It always felt idiotic that in order to have Sandman go down the dark path again that they had The Wizard plant a chip into his brain.
Sandman was one of the few Spider-Man villains who actually grew over the years. IT was gradual, but it happened and it actually worked. While he wasn't a hero per say, he wasn't a villain either.
I felt like it showed us that people can change and that things don't always have to remain the same.
Sadly, this character growth was retconned via a chip. I always wondered why didn't Spider-Man care a bit more, as the two had a mutual respect that grew. One day Sandman goes nuts again and Spidey just gives it a shrug?
I've always felt that maybe there was a way of retconning the Wizard chip retcon, but it hasn't happened yet.
It's always felt weird that the character is doing what he is doing, because of something techological program versus doing what he is doing because of who he is.
While I don't like how he was returned to villainy, (Stupid Wizard...), I like that Sandman is an A-list supervillian who's essentially a nice guy. It makes him stand out, and some good stories have been told with him in this position.