Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sandman Mystery Theatre
Sandman Mystery Theatre is a comic book series published by Vertigo, the mature-readers imprint of DC Comics, which ran for 70 issues between 1993 and 1999. It retells the adventures of the Sandman, a vigilante whose main weapon is a gun that fires sleeping gas, originally created by DC in the Golden Age of Comic Books. Unlike most other superheroes, the Sandman possesses no superhuman powers and relies on his detective skills and gas gun.
In this film noir-like 70-issue series by writers Matt Wagner and Steven T. Seagle and artist Guy Davis, Wesley Dodds (the Sandman) and his girlfriend Dian Belmont, daughter of the District Attorney, encountered several often grotesque foes in multi-issue storylines. (The team of Dodds and Belmont were a nod to Nick and Nora Charles of The Thin Man films.) This series dealt with mature themes such as abortion, racism, and anti-Semitism, as well as historical themes such as the rise of Nazism and internatinal appeasement.
The revival of the character was due in part to the success of a later, related, character, created by Neil Gaiman, whose adventures were then being published under the title of The Sandman (hence the need for a more elaborate title for the older character's adventures). The two characters met briefly in a one-off special, Sandman Midnight Theatre, co-written by Gaiman and Wagner.
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