What if Spider-Man were to fight someone who he could never hurt, but was able to hurt Spider-Man? That is the concept of Amazing Spider-Man issue 4. A memorable super-villain due to his unique powers, the Sandman had become one of Spider-Man’s most distinguishable foes throughout the series.
Let me tell you a little about the Sandman. He had gotten his powers due to radiation. Just like Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and damn near everyone else in the Marvel universe. While hiding out in a nuclear testing site, a nuclear bomb caused his DNA to mend with the sand underneath his feet. Or something ridiculous like that.
Which brings me to my next point. The Sandman, although being a great concept for an unstoppable villain, also has to be one of the dumbest. We are talking about a person made out of sand here. Is he supposed to represent that jock on the beach that would kick sand in your face? When Spider-Man fights Sandman, he can’t hurt him… unless water is used. Any liquid, in fact. Like if a dog walked by and pissed on him, that dog would have defeated Sandman.
As exciting as sand is, it was much more exciting when Spider-Man fought the Vulture. Don’t get me wrong, when Spider-Man fights Sandman, it is a clever battle. But you have to keep in mind that Spider-man has been around for a long time, and this was a very early issue.