This section provides information on the variation of character interpretations both pre-Crisis and in iterations since Crisis. Focus is on characters defined by their given name (Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, etc.) rather than code name (Green Lantern, Flash). Emphasis is on interpretations where the character had a major role versus a cameo or non-essential story role to minimize clutter.
The backstory of the Sandman is much more detailed on the merged world derived from the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Here it is known that Wesley Dodds was most likely born in the early 1910s to wealthy investor Edward Dodds and his wife, Marina. In 1917, when he was still a child, his mother died under unrevealed circumstances. Little is known of Dodds's early life, save that he spent part of his youth in the Far East and learned Oriental herbalism, martial arts, and origami. It is known that he is well-traveled, ranging from Europe to the South Seas. After college and his father's death, Dodds became the manager of a vast estate and an investor in his own right.
Sometime before 1938, Dodds became plagued by extremely vivid dreams of criminal activitiesÑdreams that would not allow him rest. Dodds used his fortune to finance a lab and developed a formula for a sedative and hypnotic gasses. He then bought several kinds of gas masks and set up an identity for himself, the Sandman, in which to pursue the criminals that haunted his dreams. In an early case, he encountered Lee Travis, a college chum, in his guise of the Crimson Avenger. The two initially fought but eventually joined forces against the Phantom of the Fair, who haunted the 1938 World's Fair. Travis gave Dodds a gun design that the Sandman ultimately perfected as his gas gun (Secret Origins vol. 2 #7). The Sandman then started his career in earnest, first confronting the Tarantula, a serial murderer (Sandman Mystery Theatre #1-4). Whether this is the same as the Earth-Two character is not clear. Also on this Earth, Dodds met socialite Dian Belmont, daughter of District Attorney Larry Belmont, at local ball (Sandman Mystery Theatre #1). The two became lovers and, by year's end, Dodds had shared the knowledge of his dual life with her (Sandman Mystery Theatre #24). The Sandman's dreams often compelled him to pursue the most violent of criminals, such as the Scorpion (Sandman Mystery Theatre # 17-20), Dr. Death (Sandman Mystery Theatre #21-24), and the Butcher (Sandman Mystery Theatre #25-28). How much of this is mirror on Earth-Two is unknown.
It is thought that much of the history of this Earth’s Sandman parallels that of his Earth-Two counterpart up until the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Though a stroke forced the Sandman to restrict his activities, he participated to a limited degree in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and joined the rest of the JSA in Limbo as they fought to forestall Ragnarok (Last Days of the Justice Society #1). When the JSA returned from Limbo, Dodds had another stroke (Justice Society of America #1). The Sandman recovered in time to stop the murder of a visiting dignitary in the same hospital (Justice Society of America #6). He later returned to a quiet life, where it was revealed that the dreams of his early career had ceased to plague him (Spectre vol. 3 #20). The Sandman joined the JSA in its assault on Extant during Zero Hour. Along with the rest of the JSA, he was aged to extreme senescence (Zero Hour #3). He did, however, survive Zero Hour, and made a recent appearance at the Wake of Morpheus (Sandman: The Wake). Although in advanced old age, Wesley Dodds still ventures occasionally into the spotlight. Most recently he has joined the son of Ted Knight (Starman) in resolving the murder of a New York socialite, John Blaine (Starman vol. 2 #20-23). The adventure reawakened in Dodds the desire to have more than a quiet retired life. He and Dian liquidated their assets and resolved to the spend their last days traveling the world one last time (Starman vol. 2 #30).
Dian Belmont died shortly after their arrival in the Orient, presumably from cancer or some other chronic disease affected the elderly. Shortly thereafter, Wesley Dodds became aware of a growing mystic threat, a being known as the Dark Lord who would attempt to prevent the arrival of Dr. Fate in the land of the living. Working hastily, he contacted old acquaintance Speed Saunders and arranged for the protection of the 3 infants selected as potential hosts. When Dodds was finally confronted with the Dark Lord in Tibet, he took his own like rather than allow the mage to pry the information on the infants from his mind (JSA Secret Files #1). He was laid to rest alongside Dian at the mystery-man cemetary known as Valhalla (JSA #1).
history of the Sandmanof Earth-22 is largely similar to that of Prior
Earth-0 during the war years. While much of his career is undocumented, it is known that he survived to advanced old age in the earliest part of the twenty-first century. A lonely old man of advanced age, he became a parishoner at the church of Norman McCay. In his last days, his dream prophesied the coming battle between the classic guardians of old and the new, undisciplined super-powered being dominating the earth. His final words warned McCay that an armageddon was coming, one that he was bound to witness (Kingdom Come LS).
The Wesley Dodds of this world is a legendary operative known as the Sandman, one of the first and most experienced among this world's mystery men. He is the first to realize that Kent is a rogue Kryptonian and sound the alarm. Whether he survived the final confrontation is not clear and his ultimate fate on this world is known. (JSA: The Unholy Three LS).