|Appeared in||Spider-Man 3|
|Actor||Thomas Haden Church|
- "I did a terrible thing to you, I spent a lot of nights wishing I could take it back. I'm not asking you to forgive me. I just want you to understand."
- ―Flint Marko[src]
Flint Marko was an escaped convict who fell into a particle accelerator and was transformed into a shape-shifting sand manipulator the Sandman.
Flint Marko stole money to pay for medical treatment for his terminally ill daughter, Penny. While on the run from the police after escaping from prison, he accidentally falls into an experimental particle accelerator that molecularly binds him with sand, giving him shape-shifting sand abilities. A major focus of the plot involves Marko's connection to the murder of Ben Parker, Spider-Man's uncle, in the first film.
Sandman is later spotted by police officers walking down the streets of Manhattan. Sandman gets on top of a dump truck filled with huge amounts of sand. When one of the policemen climbs atop the truck, he is assaulted by a huge fist made out of sand. Having absorbed the truck's sand to add to his mass, a giant Sandman then emerges. The police shoot at Marko, but he manages to escape by turning into a sandstorm and flying away with the wind. At the Spider-Man fair, the sandstorm is spotted, and Spider-Man goes to investigate. In doing so, Spider-Man confronts Sandman, foiling his attempt to rob an armored truck, but Sandman gets away. Later, at the police station, it is revealed by Police Captain George Stacy that there is evidence implicating Marko as Ben Parker's killer, and he also tells Peter and May that the carjacker, Dennis Carradine, that Peter confronted two years earlier was really Marko's accomplice, and did not fire the shot that killed Ben Parker. In the meantime, Sandman robs a bank, and Spider-Man, now with enhanced abilities due to his new black suit, chases him to the subways. He sneaks up on Sandman and confronts him with the accusation of murdering Ben Parker, and then furiously attacks them. During a brutal fight, Spider-Man bursts a water tank, flooding Sandman in water and turning him into mud, which is swept through a sewer grate. Believing that Sandman is dead, Spider-Man leaves; unbeknownst to him, however, Sandman, who is washed out to the river, is able to eventually reconstitute himself.
Spider-Man later tears the symbiote off his body in a bell tower after learning of its parasitic nature, and it merges with Eddie Brock, to become Venom, who convinces Sandman to team up with him to destroy Spider-Man. Sandman agrees because he feels that Spider-Man will not stop chasing him until he is dead. The two kidnap Mary Jane Watson and take her to a construction site, forcing Spider-Man to face them both.
During the fight, Sandman uses the site's sand to again increase his size, turning into a version of himself several stories high. After Venom restrains Spider-Man with his webbing, almost strangling him, Sandman nearly beats Spider-Man to death, but for the intervention of Harry Osborn, under the guise of the New Goblin, who comes to his friend's aid with his Goblin arsenal. Harry explodes a pumpkin bomb at Sandman, and then distracts Venom enough to free Spider-Man. Working together, the two manage to save Mary Jane, defeat Venom, and temporarily disable Sandman. (Harry and Brock are both killed in the process). Sandman returns to his normal size, and having discovered Spider-Man's real identity, he reveals that he never wanted to kill Uncle Ben. He had been trying to ask to use Uncle Ben's car, and accidentally shot him in a moment of panic. Realizing that Marko is telling the truth, Spider-Man forgives him. Marko is touched by Spider-Man's compassion, and he shape-shifts into a sandstorm as he flies away.
Powers and Abilities
- Body Conversion-Sand: Due to the particle accelerator that fused sand particles to his cells, Sandman possesses the ability to either shape-shift himself into anything. It has granted him superhuman strength, durability, ageless immortality, flight via a sandstorm and can self reform his missing body parts. These powers include:
- Immortality: Due to sand particles replacing his cells, he cannot die by natural means. Due to his nature, he is also nearly impossible to truly destroy.
- Metamorphosis: He can absorb sand particles to increase his size, density & physical attributes. This was seen in his last battle with Spider-Man and the New Goblin. He is even able to transform his limbs into large hammers or large fists to further enhance his physical strikes.
- Superhuman Strength: Being able to harden his sand into actual rock, his strength is far stronger than that of an average human. He was able to send Spider-Man flying through the doors of an armored truck with just one mild strike.
- Superhuman Durability: Being able to harden parts of his body, he becomes superhumanly durable. Bullets can easily pass or go straight through him as they cannot harm him at all.
- Flight: By transforming himself into a sand storm, the Sandman can fly across the air at great speeds.
- Self-Reformation: Sandman has his version of regenerative healing, by reforming instantaneously. He managed to reform half of his head instantaneously.
- Superhuman Stamina: Due to his body being composed if sand particles, he cannot tire, since he cannot produce fatigue at all.
- Hand-to-Hand Combatant: The Sandman, due to his sand powers, is a formidable combatant as he is able to take down a group of policemen and even Spider-Man.
- Water: By coming contact with water, the Sandman will reduce himself to mud which makes him sulky and he cannot do anything with his shape-shifting powers.
- Emma Marko - Ex-wife.
- Penny Marko - Daughter.
- Ben Parker - Accidental victim; deceased.
- Peter Parker/Spider-Man - Former enemy.
- Harry Osborn/New Goblin - Former Enemy; deceased.
- Eddie Brock/Venom - Former Ally; deceased.
Behind the scenes
- Thomas Haden Church along with Topher Grace were called to a meeting, not knowing that they would play Flint Marko and Eddie Brock.
- During filming, Thomas Haden Church accidentally hit a solid concrete wall, but on the scene he had to hit a wall made of foam rubber, only that they had not yet placed it. As a result, Thomas ended up with 3 broken knuckles.
- Thomas Haden Church was offered the role of Sandman on the strength of his performance in Sideways. He accepted the part despite the fact that there was no script.
- Sandman is the only main villain in the series not to die.
- In the comics, he was not involved with Uncle Ben's death. This was changed in Spider-Man 3 because the crew wanted Sandman to be emotionally connected to Peter, like the series' other villains were.
- In the comics, his original name was William Baker, but he later adopted the alias of Flint Marko.
- While he doesn't have a daughter in the comics, he did meet a girl Keemia Alvarado that was introduced in the Gauntlet storyline who believed him to be her father despite that they are not biologically related.
- Sandman is the only villain in the series who does not have an occupation and aside from Venom is the only one who is not a scientist.
- He is only ever called Sandman once throughout the film, when a news anchor refers to him as so while reporting of a story involving he and Venom. Throughout the majority of the film, he is referred to by his real name, Flint Marko, or just Flint, or Marko.