Grew up reading comic books in the 90’s. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel’s cosmic universe are my favorites.
Sleepwalker battles the greatest horde of nightmare creatures ever assembled in Marvel’s Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #4. ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen takes a look.
Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #4 from Marvel Comics has arrived and with it maybe the end of a dream. For the last few months, the proprietor of my local comic shop would mock my enthusiasm over this latest Sleepwalker title. “Living the dream, are you?” he’d say with each Wednesday a new issue of Sleepwalker saw release.
He was more right than he imagined. Sleepwalker is more than just an obscure character from a bygone era.
The character still has much to offer readers and a vast richness to add to the Marvel universe. Chris Sims and Chad Bowers go all out in this final issue with an epic battle as well as deep character expansion. And Todd Nauck and Rachelle Rosenberg deliver wildly imaginative imagery worthy of any superhero or comic book.
After a painful and mind-expanding journey through the Infinity Stones, Sleepwalker finally arrives at his destination. Astride the monstrous Man-Thing Thang Thoom, Sleepwalker breaches Soul World and confronts the warped souls of Rick Sheridan and Nick Fury. As the denizens of Soul World descend upon them, Sleepwalker flees with Rick to the Mindscape where a plague of terrors await them.
Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #4 delivers big on its grand finale.
First off, Todd Nauck’s art is simply amazing, far better than a mere event tie-in miniseries deserves. Herein lies rich environments, intricately designed characters, and insanely detailed panels on every page. Nauck has delivered top-tier artwork to what some would consider a lower tier book. Sleepwalker has never looked so good.
And Rachelle Rosenberg’s vibrant colours bring the art to life like no other. The character of Man-Thing Thang Thoom beautifully illustrates the level of detail present in Nauck’s pencils and the wide range of colours at Rosenberg’s beckon call.
If Sleepwalker’s new adventures were to continue I’d want Todd Nauck and Rachelle Rosenberg to continue providing interiors.
And I’d want the same writers to continue as well. What writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers have accomplished in a mere four issues is truly astounding. They’ve adequately recapped Sleepwalker’s character, found a relevant and unique narrative with which to branch from the main event (Infinity Wars), conceptually built and expanded upon the lore of the Infinity Stones, and enriched the characters within. All the while keeping the book entertaining and action-packed.
Sims and Bowers have demonstrated the nigh-infinite possibilities of Sleepwalker and the Mindscape. This series is their way of saying “there is a place for this obscure character and it can be wonderful.” And they did it all without having to reboot, retcon, or rework the preexisting lore (a feat many of the top writers at Marvel have trouble with). The Infinity Stones to are examined with fresh eyes and fresh ideas rooted within their own classic mythology.
Of the tie-in books to Infinity Wars, Sleepwalker easily stands out as the book with the most relevance and opportunity for expansion. Not to mention the highest quality in terms of art. And it functions like the best event tie-in books should, showcasing another area of the story yet mostly independent from the central event.
And continuing themes from issue #3, Sims and Bowers plant a meta-message herein. “Our dreams are never lost!” roars Sleepwalker. “We are creatures of the mind. But that gives us the power to change the world around us.” These words contain revelatory meaning within the context of the narrative, meaning that changes Sleepwalker and the Mindscape forever more. But taken out of context, as a statement about our own lives and our own world, they carry yet more weight.
Never give up on your dreams. We have the power to make our dreams reality.
Sleepwalker is the protector of “our” dreams. He’s a symbol of someone’s dreams coming true, that of creator Bob Budiansky and his decade-long struggle to bring his dream of Sleepwalker to life. Sleepwalker is an example of someone’s dreams coming true and proof that our dreams are possible too.
I am still “living the dream,” as my local comic shop proprietor so poignantly put it. And it is one of my many dreams and hopes that Marvel and readers recognize how truly special this book, this creative team, and these characters are.
While this book ends, there is the faintest glimmer of hope in the closing pages: Secret Defenders. Sleepwalker would be the perfect leader for such a group provided, of course, that another dream becomes reality.
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Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche
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