Characters Appearing: Alyssa Conover, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Black Widow, Cecilia Perez, Cobweb (Mindscape), Crystal, Esk'odin, Flo Sheridan, Hercules, Ida Epstein, Janine Epstein, Morris Epstein, Psyko, Rambo (dog), Rick Sheridan, Sersi, Sk'obe, Sleepwalker, Sv'ara, T'opali, Vision, William Sheridan
Issue(s): Sleepwalker #25, Sleepwalker #26, Sleepwalker #27
In the previous arc Sleepwalker met a group of, er, Sleepwalkers (actually, they are called Mindspawn) while he was in the Dreamscape/Mindscape, and there was talk of them launching an invasion. This arc starts with Rick Sheridan confronting Cobweb (or possibly just dreaming that he's confronting Cobweb; it's hard to tell with a guy that comes from the Dreamscape) and trying to remember what he heard about that invasion. Meanwhile, the two surviving members of that invasion force, N'Ogskak (later Psyko) and T'opali are fighting their way through a different part of the Mindscape, and they make their way to a larger invasion force.
Later, when Rick wakes up, he finds out that his current girlfriend Janine is the granddaughter of his landlords. And they've decided to kick him out of his apartment since he's been doing such a poor job as superintendent of their apartment complex. But when Marvel closes a door, they open a window, so Rick is later approached by his old girlfriend, Alyssa, who wants to talk to him about the fact that "he" said that he loved her in the last arc (it was really Sleepwalker controlling his body). But before that conversation goes anywhere, Sleepwalker shows up. Sleepwalker (actually, it was Rick controlling him) used his warping powers on her last arc, so Alyssa freaks out when he arrives, and Rick and Sleepwalker have to take their conversation elsewhere. Sleepwalker asks Rick if he'll let him back into his mind, because he wants to try to get back to the Mindscape. Rick reluctantly agrees after extracting a promise that if he lets Sleepwalker in, he'll never return to Earth. And Sleepwalker does make it back into the Mindscape, right into the heart of the invasion encampment. They want Sleepwalker to lead them, since he's proven to have the ability to go back and forth between Earth and the Mindscape. It's also said that he was originally sent to Earth as a scout for this invasion. Sleepwalker refuses, and he's attacked and the invasion goes on without him.
Rick finally remembers the invasion by dream-meeting with the Mindspawn warriors that seemingly died in the last arc - Esk'odin, Sk'obe, Sv'ara - and then he's approached by Sleepwalker. Sleepwalker tries to convince Rick that he can pull all the Sleepwalkers back into his mind by waking up. Rick tries. But he's unsuccessful, and his effort attracts the attention of the invading Mindspawn warriors. When they get to Rick's apartment, Sleepwalker has to beat up Rick to prove that he's not a traitor.
Sleepwalker is later brought to N'Ogskak, and they fight to determine who should lead the Mindspawn.
Sleepwalker wins the fight. But then the Ugly Avengers are called in by Detective Cecilia Perez to stop the Mindspawn invasion.
The Mindspawn are not prepared to fight superhuman opponents, and they eventually flee. Sleepwalker himself attacks Hercules...
...knowing that he'll get punched away from the fight, and he then devotes himself to rescuing civilians. After the invaders flee, Sleepwalker approaches the Avengers, warning that they will return. They don't believe him until the people that he saved show up to support him. However, Alyssa arrives with the seemingly dead Rick, accusing Sleepwalker of killing him. So Sleepwalker is forced to flee. The Avengers are too ugly to chase him.
As for Rick, he's seemingly buried.
There's a little more to come regarding N'Ogskak/Psyko, so maybe i should reserve judgement, but this invasion storyline seems to be a bust. We don't learn anything definitive about Sleepwalker's origins, and most of these issues involves the Mindspawn mindlessly rampaging around, so we don't learn anything interesting about their origins or motivations either. And they're driven off pretty easily once the Avengers show up. Add to that artwork that is dull when it isn't repugnant and these issues are just a mess.
Issue #25 is double-sized and therefore has a filler story by Dan Slott and Bret Blevins. The story is about Rick Sheridan falling out of a small plane while filming something with his movie club. He's drifting in and out of consciousness. If he would just stay unconscious, Sleepwalker could easily rescue him, but the challenge is that he keeps waking up and Sleepwalker keeps disappearing. Sleepwalker manages to aim Rick at a windsock that breaks his fall, and all is well. It's an 8 pager (so it could just as easily have been stuck into an issue of Marvel Comics Presents) and it's inconsequential. It's nice to have Bret Blevins briefly back on Sleepwalker art, but the story doesn't give him much to do.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the Considerations for the previous entry regarding Sleepwalker's appearance in Infinity Crusade between this arc and that one. To avoid cutting up issue #25, i'm also assuming that the backup takes place while Rick and Sleepwalker are temporarily re-merged after Infinity Crusade. But generally speaking, since Rick and Sleepwalker are separated, any generic Sleepwalker appearances with the two of them merged should appear prior to Sleepwalker #19-24. Rick definitely shouldn't appear elsewhere after this issue (basically until after the series is over).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
But then the Ugly Avengers are called in by Detective Cecilia Perez to stop the Mindspawn invasion.
Just you wait, fnord! Sooner or later, Ugly Avengers will be an official title published by Marvel!
In all seriousness, I actually own these issues, and I can't remember a damn thing about them, other than Sleepwalker's people try to invade Earth, the Avengers show up, and Sleepwalker switches sides. Anything more detailed than that has completely slipped my mind. So, yeah, not a very memorable storyline.
Was it ever specified *why* the Mindspawn want to invade Earth?
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 31, 2017 4:14 PM
If only there was a Krantz / Trimpe jam issue so the Ugly Avengers could fight the Ugly Fantastic Four.
Posted by: Mortificator | January 31, 2017 5:09 PM
"Many Hands"? Any relation to the "Many Hands" who worked on Archie Sonic?
Posted by: D09 | January 31, 2017 5:14 PM
"Was it ever specified *why* the Mindspawn want to invade Earth?"- Ben, I don't want to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say not everything is as it seems.
Posted by: Michael | January 31, 2017 7:51 PM
I'm astonished to see there are six more issues to go after this. I read these books in real time, but like Ben, I have virtually no recollection of them. In fact, my memories ran out even earlier, around the time of the Chain Gang's second appearance. It's the same story with the Marvel UK titles: I could have sworn some of them ended much sooner than they did, even though I'm pretty sure I never actually stopped getting Warheads or Knights of Pendragon until they were cancelled.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 31, 2017 8:07 PM
@D09: I believe that Many Hands is the brother of Diverse Hands, the second cousin of Justin Thyme, and the nephew of Alan Smithee :)
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 31, 2017 8:58 PM
In the panel where the Avengers first arrive on the scene, it looks like Hercules is preparing to attack the invaders with his mighty crotch!
It apparently disturbed the art team so much that Hercules is suddenly wearing pants in all the other panels. :P
Posted by: Dermie | January 31, 2017 11:40 PM
The drawings (I refuse to say art) of the Avengers is probably some of the worst ever published by Marvel. And I'm including Liefeld! How'd this garbage get through?
Oh, wait, it was Sleepwalker. Noone was paying attention.
Posted by: Wanyas the Self-Proclaimed | February 1, 2017 2:49 PM
There is next to no info on this "artist" on Google, providing more confirmation to my theory that Marvel was just grabbing random people passing by on the street to draw their books in the early 90s.
Posted by: Bob | February 4, 2017 1:13 AM
I posted a couple of weeks back, the artist is currently a tattoo artist in NYC. The bio I found alluded to working for Marvel but didn't list specifics.
Posted by: Wis | February 4, 2017 1:58 AM
Comments are now closed.
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