Sandman

This issue opens with Peter Parker sitting in his apartment on a rainy day, trying to mend several tattered Spider-Man costumes. Meanwhile at Jones Beach, a baby Sandman is born from the beach. Shortly after, a full-grown Sandman also emerges from the beach, and it soon joins the baby. Spidey, finally fed up with his sewing, has decided to go out for a swing, when he hears a police bulletin about the Sandman, so he makes his way to Jones Beach.

Spider-Man arrives and quickly finds both adult and baby Sandmen together. They fight briefly, but they stop when Sandman reveals that he thinks the baby is actually himself. Meantime, somewhere else on the beach, a deformed, demented Sandman has emerged who begins killing police officers. Elsewhere, at a diner on the beach, Spider-Man has sat down for a bowl of ice cream with the two Sandmen. But when they see a news bulletin about the other sadistic Sandman, they head back out to the beach to investigate. Once there, Spidey theorizes that since Sandman's consciousness was once dispersed all over this beach, then different parts of his personality are now manifesting themselves individually. And as soon as Spidey finishes explaining that, a female Sandman (Sandwoman?) emerges from the beach...

General Comments

I've spoken highly of Zeb Wells' work in this title several times before, but this story is far from his best work. Wells' trademark humour is either not present or just not funny in this issue, and the rest of the story just isn't all that interesting. I guess I have a hard time getting excited for "The Return of the Sandman... Again!"

Wells' story isn't helped here by Sam Kieth's art. I remember a few years ago when Kieth was a fairly popular comic artist, and I remember thinking, "Why?" Maybe there's something about it I don't appreciate, but as far as I'm concerned, his art is just childish and ugly, and this issue is no exception.

Overall Rating

But on the bright side, I have read worse. One web.