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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Adventure Comics Digest #491 - The Man Who Couldn't Sleep

In 1982, after numerous format changes, DC revived ADVENTURE COMICS as a (mostly) reprint digest for a year beginning with this issue, including several S&K Sandman stories in the run (the same ones previously reprinted in the back pages of FOREVER PEOPLE). Because of the format of the digest, the artwork was modified throughout (golden age pages were wider, so parts of the art were taken out or expanded to fit the digest pages). And of course they're tiny. But they were a good place to read some stuff you hadn't seen before.

"The Man Who Couldn't Sleep" was from ADVENTURE COMICS #80 (1942). In this 10-page story, Sandman and Sandy have to deal with Felix Black, a rich man who has been driven crazy by his long-time inability to sleep. He uses his copious free-time at nights to become an expert and crime and recruits some henchmen to commit some robberies while keeping everyone else awake. Also involved is a struggling detective friend of Wes Dodds, who has trouble staying awake.

Eventually the detective gets kidnapped, and Sandman and Sandy trail the car through the city and rescue him. Great fight scene.



In the end Black finds his condition cured and renounces his life of crime, while the detective has more work than he can handle by taking credit for the arrest. While the format leaves something to be desired, and doesn't really show off the S&K linework which was really sharp at this point, you can see the power in the storytelling and the fast-moving plot. You're still better off getting the FOREVER PEOPLE issues for these stories (#7 in this case).

Published 1982

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