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CSBG Archive

The Greatest Christmas Stories Ever Told! – #5

The countdown continues with 1971’s “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas!” from Marvel Team-Up #1 by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito…

It is somewhat rare to see the first issue of a series be a holiday issue, but that was the case with the long-running Spider-Man team-up book, Marvel Team-Up.

This charming tale opens in a cute way…

Spidey heads after Sandman, but decides to enlist the help of the Human Torch…

After a battle with Sandman, they end up captured…

Isn’t that an awesome ending? That one simple bit of character work by Roy Thomas set the stage for many years of further development of Sandman in that regard. Heck, even the film Spider-Man 3 sort of adapted this story (only with a locket for his daughter). One thing that has always kind of amused me, though, is how Sandman’s act of “kindness” to Spider-Man and Human Torch could have easily ended up with one or both of them drowning. “What happened? I was trying to help you guys out!” “You drowned the Human Torch!!!”

Anyhow, this was a great job by Thomas and wonderful art from an all-time classic art team. That final panel…WOW!


And then John Byrne had the Wizard stick Sandman into an evil-fying machine. Take THAT, Christmas spirit!

been waiting for this story to show up for even as a baddie sandman still felt the xmas cheer. even if he manage in the end to sneak out on the torch and spiderman.

Never expected this to rank so high.

What the blazes is Sandman wearing?! When did he first don that getup, and when did he return to the classic striped rugby shirt?

He donned that outfit in FF 61 when after years of work with the Frightful Four he went solo again (he also added a few gimmicks, like oil to make the sand super-slippery). I think it was an attempt to move him into the bigger league as a solo act, but he never really clicked.

It’s amazing that the “reform” of Sandman started all the way back in 1971. But then, I guess a reformed Sandman isn’t something that’s been around for a decade or more now anyway.

Delighted and surprised this ranks so high! I was given a copy when it first came out, and being six years old, read it so many times that I recognise each panel individually.

Has it ever been reprinted? I guess there’s an Essential Marvel Team-Up, eh? I’m still surprised it got so many votes when so many people reading this site (I assume) were born long after it came out. I know it’s been featured previously in other columns, too.

If I’d’ve voted it would’ve been in my top five for sure.

I’m guessing at this point there’s two of mine that might make the list. We will see.

Kind of funny to see the Torch complaining about the goofy “last decade” Fantasticar when he’s wearing a pastel-paisly outfit firmly stuck in the sixties.

I like this Sandman, ie the conflicted guy whos just had a shit ton of bad luck but really means well. The best stories are always about character and even the most ruthless sumbitches like Magneto/ Dr Doom/etc usually have a justifiable reason for being the way they are. Just being an evil asshole becuz ur supposed to be the bad guy, always feel pretty flat for me

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