Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Couldn’t sleep last night. Don’t you hate that? Kind of got me thinking- what ever happened to Sleepwalker? Remember him? He was part of that huge wave of new blood Marvel threw onto the rack in the nineties. Most of the characters that got dished out in this area were stereotypical anti-heroes- they had ridiculously hardcore superpowers and weapons and were militant loners bent on destroying their mortal enemy. Sleepwalker might have been the one exception. You know how sometimes the best ideas come out of simple- not complicated- concepts? Well, Sleepwalker’s origin wasn’t simple by any means: it was as complex a part of the Marvel mythology as any character. But the concept for the character’s abilities and limits was simple. Essentially, Sleepwalker could only exist and interact with our reality when his host- Rick Sheridan- was asleep. Sheridan, at least for a long time at first, didn’t even know Sleepwalker existed- and Sleepwalker obviously couldn’t interact with Sheridan, because just speaking to Rick would cause Rick to wake up and Sleepwalker to pop out of existence. So it was as simple gimmick, but it was a cool one- if Rick stayed up all night to work on something, Sleepwalker couldn’t even manifest to stop some misfortune from befalling. I remember this neat bit in the Infinity War (a needlessly complicated story- although I’m a big Thanos and Warlock fan)- at some point, the Magus (Warlock’s dark side) puts everyone on Earth into a trance that was sleep like. Consequently, Sleepwalker was one of the few beings left on the planet awake and alert. He ended up playing an instrumental role in releasing everyone, if I recall. So what was Sleepwalker’s deal, anyway? Well, he was part of a race actually- so there are Sleepwalker"s", plural, not singular. The sleepwalkers are mystical beings that guard the ‘mindscape’…a kind-of alternate dimension that’s made up of everybody’s thoughts, dreams, hopes, etc. So the Sleepwalkers keep evil things from entering the mindscape and corrupting the human mind, or from finding a way through the mindscape into reality, and maybe even from the evil that men dream up from becoming real. Sleepwalker, the particular protagonist of the comic, however, was tricked by a demon named Cobweb into Sheridan’s mind and trapped there, cutting him off from the rest of the mindscape. Eventually, through dreams, Sleepwalker and Rick work out an understanding and begin to work together. A cool idea, right? But ultimately, the character faded into obscurity. I have to admit, Sleepwalker’s rogue’s gallery might have contributed. Some of his villains were interesting…but if you looked obscure up in a dictionary, you might see a picture of 8-ball. That’s right, 8-ball, a costumed criminal with a giant pool ball for a head (how he sees out of it, I don’t know) and a pool cue that could push objects around like he was playing pool with the furniture. I’m not making this up. I couldn’t make this up. Editor's Note: Tedd, I actually think you could make this stuff up. You're crazy enough to enjoy watching Event Horizon to make something like this up.. So yeah, whatever happened? Well, Sleepwalker has made few appearances since his series ended- although, Rick Sheridan and Sleepwalker have cameo-ed in the pages of Mrs. Marvel. Apparently, Sleepwalker is registered under the initiative and he briefly became a part of a small team Danvers’ put together, along with Machine Man. Oh, and 8-ball has been featured (briefly) in the pages of She-Hulk, if you can imagine that. Not exactly top-billing. I would totally spring for a revival of this character though, just to ensure that it got a fair shake in the great scheme of things (Sleepwalker…not 8-ball).