Strange Tales (Vol. 1) #115

Background

The Sandman's second appearance, only two months after being sucked into a vacuum cleaner, was not in Amazing Spider-Man but in the Human Torch's solo feature that used to appear in Strange Tales. Spidey has a tiny role in the proceedings.

Story 'The Sandman Strikes!'

Spider-Man briefly appears to ease the transition of the Sandman from a Spidey villain to a Torch (and subsequently a Fantastic Four) villain. His head appears on the cover thinking, "The Torch will have to save himself without the help of Spider-Man! But I wonder... can he do it?" Page three of the story flashes back to Spidey's victory over the Sandman in ASM #4 (September 1963). Later, by all appearances, the wall-crawler challenges the Sandman to a fight (from the top of the Empire State Building) but this turns out to be the Human Torch in disguise. In reality, Spidey's only appearance is in the very last panel. The Torch has defeated the Sandman and the police take the villain off to jail. In the shadows, Spider-Man watches and thinks, "I'm glad that flaming freak didn't get clobbered by Sandman, but I don't like the idea of him cutting in on my capers! Sooner or later, this town will be too small for the Torch and me!"

General Comments

A solid if unspectacular Silver Age showdown. The Sandman is always entertaining but more fun when he faces the wall-crawler. If you squint while you read it, you can almost pretend it is Spidey in the lead instead of ol' matchhead. Two and a half webs.

Overall Rating