A hero published by Marvel Comics
first appeared in
Bordering on the edge of human consciousness is another dimension
called the Mindscape. It is the world of dreams and half-shaped
imaginings. Within this dimension, a group of beings exist who
act as guardians against the chaos of the realm. They are known as
the Sleepwalkers. They are green skinned beings with glowing
red eyes and a large bulbous head.
The Sleepwalkers protect the Mindscape using their Warp Vision. When
the beams from the Sleepwalker's eyes strikes any inanimate substance,
the Sleepwalker is able to animate the object, bending it and reshaping
it to their will. They use this ability to reshape the stuff of the
Mindscape to protect the innocent.
The hero Sleepwalker was linked to a teen named Rick Sheridan, when
Sheridan grabbed an amulet from the Sleepwalker in a dream. After that
when Sheridan would sleep, the Sleepwalker would appear in our reality.
At first, he struck fear into those around them, but eventually the
other-dimensional warrior began to fight the evil around him, defending
this plane of reality as well as his own.
The Sleepwalker encountered such villains as the Bookworm, another
high school student who could bring the characters in books to life by
force of his will. Bookworm chose villainy rather than doing what any
normal teenage boy with that power would do, which is lock himself in
the bathroom with a stack of dad's old Playboys and never been seen from again.
Another villain against which the Sleepwalker
fought was 8-ball, a criminal mastermind who committed crimes with
a giant eight ball helmet on his head and a rocket powered cue as his
Sleepwalker is possibly the worst conceived and executed hero in all
of Marvel's long history, bar none. He is possibly the Marvel Comics'
editoral staff's attempt to hook into the very popular Sandman series
that was being published at DC Comics at the same time. You can imagine
the story meeting going something like this:
Editior:I have called this meeting to discuss this new Neil Gaiman
series over at DC, Sandman. It is getting positive
reviews and high sales. Do we have anything to tap into this market
of the sleep-based superhero?
Assistant Editor:Well, there is Nightmare...
Editor:Is he a hero?
Assitant Editor:No. A villain.
Editor:Can we make him a hero?
Assitant Editor:Not really.
Editor:Okay, then we need a brand new hero. One who has to do
with sleep. Right?
Editor:And he will be done the Marvel Way!
Unison:The Marvel Way!
Writer:Well, there is this teenage boy who has a girlfriend
and a single mom, and he has conflicts with them...
Assistant Editor:Can we call him Rick?
Writer:Sure. Rick's the typical teenage boy's name. And it has
Junior Writer:Oh, and when he falls asleep, he becomes a
super-hero and fights crime!
The result of this meeting (or one probably eerily similar) was Sleepwalker.
The fact that the hero's adventures are effectively based on the fact
that when danger rears its ugly head his alter-ego has to fall asleep would
seem to be a major flaw in the concept of the hero. This along with the
villains that they pitted him against made the comic's short run longer
than it should have been.