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The Sand Superman in the shadows

Sand Superman

Quarm extradimensional

“I want to live ! Continue existence… help people… like you have done ! I want to become Superman ! That’s why you’ll have to die !”


  • Real Name: Possibly N.A.
  • Marital Status: unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: none
  • Group Affiliation: the Quarrmians
  • Base Of Operations: The dimension of Quarrm
  • Height: 6’3’‘ Weight: 225 lbs
  • Eyes: blue sand Hair: black sand

Powers and Abilities

The Sand Superman received all of Superman’s own powers during the long-time exposition to each other they had. These included various sight powers (heat, x-ray, telescopic etc.), invulnerability, superspeed, flight, superbreath, extended hearing etc.

The mental link it held to Superman allowed it to steal Superman’s physical attributes and all powers until an equilibrium existed that made both equally powerful. Although the Sand Superman could control the power drainage from Superman up to a range of around 1 mile the power would be uncontrollable in the immediate vicinity of Superman. Touching Superman would theoretically have led to a ’cataclysmic explosion’ that could have destroyed them both.

Additionally the mental link it had to Superman gave it the uncanny ability to locate the Man of Steel all around the world. Lastly, it had a strange ability to move around quite unseen from both Superman and other humanoids.


Somewhere in the deserts of the USA used to be an experimental reactor in which experiments were conducted upon pieces of Kryptonite. When a powerful nuclear meltdown happened Superman himself was there to attempt to stop it. He failed, however, and a powerful kryptonite-based explosion that rendered Superman unconscious resulted.

Although he apparently had succeeded in stopping most of the deadly radiation to reach humanity a strange fission wave reached around the world and changed all kryptonite into pure iron. Miraculously, it seemed, Superman now had no vulnerabilities anymore, a fact that was seen in papers world-wide (more kryptonite rained down on Earth later on so the effect was only temporary).

On the spot Superman had been lying in the desert unconscious after the explosion was formed the imprint of the Man of Steel. The explosion had mysteriously opened up a portal into another dimension called the Quarrm Dimension. In that dimension beings existed as non-corporeal spirits and like most spirits they wanted a physical form to accompany them.

One of the beings of that dimension gained access to the ordinary DC Earth by attaching itself to the psychic and physical imprint of Superman left in the sand. Many hours after the explosion an uncanny version of Superman, made of sand, rose from the imprint.

This being would in the months that followed meet Superman seemingly randomly and drain power from him (in a ’Power Complication Sublot‘ if you wish) in an attempt to create an identity for itself. Superman was left near powerless after each such encounter while the Sand Superman grew more and more powerful and humanoid.

Its’ presence became more and more of an annoyance to Superman who wanted to know what it was. It could, however not speak, and mostly left more mysterious than it had been before the encounter. Superman, powerless at those occasions, was unable to follow it.

During one of these encounters it saved the life of Superman by destroying the magic weapon called the Devil’s Harp, an artifact that was being used by a man named Ferlin Nyxly aka Pan. Pan had nearly killed Superman when the Sand Superman sneaked by and destroyed the weapon that had allowed Pan to steal all of Superman’s powers.

Reasonably, the Sand Superman saved Superman’s life in order to maintain its’ own existence (he had a life-giving mental link to Superman and thus it couldn’t survive without Superman being alive).

Later it gained the ability to speak, but that didn’t help Superman much. The being didn’t follow human emotions and didn’t care for humanity ; thus Superman couldn’t convince it to agree on anything.

When the situation got even worse, Superman was left completely without powers. Seeking help from one of Wonder Woman’s old friends, the Asian mystic called I-Ching, Superman hoped to cure his situation. I-Ching sent away Superman’s soul to regain all the powers he had lost, which it did, leaving the Sand Superman powerless and near dead.

Attempting to return home to Quarrm in order to survive the Sand Superman opened up a dimensional portage in a park in Metropolis. To weak to enter the portage, the portage remained open. Superman had, unfortunately, been given a brain damage by a powerful blow to his head while unpowered. When his powers had now returned he retained the brain damage which made him act rashly and unreasonbly. Superman had now become an irresponsible and potentially lethal superbeing.

With kryptonite no longer available I-Ching and Wonder Woman had to decide on a risky plan to help Superman ; they tracked down the Sand Superman and made an agreement with Superman to meet him so that the Sand Superman could ambush it draining all his powers. Powerless, Superman would then recover as a normal man. Before the Sand Superman could steal Superman’s powers it was spotted and Superman escaped the scene.

Meanwhile, another being from Quarrm had entered the Earth Dimension via the portage in the park. This being fused itself with a giant Chinese statue of a monster and began rampaging the streets. Superman accidentally flew over this creature and was completely drained of power, leaving him unconscious and powerless.

Some street punks found Superman, gave him a real beating and allied themselves with the Chinese monster Quarrmian. The monster seeking advice did everything the punks asked of it. They wanted to finish off Superman, who was now residing in a hospital, and thus went there sitting on the back of the monster.

The punks were, however, too bullying and the enraged monster killed both of them crushing them in its’ hands. The monster still wanted to finish Superman (to which he also seemed to have a mental link), but by the time it reached the hospital Superman awoke repowered. The Sand Superman showed up and teamed with Superman. Together they both attacked the monster who terrified escaped back into the park and left Earth via the dimensional port.

Alone again with Superman, the Sand Superman announced that he was going to kill Superman so that he could be the only Man of Steel (see Quote). I-Ching, fortunately, arrived on the scene and magically hypnotized both into seeing how a fight between the two might turn out. Both saw the fight destroying the Earth and Superman, believing that he had really destroyed the Earth, was devastated.

The Sand Superman realized that it had no right to claim Superman’s soul or body and thus agreed on returning home to Quarrm. It left through the portage with half of Superman’s powers (Superman refused to take them back after having seen the destruction of the Earth during the hypnotism) and closed the port from the Quarrm side.

Long after that he was seen in an issue of DC Collector’s Edition Superman vs Shazam. The Sand Superman was impersonating the real Man of Steel and attacked Captain Marvel, while Black Adam pretended to be Marvel and ambushed Superman. All to bring about a battle between the two heroes. Presumably the Sand Superman returned to the Quarrm Dimension after the matter was settled. He has probably not been seen since…


The Sand Superman resembled Superman himself more and more the more power it absorbed. At first it was a pile of sand with humanoid features, but near the end it had acquired colors in it’s densely packed sand so it really resembled Superman. The only real difference was that the Sand Superman had a very different and alien body language and that his skin and suit resembled rough sandpaper.

Everywhere Superman had colors in his suit, it had too; it even had blue eyes of blue sand and black sand for hair. The entire appearance was quite uncanny and people who saw it often commented how strange ’Superman’ looked. All in all, it has the exact appearance of Superman himself, but with a very sand-like composition.


The Sand Superman’s personality is very strange and alien. It’s main driving force seemed to be pure survival for which it would do anything. In time it had also gotten some of Superman’s own personality including the desire to help humans and be a hero. It desired uniqueness nearly as much as survival itself, and would in the end kill Superman (something Superman wouldn’t do) to take his place.

In speech it was sometimes very aggressive, intimidating, while other times it could be filled with self-pitying (particularly if powerless). It was very stoic and never showed any human emotion. Its’ logic was non-human and uncomprehensive.

It really was a troublesome enemy having all of Superman’s mental advantages (except his humanity), but non of his deterring or disadvantageous ones. While claiming that it wanted to take Superman’s place it didn’t really care about what happened to humans or the Earth.

Only the final realization of what was right and what was wrong led it to leave Earth and its’ claims to be Superman. Since it hasn’t gotten back from Quarrm it has also shown a great belief in its’ judgement and a great persistence.

DC Universe History

The Sand Superman would be a very interesting experiment for a post-Zero Hour DC Universe. Since its’ being completely circulates around Superman only it could be inserted in an identical manner as in the original pre-Crisis story (except for the kryptonite part, of course).

OTOH, imagine the JLA having a meeting and having the Sand Superman turning up instead of Superman! For example, S.T.A.R. Labs could attempt to create an antidote versus kryptonite so that the original accident could happen in that desert.

If a more uncanny version is desired the theme from the movie Fallen could be used for the Quarrmians… Of course, in the current DC continuity the Sand Superman would be a natural for a “Reign of the Supermen” story.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Sand Superman

Dex: 09 Str: 24 Bod: 17 Motivation: Survival
Int: 10 Wil: 20 Min: 15 Occupation: Doppelgänger
Inf: 10 Aur: 07 Spi: 10 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 042 HP: 175

Powers: Bomb: 30, Detect (Superman): 25, Dimension Travel: 02, Directional Hearing: 07, Extended Hearing: 07, Flight: 17, Heat Vision: 14, Invulnerability: 21, Microscopic Vision: 14, Power Drain: 30, Recall: 19, Sealed Systems: 11, Superbreath: 12, Superhearing: 08, Superspeed: 11, Systemic Antidote: 17, Telescopic Vision: 12, Thermal Vision: 12, X-Ray Vision: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Power Drain is usable against all physical attributes and all powers, Power Drain additionally has a very powerful long-term effect
  • If Power Drain receives full RAPs Superman’s own AP level is decreased by 1 AP permanently and the Sand Superman will receive that exact same AP level in that attribute or power (thereafter the Sand Superman and Superman have an Elemental link to each others powers)
  • Bomb power is Non-Controllable, Non-Variable, Always On, has a Range of Touch and will automatically detonate at physical contact with Superman
  • Dimension Travel is limited to travelling between the Quarrm Dimension and Earth only
  • Power Drain is only usable on Superman
  • Power Drain is Always On at a Range of 0 APs
  • Power Drain has a maximum range of 10 APs only
  • Power Drain is unusable against powers and attributes that have already gained the benefits of the Long-Term Effect Bonus (see above)
  • X-Ray Vision cannot penetrate lead.

Notes: Notice the lacking of Solar Sustenance and vulnerability against lacking of yellow sun radiation (his energies are derived from Superman himself). Supposedly all types of Kryptonite could still affect it, as well as magic (which was shown near the end).

Skills: Thief (Stealth)*: 09

Advantages: Lightning Reflexes

Connections: None

Drawbacks: Distinct Appearance, Fatal Vulnerability (Green Kryptonite, Rare, 2 APs), Loss Vulnerability (Green Kryptonite, 2 APs, All Attributes and Powers), Loss Vulnerability (Gold Kryptonite, 2 APs, All Attributes and Powers, Permanent), Misc (Red Kryptonite, Rare, 2 APs, Bizarre Changes), Fatal and Loss Vulnerability (Magic, 0 APs, All Attributes and Powers), Socially Inept

Design notes

This write-up is based on the current Superman having slightly different AP-levels than what’s described in the published Mayfair Games products. For example, Superman is assumed to have a DEX of 10 APs and a higher Superspeed (a belief quite common on the DCH Mailing List). The write-up represents the Sand Superman just before he permanently left Earth for his home dimension.

Although it was formerly composed of sand it later on had to be composed of something else (since it was Invulnerable etc) ; any power to indicate it being composed of sand has therefore been omitted from the write-up. When it first arrived in the Earth Dimension all stats and powers could be considered to be at 2 APs, after which they, after much drainage from Superman, reached their ultimate levels below.

By Peter S Piispanen aka The Angel

Source of Character: Superman comics, DC

Helper(s): VBTusky

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