Thursday, November 16, 2023

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #2 Review


Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Riley Rossmo
Colors by: Ivan Plascencia
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Cover art by: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: November 14, 2023

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #2 explores the darker side of Dodds's mission when his lethal chemical research is stolen, and a new villain emerges as the evil analog to the Sandman.
Is Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #2 Good?

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #2 puts Wesley Dodds on the ropes when his home is destroyed, his research is gone, and the possibility of his worst nightmares appears to be coming true. Robert Venditti is crafting a smart, methodical crime noir story that fits the serialized stories of the Golden Age like a glove.

When last we left Wesley Dodds, aka Sandman, an unknown agent ransacked his house and set the home ablaze. Now, Dodds suspects the "burglary gone wrong" story the police have accepted is a diversion to mask two startling conclusions. First, somebody knows Dodds is Sandman. Second, whoever they are knows Dodds has research information about horrifically lethal gases, and they're willing to kill to get it. Before the issue is done, a new Sandman emerges with a weapon designed to give anyone in its path the Big Sleep.

Robert Venditti's tale, in tone, style, and themes reads like a detective noir story set in the 1940s, so on pure atmosphere alone, this issue hits the bullseye. However, readers expecting JSA levels of action/adventure may find this issue subdued.

What's great about Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #2? Venditti's moody, atmospheric detective noir story hits the sweet spot for fans of the detective noir genre and the crime serials of the 1940s. The central mystery is well-constructed, and the action scenes are grounded yet exciting.

What's not so great about Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #2? Dodds's inner monologue narration gets a little plodding and mopey in spots. That could be par for Dodds's personality, but it makes him come across as a sadsack who doesn't enjoy his work.

How's the art? It's no secret I'm not a fan of Riley Rossmo's intentionally grotesque figure work, but credit where credit is due. Rossmo's work is better here, and in fairness, Rossmo's penchant for twinkle-toed feet is less apparent than in the previous issue. You still get weirdly misshapen faces and Rossmo's broken grasp of movement during action scenes (For example, there's an oddly contradictory panel involving a car accident where a body goes flying in a way that doesn't make sense), but overall, this is a much better showing from Rossmo.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #2 leans heavily into the detective noir genre when Dodds tracks down a villain who stole lethally dangerous information. Venditti's writing is a love letter to the Golden Age of detective comics, and Rossmo's art is much improved.


1 comment:

  1. This is so far my favoured book of the 3 and definitely the best fit for Rossmo's art that I've seen.