Sand

[Cover of ADVENTURE COMICS #40]

Personal Data

Sanderson Hawkins. Nephew of Dian Belmont.

Occupation: Independently Wealthy 
First Appearance (Golden Age): Adventure Comics #69 
First Appearance (Silver Age): Justice League of America #113 
Joined JSA: JSA #4
Pre-Crisis Fate: Active
Post-Crisis Fate: Active, upgraded
 

History

    The origins of the kid hero originally known as Sandy the Golden Boy are shrouded in mystery and confusion. In the earliest records, he was a New England teen who imitated Sandman's early gold and violet uniform. On a road trip in 1942, Wes Dodds encountered a giant bee, the product of a local apiarist, Elijah Buttsford. Buttsford had generated a mix of thyroid extract and pollen that caused the bees to grow to enormous size, risking havoc as the territorial animals began to build an enormous hive. Bess Buttsford, daughter of Elijah and friend to Sandy, led the two costumed figured to her father's workshop and explained that the bees had taken her father. Quickly tracking them, the pair rescued Buttsford and sealed the hive, flooding with carbon dioxide gas and killing the bees (Adventure Comics #69). However, this tale may be apocryphal since the youth in this story is referred to as Sandy McGann. Another story, certainly apocryphal, places Sandy as a costumed identity in 1939, the partner of Jack Dodds (Sandman Mystery Theatre #50). It seems that the true origins of Sandy the Golden Boy are yet to be revealed.
    What is known is that, by some means, orphan Sanderson Hawkins, nephew of Dian Belmont was introduced to the Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds. After helping the hero out on a case, the two took up a life of adventuring together in which Sandman taught the younger hero his methods of crime fighting. While most of the case work involved cleaning up New York's mob elements, Sandy occasionaly participated in national level case work with the Young All-Stars or as a member of the All-Star Squadron. He periodically joined the JSA on casework such as helping the non-magic powered heroes deliver rations to occupied Europe in 1942 (All-Star Comics vol. 1 #14) or  opposing the agents of the Stalker in 1945 (All-Star Comics vol.2 #1-2, Star Spangled Comics vol. 2 #1). It's likely that Sandy was protected from the more gruesome work the Sandman took upon himself. Sandy the Golden Boy remained active for most of Sandman's career until late in 1945.

    As part of his battle against crime, the Golden Age Sandman had developed an arsenal of chemical weapons, ranging from sedatives to noxious gases. In 1945, he developed a prototype weapon based on silicon, the exact nature of which is unknown. In the first activated test of the weapon, it exploded, exposing Sandy Hawkins to an unknown kind of radiation. Within moments, Sandy was altered into a giant crystalloid monster, raging and angry. The creature that was Sandy was unsteady, however, and when in collapsed momentarily after forming, Wes Dodds sedated it. For decades thereafter, Sandy Hawkins was kept in a special chamber in an unconscious state as Dodd's feared unleashing the unknown creature on the world (revealed in Justice League of America #113).

    Decades later, a lapse in the system interrupted the anesthetic gas into Sandy's "velvet cage" and the Sandy revived. Sensing a shift in the tectonics of New York City, the mute Sandy went on what seemed to be a rampage toward the epicenter. Dogged by the combined Justice League and Justice Society, Sandy was finally cornered and subdued. After recovering his voice, he explained that his rampage had been solely a function of his inability to speak and his need to contain the forces of the shifting faultlines. Confronting Dodds after years of silence, Sandy revealed that initial irrational rage, he had contained himself and was actually quite normal but was unable to communicate such due to the anesthetic effects of Dodds' chamber. Crushed with shame, Dodds and Sandy parted company, Dodds seeking psychiatric redress for the weight of his actions, Sandy into a series of experimental programs funded by Dodds to reverse his condition (Justice League of America #113).

    Years later, Sandy was taken prisoner by a Dr. Arnold Price, a physician/scientist who had been studying his powers and structure. Price, now known as the Shatterer, planned to harness the geo-sensitive powers of Sandy's body to unleash rather than absorb seismic energy. By initating a series of eartquakes, the Shatterer could then blackmail the city and avenge himself on his colleagues. The Shatterer's plans were derailed by the return of the newly active Golden Age Sandman. Stunning the villain, the Sandman freed his former partner and rigged a quick experiment. Reasoning that, if a silicon explosion had turned him silicon, a organic explosion would turned him back, Dodds' set off an explosion of organic reagents. When the dust cleared, Sandy Hawkins emerged, seemingly normal. Regaining his senses, the Shatterer attacked but a tremor caused by Sand's "residual" seismic energy opened the earth beneath the villain and consumed him (DC Comics Presents #47).

    As the Sandman and Sandy pondered their potential new role in life, the JSA and several closely allied heroes were summoned to save the Earth from impending Ragnarok by containing destructive energies of ancient Norse mythologies in a different realm (Last Days of the Justice Society #1).. These forces were held in check by the JSA for years, ending only when the JSA were replaced by a race of alien primitives (Armageddon:Inferno #4). Returned to earth, Wes Dodds reunited with his common-law wife and retired. Sandy Hawkins set about educating himself, traveling the world and pondering the next stage of his life.

    In 1999, Sanderson Hawkins was again thrust on the stage by the advent of the Dark Lord, Mordru. In pursuit of the child destined to become the new Dr. Fate. Mordru was thwarted by the aging Wes Dodds, now a widower as Dian had died of cancer some months earlier. Confronting the aging hero, Mordru was thwarted once more as Dodds chose suicide, denying the Dark Lord the secrets he craved. As Dodds died, the dreams that plagued him and the considerable wealth at his command was passed on to Hawkins. Re-forming the JSA, Sandy Hawkins, now going by the name Sand, and other heroes thwarted Mordru (JSA #1-4). The new JSA then solidified it's organization with Sand as current leader.

    Shortly thereafter, Sand's body underwent a startling conversion to a silicoid form. This form remained intermediate between the giant monster he previous became and his human form. After an encounter with a new foe, the Geomancer, Sand was given a device to control his conversions by Tyler Biochemical. His future now, as leader of JSA and super-powered adventurer seems limitless (JSA #5).

Powers/Skills

Throughout the earliest part of his career, Sandy Hawkins was the protege of the Golden Age Sandman. As such, his skills were centered around Asian martial arts and criminology skills learned from the elder hero. After being exposed to the silicon radiation, Sand's body has been altered in ways yet to be fully determined. He possess the ability to alter forms from human to silicon, can move through earth-based objects, absorb and release seismic energy and travel along fault-lines.

Weaknesses/Limitations

The limitations of Sand's current form are unknown. In silicon form has been shown to be sensitive to anesthetics so at least some respiration must be necessary. He has not aged significantly since being converted to silicon, implying that he may now be immortal or at least very long-lived. Other weakenesses may only manifest themselves with time.

Principal Adversaries

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