At this point, he used an incredible trick! Most humans would have trouble making a tree out of sand, so their courtyards would be pathetically lacking in vegetation. But The Sandman could hold the sand together with his powers! He held the sand in the shape of a tree's leaves, defying gravity!!!
Some possess inhuman Strength, the vibrations of their great deeds resounding through the earth as mountains are moved with the force of a single person.Others possess the gift of Intelligence, rendering simplistic the great questions of the ages, seeking out the truths unknown which would confound those of lesser ability.Others possess the gift of the Elements, manipulating the heart of the roaring flames, flying as one with the wind, achieving acts inaccessible to anyone else.Yet others posses Concentration impossible, able to shape aspects of the world to their will and assemble fantastical forms which transcend the bounds of reason. Shifting, blasting, forming, grasping, none of these are the essence of what it means to be a hero.
No. Being a hero has never been about what power you possess. It's what you do with it.
For it is not for us that we fight, and fall, and rise, and fall again, beaten, broken, bloody, in pain of body, in pain of mind, in pain of heart. It is for them. Their world. Their hope. It is for them we bleed, and break, and fall.
"All my life I've explored the wonders of the universe, yet what could be more wondrous than life itself?" And what is life, but a hope? For what is despair, but a death? A despairing world destroyed by pride and greed, living rot though already dead, tottering towards ruination, buried in the sinking sand. The antithesis of all we stand for.
"The Fantastic Four has never given up hope before ... We're not stopping now. If there's a way out of this, so help me - - I'll find it."
"You've gone too far, Flint, we won't allow you to terrorizing this city any longer!"
Great Balls of Fire rained from the sky, bursting apart the trees and front of Sandman's palace, hard granules skittering across the beach as the darkening sky glowed with an orange radiance: The Human Torch!
"So may all your plans of villainy fall apart."
"Come with us, Flint. We can help you."
Approaching from the front, the elongated arm of Reed Richards stretched out towards The Sandman, palm up in a pleading gesture...
Even as he was contemplating, The Sandman's hands continued to move in harmony, as if conducting an orchestra! He expertly formed the tips of the fence with a pinch of his fingers!!! But, a sour note was mixed into his orchestra of sand. Had the violinist made a mistake? Had the flutist played the wrong note? As he looked up, The Sandman realized, finally, the source of the dissonance. It wasn't the violin, it wasn't even the drums! It was hundreds of balls of fire raining from the heavens!!!!
The Sandman realized, with a horrible sinking feeling in his gut, that he wouldn't be able to finish building this sand castle. That this may even be the finalsandcastle he ever built, and that he would be forced to leave it incompleted. It brought back some bad memories.
"What do you mean help me? Do you see what you just DID?". All of the ruined, misshapen body-doubles strewn out on the beach turned their heads towards The Torch, as if to accentuate that statement. Some had even melted partially from the heat of the fire.
The Sandman knew that this is how the world is. It beat people down, took away their options, and then condemned them for choosing the options they had left. It was something he experienced many times and had steeled his hart to. But still, that even the innocent trees of a sand castle were not spared from this fate shook him.