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Face (New Earth)

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Born some time in the 1900's, the Face was a brilliant and mysterious master of disguise, capable of drastically altering his physical appearance through the use of conventional methods, such as masks and prosthetics. In addition, he is also capable of precisely mimicking the voices and mannerisms of others, and was also an expert assassin, whose modus operandi is, appropriately enough, decapitation. The Face's true appearance, including his face, remains a mystery. Like many serial killers, the Face is utterly psychopathic. He also appears to suffer from bipolarity, and may harbor multiple personalities. The Face is the Sandman's only recurring foe, although it is almost always by chance that the two come into conflict with each other. Further complicating their encounters was that, due to the Face's disguises, the Sandman rarely knew who he was fighting until near the end of their battles.

In early 1938, the Face was hired to murder individuals from two rival families in Chinatown, New York City with the goal of inciting war among the Tongs. The plot was thwarted by the Sandman, who defeated the Face and apprehended his employer, Eldridge Benson. Benson wanted the two families to destroy each other so that no one would know that he had Asian heritage, a major taboo in World War II-era America. The Face was thought to have drowned during his battle with the Sandman, but in fact he survived and was hired a few months later to assassinate the wife of a wealthy businessman. Once again, the Sandman defeated him with the help of Rex Tyler, the Golden Age Hourman. However, the Face returned yet again, and was later hired by a publishing company to send their rivals out of business. The Sandman eventually succeeded in stopping the Face and his employers, but not before the villain critically injured Dian Belmont in an explosion and nearly murdered her while she was in the hospital. The Face once again managed to escape, vowing that he and the Sandman would meet again, and that next time he would be prepared.

Almost 60 years after their first encounter, Wesley Dodds would once again encounter the Face for what might be a final time. The Face was hired by an investor of Warren Gayle who wanted the billionaire's new airship to crash so he could collect the insurance money. Disguised as Gayle, the Face rigged the blimp with explosives and attempted to crash it into Opal City. Additionally, The Face now had a prodigal apprentice named Nobody, who disguised himself as the pilot. Jack Knight and an elderly Wesley Dodds worked together to expose the crime. While the Face managed to escape, Starman was able to confront, defeat, and unmasked Nobody, whose face was revealed to be hideously scarred and deformed.


  • Disguise: The Face is a duplicitous master of disguise, mimicry and deception.
  • The revisionist Face was developed by Matt Wagner for Sandman Mystery Theatre, which either moved the original story to Earth-Two or removed it from canon entirely.
  • Face is also known as Tom and Lian.
  • The Face originally used a surgical axe to decapitate his victims. In later encounters he used a variety of switchblades and knives as his main weapons instead, which he wields with considerably more proficiency.
  • He is also a skilled hitman with "a proven track record".[citation needed]


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