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Ends of the Earth: Sandman

Dan Slott explains why Flint Marko could be the x-factor when Spider-Man faces one of his greatest challenges to date

By Ben Morse

The Sinister Six has returned like never before, and beginning with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682—on sale March 21—they will threaten not just the wondrous wallcrawler, but the entire Marvel Universe in Ends of the Earth.

As Spider-Man prepares to face his greatest foes with the stakes raised to a whole new level, we enlisted writer Dan Slott to take us on a guided tour though this rogues gallery, outlining their powers and motivation as well as pointing to his favorite stories detailing their depravity.

The motives of Flint Marko can be as difficult to grasp as the man himself when he employs his silicon-shape-shifting abilities. He has pursued base greed at times, worked in concert with the Fearsome Four as well as the Sinister Six in grabs for power, and even fought a misguided battle for a “daughter” not truly his when last we saw him.

An inability to pin down this grainy grappler in any sense of the word could prove a major handicap for Spider-Man as Ends of the Earth progresses.

“Sandman [is] the wild card,” says Dan Slott. “Here’s a guy who’s been a villain, then a hero, and then a villain again. His state of mind really does seem to shift a lot—like sand.”

For the moment, Sandman finds his fuel in attempting to forcibly reunite with his aforementioned “daughter,” Keemia, an event previously foiled by Spider-Man and that Doctor Octopus has assured he can make happen in exchange for assistance with his larger schemes.

“In the course of Ends of the Earth you will see Sandman operating on a level you’ve never seen before,” promises Slott. “This story will show Flint Marko at the absolute peak of his power.”

Spidey will have assistance in the form of his Avengers teammates, but Sandman has given the entire Fantastic Four fits in the past, and proven a challenge for groups of heroes in classic stories such as a Slott personal favorite, MARVEL TEAM-UP #1 from 1972.

“I’m a big fan of Spidey team-up stories, especially with The Human Torch,” notes the writer. “[MARVEL TEAM-UP #1] was one of the best. Our two heroes had to fight Sandman on Christmas. And what was Sandman doing? Trying to get home to see his mom. It [was] the first time that we saw Sandman’s soft side and realized there may be more to him than a petty super villain.”

Stay tuned every day this week for more from Dan Slott on the Sinister Six as we get set for Ends of the Earth, beginning in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682 on March 21!

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